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Casa Palacio Pilar del Toro Hotel
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Reviews (123)
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Reviewed 30 January 2013

We live in the province of Granada in Spain and took time out to go back to the Alhambra because the Emperor's rooms were open for just a few days this January. The night life around the Plaza Nueva is fabulous with most bars closing at 2.00am and the free tapas they offer means that you have to stop drinking because you really can-t eat any more food!

We won't bother with any other hotel again after staying in Casa del Pilar, we have tried many. Under new management (the same as Hotel Plaza Nueva) the prices are now cheaper than the Ibis which is underneath the ring road motorway and is horrible in comparison. This hotel is in the best position with no noise at night but only steps from where you want to be.

The hotel is an old house built around a beautiful covered courtyard in which you can relax and enjoy drinks or coffee served from the attached bar. Reception is incredibly helpful. There is an attractive restaurant but it is fairly pricey (and not owned by the hotel) which may account for it being empty. The antique feel of the rooms is wonderful, ours had a balcony onto the street and an infra-red heater in the bathroom as well as the air-con heating in the bedroom. The bed was very comfortable and my only gripe is that they use sausage shape bolster pillows rather than the individual ones we are accustomed to.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank EdmundSykes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 November 2012

We stayed in a very modern hotel in Malaga before coming on to Granada; and this is a real change - a wooden framed, traditional Moorish courtyard building right in the heart of ancient Granada. We had a deluxe room which boasts of a whirlpool bath - and this was really fun!

However the down side to the historical experience was that there was no natural light into our room - overlooking a courtyard which was very noisy when we first arrived, but on shutting the window tight the noise did diminish; but the combination of the tiled floors and courtyard do make it a very noisy place at times, and we were on the 3rd floor. The bathroom door was more like a glass saloon door - i.e. swings, and as this was a trip with a friend rather than partner was slightly embarrassing as it had no sound privacy in the loo!! TV had no English channels, despite lots of other languages, but was still better than nothing for background sound! The other negative was that it felt more like a youth hostel with a lack of staffing than a hotel. However the adjoining cafe always had staff who doubled with the hotel, so there was some help, albeit not nearly as friendly or helpful as we had in Malaga. Breakfast was not on offer but if you want something then you can use the cafe after 9am to get a coffee and a piece of toasted breadstick. Otherwise there is a little bakers not far on the square, and plenty of other eating places to enjoy. Next time I’d be tempted to bring a little travel kettle too, which seems not to be provided in Spain no matter how plush the hotel.

Once we had adjusted our expectations we learned to appreciate the style of the hotel - high wooden ceilings from the original Moorish era, which did feel atmospheric if not cosy. The hotel is pretty and the courtyard is lovely with a small fountain (pictures attached). As we were there in October it was quite rainy, but this made the covered courtyard cosier, and the whole place was fairly empty of people. The owners could easily make a few improvements – such as a folder of info about both the hotel and nearby attractions, a kettle (though they might decide that is in competition with the café) and at least one English channel on the TV for days when it is throwing it down with rain or someone has constipation!

Apart from the historic feeling of the hotel, the main benefit of this place is the location which was perfect. I hadn’t appreciated the small distances when I had booked and we were right on the Santa Anna and Plaza Nueva squares which are next to each other, with lots of cafes and boutiques to look around. There is also a tourist info centre right next door. In one direction are the steep narrow alleys of the Albaicin, with lots of Moroccan shops and restaurants. We didn’t explore this area very much as it was raining heavily when we were there and cobbled streets turned into rivers, but there was a little bus which took you the first part of the way up the hill for 1 euro to get a great view across to the Alhambra. On wending down the hill we discovered the small arab baths –which are well worth a quick viewing, especially as they are free to visitors and in good condition. There are local busses too that take you up into the higher levels of this pretty area. In another direction the Cathedral and nearby the shopping markets from the old silk market (Alcaiceria) similar to an Arabian souk which are sweet and worth a visit – don’t forget to bargain! The Cathedral is worth a visit but only opens at 11am and the royal chapel is separate.

The main attraction of Granada is obviously the Alhambra; and it truly is wonderful. From the hotel it is close by, via a very steep walk uphill - a few shops to rest you at first but as you feel relief at getting through the massive main entrance gate – don’t! It is a long walk up massively steep hills, albeit in pretty cool woodland. We struggled uphill, without realising that there is a bus which can take you in comfort up to the ticket office! Downhill was far easier!

