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Unless you are currently planning a trip to Spain, this section is going to bore you to tears. Escape now while you still have your health.

In Toledo we stayed at the Hotel Maria Cristina, just outside of town.

The room was large and comfortable, albeit over the reception hall.
The view from our balcony -- the Hospital de Tavera, which appeared to be closed.
Another view from the balcony. You can see the Alcázar of Toledo on the left in the background.

Located next to the town's bull ring, our hotel was a five minute walk from the old town. This was key, as we did not have to drive our rental car into the confusing and narrow alleyways that are hard enough to negotiate on foot.

In Granada we stayed at the Hotel Inglaterra. It's a pretty modern affair, but the location cannot be beat. You are steps from some wonderful tapas bars, and several charming bodegas that make great little sandwiches through the wee hours of the morning.
A view down one of the narrow streets of old Granada from our room's balcony.

The Albaicín and the cathedral are only a few blocks away. The Alhambra is a bit of a walk, but totally doable.

This hotel follows our general hotel selection plan: Always stay close to the cathedral.

The central atrium, and the whole hotel, for that matter, is done up in in a bright Georgian style.

Even though the Inglaterra was the least 'Spanish' hotel that we stayed in, and had little Old World Charm, it was otherwise quite simply a fantastic deal all around.

In Ronda we stayed at the Hotel Reina Victoria -- a totally musty old turn of the century Anglophile hotel if there ever was one.

But that's no matter, we managed to score the corner room, and the view was fantastic!

Looking towards Ronda from our room's patio.

The hotel is about a ten minute walk from the center of Ronda. Other than the museum-like feel of the building (and the staff, and the mattresses, and the typical lodger...), there's not much to remark upon.

A view north-west, away from town.

A bizarre stalk of a plant was growing just outside our room on the cliff.

In Sevilla, we opted for the Hotel Doña María, a very charming old hotel right between the cathedral, the Alcazar and the Barrio de Santa Cruz.

This place seems to hark back to the Grand Tour days of the Fifties, and probably was well-traveled well before that. The lobby is overstuffed with antiques, the halls are besotted with faded watercolors and the rooms named for various Spanish royal figures. Despite the somewhat stuffy atmosphere, this place quickly grew on us.

A view of the Doña María from La Giralda, the cathedral's bell tower.

There's a pool on the roof of the hotel, which I'm sure is wonderful during the summer.

The Barrio de Santa Cruz is off in the distance.

This is a view from our balcony at the Doña María.

We really took the "stay close to the cathedral" doctrine as far as it can go in Sevilla. That's the back of the cathedral just down the street, and La Giralda is on the right.

Although the location and solid old feel were wonderful, the rooms could really be redone -- including new beds and furniture.

Another view from our balcony, down to a most excellent tapas joint. The bar hails from the 1920s and is a must stop for the interior, if not the food.

This is on Calle Marteos Gago just east from Plaza Virgen de los Reyes.

In Oropesa we stayed in the only parador of our trip. We wished that we could have stayed in a few more paradors, but they are very popular and seem to require booking well in advance.

This parador was part of a 14th century castle.

Another view of the parador's exterior.
One of the castle's towers, as seen from the courtyard.
We arrived on the night of a big wedding, and snagged the last room -- way down in the dungeon.

It was a little musty and the only window was a little bow-and-arrow slit facing a battlement.

But the appointments were certainly nice.
A view of the parador's courtyard.
In Madrid we stayed in some big old business hotel called the Hotel Tryp Ambassador something between Calle del Arenal near the Teatro Real and the Gran Via.
You can almost certainly do better than this overpriced and run down confusing mess of a hotel. This is not the Four Seasons, but yet they seem to really charge as if it was.

Where's Waldo?

At least our room was huge, despite the low dormer ceilings. We even had a separate sitting room.

If you are really interested, a few more hotel pictures can be found here.


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