If you are staying you really need to spend several nights here and take advantage of the amazing nooks and crannies in this hotel. It is not the largest of the Paradors, but is quite fascinating.
The hotel is a restored and converted convent. If you wander around, exploring, the corners, you will find paintings, tapestries and works of art. Different rooms have been converted into TV rooms with comfortable seating where a family, or a ground can sit, chat, watch TV, play cards, or just enjoy the décor. Open a gate in one of these rooms and you go down some steps to a secluded little private corner.
Each meal is served in a different space. Breakfast in the refectory. This was one of the better breakfast buffets that I have had in a Parador, with hot dishes such as bacon and various types of local sausage, a wide variety of cheeses and cold meats, fruit of all kinds, cereals (but, curiously, not muesli), yogurts, salads, bread, cakes and pastries. Nice surroundings and plenty of variety.
Lunch is served in the dining room. Dinner in the terrace, with the fountain the centre piece of the space. If you do not want a big dinner you can go out to a terrace the other side and sit at a table under fruit trees (orange, plumb, vines, etc.) and have a light meal such as a sandwich and a drink. Apart from the standard bar tables, there are a couple of stone tables with candles for a different dining experience [I have to admit that here I made the mistake of trying the salmon sandwich in the mistaken idea that it would (a) be a sandwich and (b) contain some salmon], that apart, it is a nice dining experience on a summer evening.
We reserved a triple room and were rewarded with an enormous room. Normally, family triples shoehorn a third, folding bed in - here they would have put in a fourth bed too. It was spacious and agreeable, plenty of light and cool, without having to put on the air conditioning. A small sofa for two. A desk and chair and a small easy chair, plus a well-appointed bathroom, all decorated in the style of past times. There was also a large plasma TV and a trouser press (which did not appear to work) and plenty of wardrobe space with, unusually for hotels, a plentiful supply of hangers! The only slight disadvantage was that I found the bed a bit hard for my taste, although used to a form mattress at home.
You don't expect luxury in your rooms - that is not the character that a Parador tries to present to its guests - you expect character and a more rustic décor and this was nicely done: the luxury comes outside your room, if you are of a mind to use it.
One surprising thing was that the quiet is such that even a slight noise outside disturbed us! That was unexpected.
This Parador is well-placed if you want to visit the National Park of Las Tablas de Daimiel (strongly recommended). It is a short, easy journey by car. You are also only a few minutes walking from the town centre. If you come in a car, access is easy and there is, unlike some Paradors, ample parking space inside the hotel.
As with all Paradors, our room and the hotel in general were spotlessly clean and well-maintained.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Galleries, inner courtyards and gardens grace the social gatherings held here. The formen Convent of San Francisco, offers peaceful bedrooms and varied atmosphere in its living rooms: a cervantine ambiance in its winecellar-bar, austerity in the boardroom and flavour of the period in the Louis XVth room. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Parador De Almagro Hotel Almagro
- Parador De Hotel Almagro