Sunday, April 29, 2012

Three Well-Located, Budget Hotels in Barcelona, Granada and Sevilla

My boyfriend (now husband!) and I spent nine October nights in Spain, dividing our days between Barcelona, Granada and Sevilla (in that order).   Being our first trip to Spain and first overseas trip together, we were determined to eat and sightsee our way through these three cities and in turn, needed three very well-located hotels.  After much research, we chose the Regencia Colon Hotel in Barcelona, Hotel Macia Plaza in Granada and the Hotel Murillo in Sevilla, which each had a stellar location for seeing the sights and soaking in the culture of this beautiful country.  (I will write trip reports on each city at a later date – for now, just hotel info, for the most part!)

Regencia Colon Hotel in Barcelona 

Hotel Regencia Colon's entrance
Let me preface that you need more than three nights in Barcelona!  We could have spent all nine nights here - there's that much to see and do!

We booked our first three nights at the Regencia Colon Hotel, an extremely well-located, 50-unit hotel in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona.   From the moment we arrived (jetlagged) around noon, the front desk staff could not possibly have been more helpful and professional, storing our luggage until a room was available, enthusiastically giving us maps and directions, making restaurant recommendations and reservations for us.   Pricing per night was approximately 100E or $135US.

View from our room's window
The hotel's location was EXCELLENT. Extra bonus:  From the airport, we took a bus to the beautiful Catalunya Square, and easily walked with our luggage to the Regencia Colon Hotel.  Within minutes, we could walk to Las Ramblas, the waterfront, the Picasso Museum, El Born district, which we really enjoyed, and many lively tapas bars. The Cathedral was right outside the hotel.  We were also able to pick up the Bus Touristic there, which very conveniently took us parts of the city that were too far too walk, like the Sagrada Familia.  Additionally, we were able to walk to trains that took us to Sitges, for a day of swimming, sunning, eating and exploring. 

Our spacious room (please excuse the mess!)
Our double room was spacious and clean. I brought earplugs in case of outside noise but did not use them at all.  We felt completely safe at all times and were pleased that the room had a hair dryer, safe-deposit box, a mini bar and some powerful air conditioning .  Breakfast was not included but we found some delightful outdoor spots close to the hotel.

Hotel Macia Plaza in Granada

The Hotel Macia Plaza was the best hotel of our trip, and the least expensive!   This 44-unit hotel’s location cannot possibly be any better.  Two nights in Granada however was just enough time to tour the Alhambra and the city sights and take advantage of the delicious tapas bars.  And the best part?  We paid 60E per night but I noticed on the website that the rate is currently 75E or $100US per night. 

The Hotel Macia Plaza is the yellow building
From the airport, a bus dropped us off five minutes from the hotel and we easily walked with our luggage to Plaza Nueva, home of the Hotel Macia Plaza. The gentleman at the front desk was kind and helpful and we liked that there was someone there to assist us 24/7. 

Our room was clean and very modern, and located toward the back of the hotel, which worked for us because it was completely quiet, no noise from the Plaza Nueva.  We liked that there was a computer with Internet access in the breakfast room, which we used at no cost to us. Breakfast was nothing fancy but enough to get you going.  There are plenty of shops to grab coffee and pastries nearby as well.

The area around the hotel - colorful
Plaza Nueva is a cute square lined with bars and restaurants. The bus to the Albayzin Moorish quarter stopped right outside the hotel and the bus to La Alhambra stopped just down the road, very convenient. (The Alhambra in Granada is Spain’s most visited attraction and should NOT be missed.) We could also walk to both of these sites, as well as the cathedral and chapel.  All in all, we were very pleased with the Macia Plaza and highly recommend it to other travelers.

Hotel Murillo in Sevilla

Hotel Murillo is located in the charming, pedestrian-only neighborhood of Santa Cruz, just a short walk from the Cathedral and the Giralda, the Alcazar and Murillo gardens, Sevilla’s main attractions.  We arrived in Sevilla via train from Granada at the Santa Justa train station.  At the station, we easily hailed a cab which brought us to the outskirts of the Santa Cruz neighborhood.  Because cars are not allowed, we easily rolled our luggage to the Hotel Murillo, where we stayed for four nights.  We paid around 75E or $100US per night.

Hotel Murillo entrance
The gentleman at the reception desk was very friendly and because our visit was a special anniversary, we received an upgrade to a suite.   Our room was small, with marble steps that led to the bed, a small but comfortable couch, a marble bathroom and a small outdoor patio.  The hotel served breakfast (for a fee) in the hotel’s lower level; we ate here once and regretted it. The fruit was canned and the rest was nothing to write home about. 

Small but pretty room
The hotel had a roof deck with a small bar but unfortunately, it was only open from noon - 5pm, when the sun was at its strongest (90 degrees in early October). Not sure why anyone would want to sit on a roof during those hours!  Luckily, the hotel's vending machine sold beer and jamon (ham)-flavored potato chips, so we enjoyed two absolutely beautiful sunsets with a cold drink, looking out over Sevilla, which was breathtaking. 
View from the rooftop deck
The BEST part of staying in this hotel was its location in the Santa Cruz neighborhood.  With its narrow streets and alleys, intimate squares, history and architecture, the neighborhood is amazing, especially at night when the night-blooming jasmine comes out. 

A Recommendation on Length of Stay in these Cities:

If planning a similar trip, here’s what I would have done differently with nine nights:

Barcelona – 5 nights
Granada – 2 nights
Seville – 2 nights


Barcelona - 7 nights
Granada – 2 nights
Sevilla – another time!


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  2. Very interesting post about your Spain trip. It seems you enjoyed your visit to our country and that´s always good news for us.

    We wanted to thank you for your comments on our hotel (Murillo). First hand comments are very useful for us (we have already changed the hours of the terrace bar and we´ll definitely try to improve our breakfast service) If you remember any other point of improvement, I´d appreciate if you could send me an email.

    ¡"Buen Viaje"!, for your next trip :-)

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