Don’t forget to book your tickets in advance – you can easily do this via the Alhambra website which redirects you to the ticket site and ticketmaster. You can then choose your time for entry specifically into the Nasrid Palaces, though this is only one part of the whole site which you can see in an afternoon or morning session. You must arrive at the Nasrid Palace entrance within the Alhambra by the time on your ticket or you won’t be allowed in – and this would be terrible. The Nasrid palaces are the most impressive Arab palaces I have ever seen and I am fairly well travelled in North Africa and Arabia. As each Spanish king valued the wonderful décor – it has remained protected with little adjustment since the 14th century. The Alhambra saves a few tickets for sale from 6.30 am on each morning if you didn’t buy in advance but there is no need for this as it is easy by internet and then you can pick up the tickets from any Caixa bank ‘hole in the wall’ anywhere in Spain, using your original booking credit card. If you get an over 65’s discount you must go to the ticketbooth on arrival to get your ticket validated with your passport. Food and drink are scarce within the Alhambra, although we did find an elusive restaurant on our way out! There are more machines rather than cafes.

Back to the hotel: if light is important to you ask for a room facing the front with windows as most overlook the courtyard which is covered, therefore not real daylight. Don’t bring a car as the streets are so narrow; and if you walk up looking for the hotel, it is easier to walk up to the Santa Ana church and then turn right, up some stairs and the hotel is there. Following maps, we tried to find it via the back way, going up a street signposted to the Alhmabra, which was ok, but not quite so straightforward.

In summary – a great location, an interesting place to stay, but not if friendliness and comfort is your main aspiration.

Room Tip: if you want a unique romantic experiecne - ask for a superior double with whirlpool bath!! Except the beds are still twin pushed together.
  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank pubble
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2012

Hotel Casa del Pilar,
Granada
My daughter and I stayed in this small hotel located right off of Plaza Santa Ana.
Our room had a small balcony, a very modern bathroom and clean, comfortable beds. We were within easy walking distance to great shopping on the Gran Via, to the Albaicin area, which gave us fantastic views of the Alhambra, and to very, very good tapas bars, including Bodega Castaneda. The hotel is also about a minute's walk to the Arab baths. If I ever return to Granada, we will, without a doubt stay here. We drove from Madrid to Granada easily, but once in Granada, finding the hotel without a GPS was impossible. The staff were accommodating and friendly , making us feel welcome immediately. Good air conditioning.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Leoleoleoleo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2012

We arrived in Grenada and by chance we found our way to this hotels doors with our car... In a one way street - no way to get out - except by reverse... But the receptionist said calmingly "relax - I know what I am doing"... And she knew...!
We loved this place from the first minute. We had the best room of the hotel but that was not it. Location is the best. Quality of the rooms are great. The lobby/lounge is probably the coolest in the city. And out of the doors are so many bars/restaurants to choose from. Don't hesitate - book!

Room Tip: 301 - The best room! We loved it!
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank MrHB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 November 2011

Stayed over the weekend, beautiful rooms, comfortable beds, nice bathroom with toiletries. The location was brilliant, we ride a Honda Goldwing and the parking for bikes was right outside the hotel - so peace of mind for my hubby.
However, there was a downside for us over the weekend...we had requested a quiet room as we are travelling on motorbike, when we arrived I asked the girl AGAIN that the room be quiet as we needed to be up early at 6.30am to que for the Alhambra tickets for that day...yes she said, it will be very quiet and you will sleep. But, it was so noisy, people singing, shouting, bins being emptied early hours. At 3am I rung down to the reception and complained that our requests for quiet room were not meet. The guy apologised and said he would discount the room. We were so tired we never woke at 6.30am and therefore missed going to the Alhambra, one of the main reasons we travelled to Granada. On checking out the manager had discounted the room 6Euros.....I was very angry and insulted and in the end they discounted 13Euros but no way did that compensate for us losing sleep till gone 3am and missing out on seeing the Alhambra....so even though the hotel was beautiful I WOULDN'T STAY here again on principle.
Steer clear of room 203, it has another room joining it with a staicase and you can hear everything overhead of you.

Room Tip: STEER CLEAR OF ROOM 203 it has another room off of it that then goes up via staircase to above.
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank sueanne21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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