Hotel Elvira Plaza

Santa Cruz, Seville, Spain Book from

Reviewed by Sarah Breaux
Charming, minimalist 9-room hotel in the heart of the historic Barrio de Santa Cruz
Turn the corner into Plaza Doña Elvira and you’ll feel instantly transported back in time. The leafy orange trees, bubbling fountain and azulejo benches are quintessentially Sevillan. Smack in the centre of the city but removed from the tourist hustle and bustle, this square was once an outdoor theatre. It is now home to this gem of a hotel, and a handful of traditional restaurants.

The hotel opened in 2012 after a lengthy refurb that breathed new life into a historic building, whilst retaining its old charm. The owners took care to make things eco-friendly, too, using recycled wood for the room details (headboards, doors), and installing water- and energy-saving mechanisms. The result is a modern and comfortable retreat that's a pleasure to return to after a busy day of sightseeing. The rooftop terrace is a lovely spot for a morning coffee or sunset beer, and you'll want to try both of the delicious restaurants: tapas and cocktails at Vinela and traditional Andalusian fare in chic Doña Elvira.

Highs

  • A central location in an adorable little plaza, and a fantastic panoramic roof terrace with big views
  • Great-value rooms, with Nespressos, iPod docks and bathrobes
  • Friendly and helpful service
  • Within walking distance of Plaza de España, the Giralda district and the best flamenco bars
  • A quiet night’s sleep; the plaza is pedestrianised, and its restaurants close by midnight (unusual in Spain)

Lows

  • You'll have to park, or be dropped off, a 2-minute walk away, but you can call ahead for help carrying luggage
  • Breakfast costs extra, as do capsules for the in-room Nespressos (available from reception)
  • No twin rooms, extra beds or baby cots
  • Not much space to unpack or hang your belongings
  • A centralised power system, so if you turn off the main lights, plugs are disabled and your gadgets won’t charge

Best time to go

Seville is warm all year, with more hours of sunshine than any other major European city. The ideal time to visit is during spring, early summer and autumn; July and August are extremely hot and many businesses close. Seville hosts 2 of the largest festivals in Spain, Semana Santa (Easter Holy Week) and the Feria de Abril, both in April. Prices soar during these big fiestas and bookings need to be made well in advance.

Our top tips

Visit the local artisan craft and souvenir shops, especially Las Moradas around the corner, which sells beautiful handicrafts and ceramics from a well-preserved, traditional Sevillan home.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
City Style
Eco
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 9
  • Bar and 2 restaurants (open daily)
  • Allowed but not ideal
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
  • Roof terrace with tables and loungers
Room: Terrace Junior Suite

Rooms

Unlike many restored buildings-turned-hotels in Seville, all 9 rooms have windows, giving them a light and airy feel, enhanced by an all-white colour scheme. There are beautiful reclaimed-wood headboards, tiled floors and crisp, white linens. Shiny white and chrome bathrooms have rain showers, plus a tub in the larger rooms. There are no wardrobes but you'll find hangers and rails.

Economic Double Rooms are compact but not stuffy, with floor-to-ceiling windows to an internal patio. The Ground Floor Double is of a similar size, but has a view of Doña Elvira plaza. The Double Rooms are more spacious with double-glazed windows facing the plaza or side street. We stayed in #105, which had lovely exposed brick details and a Juliet balcony. It’s worth upgrading to one of the Junior Suites for a sitting area and a private terrace that looks out onto the plaza and the Giralda beyond.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Ipod dock
  • Nespresso coffee machine
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Satellite tv
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries

Eating

The hotel has 2 restaurants: Doña Elvira and Vinela. In the morning, a Continental breakfast buffet is laid out in Vinela - cakes, pastries, cheeses, fruits, tortilla and fresh juices, as well as Cava for that holiday spirit!

Both restaurants are open from 11am-midnight, and hotel guests get a 10% discount. We enjoyed our traditional dinner of croquetitas variadas (mixed croquettes), paella andaluza and carrillada de Ibérico (pork cheek) in Doña Elvira. (Tip, don't miss the chocolate cake with clementine ice cream or Sevillan custard if you've got room for dessert). If you fancy a lighter meal or snack, order tapas and cocktails at Vinela. For a change of scene, ask staff for recommendations - the neighbourhood is full of great eateries.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Tapas restaurant
Eating: Restaurant
Activity:

Activities

  • Walk to the Giralda district to see the world's third largest cathedral. The Gothic architecture is mind-blowing, and inside are works by Murillo, Goya, Pedro de Campaña and Luis de Vargas
  • We loved the Real Alcázar palace and gardens, with their beautiful gilded architecture and formal maze
  • The Plaza de España is a majestic sight, with Art Deco buildings, a river and a moat, originally built for the 1928 Ibero-American Exposition
  • Take a traditional horse and carriage ride or just wander through the city's quaint cobbled streets, soaking up the citrus smell from the orange trees
  • Cruise up the river on an electric-powered boat trip with local company Guadaluxe. They take small tours of 10-12 people (so a much nicer experience than the large diesel cruisers with hundreds of passengers), and the bi-lingual guides are excellent

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Language courses
  • Museums / galleries
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Wine tasting

Kids

Children are allowed but it's not a family hotel. No baby cots or extra beds are available, so you'd need to bring your own baby cot or book 2 rooms for older children.

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

8/
Rooms
8/
Food
8/
Service
8/
Value
8/
Overall

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