Traveling on a tour through northern Spain we looked forward to staying in this Parador but had no idea how imposing the structure was until our first glimpse while driving past to find parking. We just wanted to take our time walking up to the entrance in order to absorb as much of the majesty and beauty of this historic property as possible. Once inside however the building continues to impress with period art work and furnishings seeming to fill every available open area. Front desk personnel were highly efficient and helpful.
Our first floor room was of good size, well designed, clean and quiet but the best part was what was just outside our sliding door entrance to the patio. A closed and beautifully designed peaceful garden with two huge and well tended shrub areas sculpted into mazes were perfect for quiet reflection after a hectic day of travel.
Do spend some time exploring the Parador and you will be rewarded with a deeper understanding of and appreciation for life lived here so long ago. The huge courtyard in front of the Parador is a good place to spend some time people watching with pilgrims on the way to Santiago walking right past the entrance amongst guests and locals coming and going, especially in the early morning hours.
Breakfast offerings were plentiful with a variety sure to satisfy most diets. We had the opportunity of dining in both evening venues. Food served in the large formal dining room was enjoyable however service, despite many wait staff continuously in motion, was extremely slow and worse, cold and unfriendly. In contrast however we found the small informal dining area below to be populated by wonderful and helpful wait staff serving excellent food in a fun and lively environment.
Everything considered this Parador exceeded our expectations and left us with an anticipation of even more informed enjoyment as we continued our travels west.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Hostal de San Marcos is one of the most extraordinary historic hotels on the Old Continent. Construction of the building was begun in the 16th century, together with the bridge across the River Bernesga in the outskirts of León. It was built to house the peninsula's western headquarters for the Military Order of Saint James. The project was financed by King Ferdinand the Catholic. The magnificent hotel is a museum of stately function rooms, with a spectacular cloister and chapter house; spacious, elegant guest rooms; a library; and a wonderful restaurant that offers beautifully prepared traditional cuisine. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Parador De Leon Hotel Leon
- Parador De Leon León
- Parador De Leon Hotel León