Former palatial mansion house offers intimate, upscale accommodation with plenty of contemporary touches
Found either side of a narrow stone cobbled street barely wide enough for a car to pass, in one of Seville´s atmospheric old quarters, are two historic properties that have now been brought together as the beautiful Corral del Rey Hotel. During my recent visit to Andalucía’s capital I was the guest of this intimate boutique hotel, which combines contemporary room facilities with genuine old world charm.
It’s in the Barrio Alfalfa, part of Seville´s labyrinthine old town. It was a ten minute walk from the recommended secure car park, perfectly manageable with an overnight bag. With cases best to take a taxi. It´s close to the Cathedral and Alcazar Arab fort and the popular Jewish quarter, Barrio Santa Cruz. The old town can be confusing, but with a smartphone navigation or the hotel map, it’s fine. It’s quite fun to get a little lost anyway – best way to discover…
That’s me trying to look cool by the entrance – it’s ideal for the vertically challenged, but for anyone else, it’s a case of ‘Duck or Grouse!’
I couldn’t get the back story on this ‘Knocker with knockers’ but it looks Asian – Buddha with a cone bra. There are lots of fun, artistic and interesting details like this throughout the property.
Tranquil, mellow ambience with subdued lighting, muted tones on the walls and plenty of historic architectural features. Yet the hotel also has lots of modern & contemporary works of art displayed throughout bringing colour and vibrancy to the hotel.
The main property, a 17th Century mansion or ‘casa palacio’ has a striking patio that is open up through all the three floors, surrounded by ancient arches and original carved wooden ceilings and medieval Mudéjar doors. This gives it a ‘riad’ feel and is very evocative of the Al Andalus period of Andalucia’s history. The property opposite has a more minimalist style, with modern, clean lines. Both have a small passenger lift.
There are just 13 rooms divided between the two houses , ranging from Superior and Deluxe to Junior Suite. There is also a stunning penthouse with terrace, hot tub and a memorable view over the rooftops to the iconic Giralda tower.
All feature antiques, art and original detailing. My room had a beautiful mirror over the bed, and a charming writing desk, as well as hardwood floors, a sofa and chair for reading. Heavy, extravagant curtains, combined with smart, electric blinds made for a good night’s sleep.
My travelling companion had a room in the original house, with a beautiful, wooden ceiling, robust, period window shutters and a spacious bathroom with tub. My Deluxe room in the opposite building was bigger, and had a cavernous bathroom with double rainforest showers, but no tub.
Amenities were subtly scented citrus, orange blossom and lavender Agua de Colonia by ‘Alvarez Gomez’.
The ‘state of the art’ entertainment was so cutting edge, neither of us could figure out how to switch on the TV or HiFi! But that got sorted out. Great sound system in the room. My suite also had a closet with mini bar with complementary milk for tea and coffee, complementary bottle of Manzanilla sherry, carafe of water, a microwave oven, kettle, and Italian espresso machine so we could prepare hot drinks.
Turndown included a couple of chocolates by the bed and a quick tidy of the room.
Breakfast is served on the roof terrace or, as it was for us, in the small ground floor dining room /bar. The breakfast is table service, which I often prefer to a buffet. Fresh coffee to order, served with small custard filled rolls (pastelitos de crema catalan) started things off, and then was served a basket of warm bread, fresh, flaky French butter croissants, and toast, with butter and jams. From the menu is offered selection of eggs, hams and bacons. The olive oil comes from the estate of their sister property, Hacienda San Rafael, a lux Andalusian cortijo outside Seville – a propular choice for upscale weddings and events.
It has to be the ‘mirador’ roof top terrace, with hot tub, sun loungers and chairs – and view across the rooftops and chimney to some of Seville´s finest church towers and of course the Giralda.
- The team – Susanna, Veronica and Ana were genuinely welcoming, and gave great advice about where to go in the city. They can arrange cultural and gastronomic tours too, upon request.
- Walking distance to all the sights.
- The feeling of being in a real, historic building in such an evocative city.
- Nearest parking is 10 mins away – old town was built long before cars were a concern!
- No restaurant but the small bar offers tapas.
- Off season the hotel is less vibrant – but I loved the tranquillity.
I was hosted by Corral del Rey but this has not influenced my piece. Please bear in mind that this site and my articles are intended as entertainment only and not a definitive resource for purchasing decisions. Before making any travel or purchasing decision I recommend that you seek as much information as possible from various sources including review sites, guide books and other blogs. If you act based on my writing you do so at your own risk. If you wish to add anything to this piece, simply comment using the WordPress or Facebook plug-in.