Tucked away in the labyrinthine streets of the Barrio Alfalfa in Seville’s old town is the unassumingly chic Corral del Rey hotel.
Sitting on either side of the quiet road from which it takes its name, this luxury boutique hotel is at once a haven of tranquillity and yet just a five-minute walk from the city’s main attractions, including the cathedral and the Alcázar.
From the moment you arrive, you are given a personal touch. Staff are always smiling and welcoming, brimming with knowledge of their city. They will happily suggest local places to visit, places to eat and offer to book a show or restaurant for you. They’re also full of excellent tips – from buying your ticket for the Cathedral at the Iglesia del Salvador up the road to avoid the queues, which is worth doing (one woman fainted in the heat while queuing when I was there, so book in advance).
The hotel occupies several beautifully restored seventeenth-century townhouses, boasting some stunning architectural details. Arranged around a central internal courtyard, it’s a seamless mix of old and new, with original features such as the marble columns and carved wooden ceilings mixed with curated antiques and modern pieces, and plush sofas and chairs for an elegant and extremely luxe feel.
Trying to decide how to spend your time here is a nice problem to have. The cellar bar and restaurant serve an all-day tapas menu with a great selection of Spanish wines. The lounge is a relaxing spot to read a book or enjoy a drink and a piece of cake from the Honesty Bar, or, if you can’t resist the call of the outside, you can chill out on the roof terrace, with its very inviting plunge pool.
Of course, you can also retire to your room (there are 16 in all, plus the penthouse suite), all of which have their own bespoke design, spread around the central patio, with quality and comfort at its heart: plump pillows, quality linens and all the facilities you could wish for – flat-screen TV, Bluetooth sound system, coffee machine and well-stocked minibar. Bathrooms are similarly luxurious, with marble or limestone fixtures, gigantic Moroccan mirrors, double sinks, a walk-in rain shower, a good hairdryer, custom made bathrobes, Rituals products and a small pot of cotton wool. Add to that the sweets left by your bed when the sheets are turned down and the tasty breakfast in the morning and there’s little more you can ask for.
Having said that, do ask for the Pool Terrace Suite if you can, which offers an extra slice of paradise with its very own private roof terrace, complete with plunge pool, minibar, seating areas, olive trees and lanterns. When you’re tired and aching from a day of exploring the sights, sounds and tastes of Seville in 40-degree heat, sinking into that Jacuzzi may well be all you can think about. Relax with a drink as the church bells peal out over the city and the heat begins to wane and suddenly everything will seem right with the world.
Bedrooms are in 5 categories: Superior, Deluxe, Junior Suite, Pool Terrace Suite and Penthouse Suite.