First off, my apologies that I have not kept up with luxury week. It was busy, luxury fell to the wayside… I’ll be extending it into next week!

I may not be the NY Times, but I still can write a Check In, Check Out. Since it’s luxury week I am going to write about the most luxurious hotel (in my humble opinion) that I’ve ever stayed in, the Hotel Alfonso XIII in Seville, Spain.

The Basics:

The Hotel Alfonso XIII, named after of course, King Alfonso XIII of Spain, was built to house dignitaries during the 1929 Ibero-American Exhibition. The ornate richness of the building is remarkable, which is mainly why it’s one of my favorites. Recessed ceramic friezes and Mudejar-style accents, inspired by Arab architecture, are similar to many other buildings in Seville and Andalucia as a whole. Guests of the hotel have included Prince Charles and Princess Dianna, Sophia Loren, Ernest Hemingway and even Shakira (her hips don’t lie). For me what really made it luxurious was the architecture. I felt like I was a Spanish Princess in a palace the whole time!

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The Location:

The Alfonso is located smack in the center of the historic area of Seville, between a pedestrian street called Avenida Roma and Calle San Fernando. Next door is a building of Seville University that used to be the citys main tobacco factory. The Cathedral and it’s famous tower, La Giralda is a 5 minute walk. Shopping, restaurants and more are across the street, there’s even a Starbucks down the block. Basically it is walking distance from almost everything historic Sevilla has to offer.

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The Room:

My mother and I stayed in a double room, with two twin beds (it’s Europe, even the luxury hotels haven’t jumped on the two doubles bandwagon). Though not as luxurious as the suites, our room had a patio that looked over the Calle San Fernando complete with lounge chairs. The room itself had tiled marble floors (that did get a little cold, not heated, tisk tisk), a large chandelier and a red color scheme, very relaxing. The furniture was antique, but in like-new shapel, and a minibar area was built into one corner. Thanks to the hotels Mudejar style we also had large windows, that shut tight at night, making the room nice and dark. The linens of course were soft and cozy, at least 400 thread count! The closet was also very spacious. Turndown service happened every night as well, with a treat on our pillows.

hotel-room

The Bathroom:

The bathroom was covered in marble, with two sinks and a separate toilet room. We had a large marble bathtub which doubled as a shower as well as a pretty decent hairdryer that doubled as a clothes and Judith Lieber sunglasses pouch dryer when we got caught in a monsoon rain storm! The products in the bathroom were some of my favorites, made specially for Starwood Luxury Collection hotels by Ultimate Well-Being. They smelled of freesia and roses, amazing, especially the bath salts. There were also robes and slippers, duh.

bathroom

Food:

One big selling point of the hotel is that most reservations include a full breakfast. The breakfast area overlooks the hotels huge central terrace. I would describe the dining area as opulent to say the least. The food selection is chock full of goodies. Pastries of every kind, meats, cheeses, caviar and also your normal breakfast items such as eggs and cereal. But when you can have caviar, manchego, jamon serrano and a chocolate croissant to start the day would you really go for the cereal?

One evening we also had a drink in the hotel bar. It was good, but nothing to write home about. Breakfast really is the main event.

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Bottom Line:

If you want to splurge in Seville this is the play to stay, the building is a histroic attratction in and of itself. You can actually find pretty decent rates if you do some searching online. In the summer the pool is a relaxing oasis after a day of being a turista, and the rooms, terraces and customer service, make the Alfonso XIII worthy of its five stars.

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