The Van Gogh is essentially a ** hostel which borders on being a hotel, and at around £40 per night is very good value compared to other hotels in the centre of Seville. It is one of several similar nearby hostels, all named after painters. This is a terrific location, just a moment’s walk from the Reales Alcazares, with only the horse drawn carriages and pedestrians going past. Note that contrary to some reports, taxis can draw up outside the hotel if you want to arrive that way.
We had room 21, which did not look quite as nice as the room pictures we had seen. There were three single beds of reasonable size and comfort, a safe, a TV which only receives Spanish channels, an air conditioning unit and a smallish en suite room with shower, wash basin and WC. The towels were not the softest in the world, and there was no soap, but there was a hair drier. It was probably one of the larger rooms (we saw another room with just two beds which was very small), but still not all that large. There were no wardrobes – just some hangers on hooks on the wall, so even though we had only taken small cases, we had to use the spare bed for most of our things. The air conditioning was quite effective, though it was towards the end of September. In fact we had to turn it down a bit, and you have to ask for the remote control for that and for the TV at reception. The reception staff were generally very friendly and helpful and spoke some English.
There have been reports about the hotel not being clean, which is true to an extent. There were bits of paper etc under the beds and white socks did show some dirt from the floor, though not excessively. The regular cleaning lady was very nice, but was leaving at the end of our stay, so the situation might improve. There was a slight musty smell in the en suite when we arrived, but it got better with use.
Our room only had one window and that was internal onto the laundry room, which meant at least there was no noise from the street, but the curtain was very thin and the light from the hallway was quite bright when it was on. We put the spare bedspread over it which helped a lot. In fact the main problem we had was with noise, both from people coming and going and from reception staff talking during the night, as well as the mysterious motor noise which keeps stopping and starting. It wasn’t from the room’s air conditioning, which was quiet since the outside unit is elsewhere in the building. The first few nights the noise wasn’t as bad as we had feared, but Friday night it got a lot worse from all the sources mentioned. If you sleep like a log or you’re out most of the night it won’t be a problem, otherwise you definitely need earplugs!
Contrary to some reports, there are no tea or coffee making facilities in the room, nor are there any pastries for breakfast. There are two vending machines in the entrance. However, this is not a real problem since a minute down Miguel de Mañara is the typical Spanish café Rayuela which opens at 7 am Monday to Friday and where you can get eg tea/coffee, real orange juice, a croissant and a doughnut for 5 Euros. It’s noisy inside but typically Spanish with everyone chatting away, or you can sit outside. It’s not open at the weekend, so a bit further down and across the tram track are Starbucks and a good Spanish café, but they don’t open until later (9 am at least). The tourist information office is just though the archway from the café. You can eat in the evening in the Jamerdana/Plaza de los Venerables area about 5 minutes’ walk away, at prices from 12 Euros for 5 tapas – enough for a small meal for two people.
We flew to Malaga and took the excellent Avant train to Seville, which takes about 2 hours. You need a seat booking for most longer distance Spanish trains, even if you buy a ticket at the station. We booked in advance through the London based Spanish Rail Service. If you use them, make sure you understand all the discounts on the web site before booking, to get the best out of them. For those over 60 there is a 1 year 5 Euro Gold Card which gets you up to 40% off. We looked at the 3 day in a month pass, but for us it was dearer and you still have to use it to get a real ticket and seat booking before you get on the train. We also went to Cordoba for the day on the AVE train, which takes about 45 minutes. In Seville itself you can get a 5 Euro 10 journey ticket for all the buses and the tram, or for 6 Euros you can make one change (note you must validate your ticket again on the second part). We also went to the lovely Carmona for the day, which takes about an hour by bus, which you can catch in the street next to the tram terminus street near the bus stations.
Finally, a word of warning. While we were in Seville we somehow got a fake 20 Euro note, either in change or from an ATM. Apparently they are not uncommon, though the change of getting one is still probably quite small. The one we got was quite easy to spot once you know what to look for, so go to the European Central Bank page [-] and be prepared!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hostal Van Gogh is exceptionally placed next to the walls of the Reales Alcázares, the historical centre of Seville. From the balconies of this typical sevillan house is possible to see the Cathedral, la Giralda and the Santa Cruz quarter. Situated next to the walls of the famous Reales Alcázares, at the heart of beautiful Seville, this charming guesthouse provides clean and pretty rooms at a very reasonable price. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hostal Van Gogh Seville