The Paradores have come to represent Spain’s best, its essence, tempting travelers to stay in historic landmarks, where they will be sure to find good taste, impeccable service, and friendly hospitality to turn their vacation into a delightful sensory experience.
Paradores are a set of upscale hotels that dot the Spanish landscape, set inside emblematic buildings or noteworthy locations carefully chosen for their historical, artistic, or cultural significance. Along with fabulous lodging, these hotels offer excellent gastronomic experiences, combining the traditional cuisine of Spain’s many regions with elements of haute cuisine.
Spanish Paradores are unique hotels with a fascinating past, committed to reclaiming Spain’s heritage, with extreme respect for the environment and their surroundings. The Paradores are located within castles, palaces, mountain lodges, mansions, and provincial estates and guarantee stays defined by elegance, comfort and flawless service.
The history of Spain’s spectacular Parador hotels dates back to the earliest years of the 20th century, when the Spanish Government took note of the significant lack of suitable hotel infrastructure throughout the country. The Royal Tourism Commission began to scout the country for truly exceptional locations and in 1928, King Alfonso XIII inaugurated the first Parador in a spectacular location, Sierra de Gredos, near Madrid. Now, nearly a century later, there are ninety-eight establishments set in castles, old convents, monasteries, palaces, manors, Alcazars, even new buildings.
In recent years, Paradores of Spain have become the undisputed leader of cultural tourism through the promotion and appreciation of the historical and cultural heritage of the country. In addition to hotels in all the Spanish cities declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO such as Avila, Cáceres, Cordoba, Alcalá de Henares, Cuenca or Salamanca, more than half of the Paradores are located in monumental settings or in the most beautiful natural parks in the country.
The buildings— some centuries old— offer maximum comfort, a fusion of modern and classic luxury supported by state-of-the-art technology. In short, a sojourn in a Parador perfectly combines Wi-Fi connections and digital TV with antiques, swords, suits of armor, and the fabulous canopy beds used by the former Spanish royalty!
The Paradores helped to save iconic castles and palaces, many of which already had extensive histories of their own like the world’s oldest hotel, the Hostal de Los Reyes Católicos, a pilgrim’s hostel, and León’s Hostal de San Marcos, which has served as everything from a convent to a prison since its construction in the 16th century and has undergone a complete restoration and renovation since 2017 and will feature a restoration of the ceiling by Munoz and more than five hundred pieces of art on display in public areas, some for the first time.
Today, Paradores hotels continue the proud legacy of exemplary service and total comfort in its diverse locations throughout Spain. As time has passed, these hotels have evolved, tempting travelers to a greater array of services in order to ensure a perfect visit for each and every occasion. Professional visitors staying at Parador Alcalá de Henares, for example, can take advantage of its many halls suited for work holidays (“bleisure”) while enjoying the centuries-old building’s elegant Baroque architecture. Guests at Parador La Granja, meanwhile, can treat themselves to a decadent spa experience while staying in a palace that was once home to Spain’s royal princes. From the Canary Islands to the Picos de Europa, from Hondarribia to Cádiz, Parador hotels offer Spain’s most exclusive hotel experience.
Paradores has been the first large hotel chain in Spain to be certified with the Safe Tourism Certified seal awarded by the Institute for Spanish Tourism Quality for complying with the maximum hygienic-sanitary guarantees and which turns the Paradores into safe spaces for customers and employees.
Paradores is committed to clean energy through the use of 100% electricity from renewable sources, has eliminated single-use plastic from all its rooms and fights against food waste in its restaurants as the size of its hotels, almost all medium or small, facilitate the rigorous implementation of safety and hygiene controls to make them safer to tempt travelers to.
In a year marked by the drop in foreign tourism and mobility restrictions in the country, Spaniards trust Paradores. The hotel chain has been recognized as the brand with the highest reputation in Spain in 2021 and the hotel with the best reputation in the world, being the only Spanish company in the “top ten” of international brands with the greatest reputation, according to Brand Finance, an independent international brand valuation and strategy firm.
For further information on the Paradores of Spain…www.parador.es
Photos courtesy of Turespaña.