By Nancy Todd
Your Scoop Experts have stayed in hundreds of hotels. Some four-star hotels really think they are five-star hotels, but in reality are three-stars. The Scoopometer determines that one quick way to know if a hotel is a four or five-star is by the Plastic Flower Theory. If there is one plastic flower in the hotel lobby, it moves down a star. If there are no real or plastic flowers, you are in a one-star or below. All five-stars have gorgeous, real, live flowers. For additional hotels, check out another cool site.
If you are staying in budget places in Granada and it is not January, ask if the hotel has air conditioning. You will need it in the hot months. The day I arrived in July, the temperature was 109 degrees. Prices change with the seasons.
l. Parador de Granada San Francisco – Want to feel like a king and queen? Stay right on the grounds of the Alhambra in an Arab palace rebuilt in the fourteenth century. Beautiful gardens with panoramic views, antique furniture, and a grand, cool courtyard with a fountain. Regal. Quiet. Paradors do not have the star system. If royal nights are your desire, you can drive or take a taxi unto the Alhambra grounds to get to this hotel. Rates: 300+ euros.
2. Hotel Villa Oniria – Oh, this is a beauty. Four-star which would be a five-star if it had two elevators. With a spa, it’s located in the center of the city. Opened in 2007, with sophisticated renovation by famous Spanish architect Pascua Ortega, this Hotel is an old, small palace, with a lush garden restaurant and swaying palms. The Superior Suite, I wanted to move into forever: fireplace, terrace with sofa and dining table, two sets of french doors. Contemporary furnishings yet classic. Wow. Rates: 200+ euros.
3. Palace Hotel Granada – The views go on for miles. Depending on the location of your room, you can see the sunrise or sunset. Located right next to the grounds of the Alhambra. Four-stars. Moorish arches, tile work. About two miles from the center of Granada. Rates: 200+ euros.
4. Garanat Hotel – On mellow side street. Entering through ancient, huge wooden doors, you glide into a serene courtyard with white leather chairs and a fountain. This 1500′s building has been refurbished in an elegant, contemporary style with inspirational poetic quotes on the walls. Library. All rooms different. Large bathrooms. Breakfast included. Gorgeous. Top quality. Rates: 110+euros.
5. Hotel America – You can stay on the Alhambra grounds for a budget price of 70 – 100+euros. The Hotel is a two storied old house. Courtyard with trees and fountain. Cars and taxis will get you up the hill. Small and quiet. The staff will not win the Best Personality Award. But, hey, you are on the grounds of the Alhambra.
6. Zaquan del Darro – In charming Albaicin neighborhood with views of the Alhambra. Rooms decorated in Moorish design in a 17th century home. Restaurants close by. Thirteen rooms with a pleasant staff. Lovely courtyard lobby. Rates: 49 – 79 euros. A bargain.
7. Hastal Costa Azul – Two-star. Good location across from fruit store and cafes. Wireless internet. Patio. Free book exchange. Students affiliated with National Geographic classes and Miami University stay here. Friendly staff. Rates: 44-55 euros.
Where have you stayed in Granada? Write and let us know.