Elegant boutique style hotel in historic Albaicin mansion with flourishes of rococo extravagance
With the winter sports season upon us, this is a great time to revisit Granada province. Home to the Sierra Nevada range, Granada offers not just a great winter break for skiers and boarders, but a generous cultural and culinary experience too.
At this time of year, most guests look to stay up in the main ski village of Pradollano, found about 30 minutes up from Granada capital, at a lofty 2100 metres.
This means that the city centre below experiences a relatively quiet hospitality period at this time of year, which means great value rates in town, including the magical Albaicin.
So it’s a perfect time to visit the city and discover its most magical quarter. Writers such as Washington Irving, a former U.S. Ambassador to Spain in the nineteenth century, fell under the spell of Andalucía and wrote extensively about Granada, captivated by the romantic stories and mythical tales of the Moorish Alhambra and the Albaicin.
Recently I stayed at Casa 1800 Granada and enjoyed a flavour of the Albaicin.
This area of Granada, with a history that goes back over a 1000 years, sits side by side with the Sacromonte district, famous for its ‘gitano’ flamenco.
Here on the edge of the Albaicin, walking distance to the town centre, as well as the Alhambra, one finds ‘Casa 1800 Granada’, an intimate hotel that immediately immerses you in the history of this very special part of Andalucia.
The property is a converted palatial 17th century mansion, ‘Casa de los Migueletes’ located in a narrow pedestrian street, set back from the edge of the river Daro. The upper floors offer partial and full views across to the Alhambra.
- Great location to enjoy the Albaicin old town, Sacromonte, the Alhambra and the Granada centre
- Very well appointed guest rooms, with good linens, thick bathrobes, slippers, complimentary water, tea & coffee & Wi-Fi
- Loved the complimentary afternoon snacks and drinks
- As with all the properties in the historic Albaicin, access and parking is limited. The hotel has a special rate at a town centre car park, from where guests can walk or take a short cab ride to the hotel.
- Standard rooms are compact and do not have views
- Wi-Fi was a little slow, which is my experience across many of Granada’s hotels
Casa 1800 Granada, although fully restored, retains its evocative style of a mansion house. The historic stone façade; the huge studded wooden entrance doors; the authentic central patio decorated with renaissance-style murals; the terracotta floors; and wooden beamed ceilings all combine to create a spell-binding ambiance. The interior designers have added a touch of luxury and glamour with extravagant chandeliers and gold-leaf decorated furniture that complements the original robust historical features.
It’s peaceful and simple yet with elegant touches; and more importantly for a winter visit, it was very warm and cosy.
There is quite a difference in size and position between the different types of room, but they all feature a good sized, comfortable bed, decorated with a gold leaf, rococo style headboard, small writing desk/dressing table, stylish wall panelling and complimentary water, tea and coffee making facilities, Wi-Fi and bathroom toiletries.
The linens are good quality (although it would have been lovely to have had a thicker mattress protector/topper) and all guest rooms have thick cotton bathrobes and slippers which I think it’s a great touch for a small, 3 star hotel.
The standard rooms tend to be quite compact, and are found on the lower floors, so do not offer views to the Alhambra; most in fact look into the internal patio. One room is on the ground floor, facing the pedestrian street, so that is prone to noise disturbance of guests entering the hotel after an evening out, as well as by passing pedestrians. Room 5, on the first floor has the second floor overhanging its window, so light and fresh air is reduced.
The upper floors have the larger guest rooms and suites. We had a view, over terracotta tiled roof tops of neighbouring properties to the Alhambra. This larger room had a sofa and chair too, making it a tranquil place to relax as well as a comfortable room for sleeping.
Breakfast is a help-yourself buffet in the salon adjacent to the internal patio. The choice and selection was fairly typical (cold cuts, cheese, fresh fruit, juices, cereals, cookies and cakes, as well as scrambled eggs, bacon etc. served from food warmers). There is a commercial ‘Nespresso’ machine which I really liked, so one can make a decent cup of coffee. There is also a good selection of gourmet teas by ‘evolution’ (the same brand is available in the guest rooms), as well as juices, water, and refreshments from the fridge.
The hotel has no restaurant so does not offer meals – not a problem in a city so full of bars and restaurants and of course the ubiquitous free tapa with every drink ordered.
However they do offer complimentary afternoon snacks and drinks, a ‘merienda’ in Spanish. Each day around 4pm there would be a selection of small filled croissants, sandwiches etc. with cheese and ham, as well as fresh fruit and cakes; as well as tea, coffee, water and chilled refreshments.
This is such a great idea and makes the hotel more sociable as one gets to meet fellow guests and also it’s the perfect ‘pick you up’ after a day’s hiking around the city’s world-class sights.
I just think it would have been nice if the sandwiches had been cut smaller, sort of ‘finger’ size to make them more elegant in their presentation, and also rather than just putting in ham or cheese on its own, it would be good to use some butter or other ingredients just to make them tastier.
I really liked the property – its elegant simplicity, its historic features and comfortable rooms. Yet for the wow factor, well that would have to be its location, overlooking the Alhambra citadel and tucked away in the charm of the Albaicin yet walking distance to the town centre, Sacromonte, and the Alhambra.
For centuries this unique district where Casa 1800 Granada is located, has been an artistic muse for outsiders. The romanticism surrounding Granada reached its peak during the nineteenth century. As northern Europe was in the grip of industrialisation, Iberia and its southern region of Andalucía was in glorious isolation. An exotic, colourful, vibrant, mysterious world of crumbling Arab palaces, passionate gypsy dancers, and unspoilt natural beauty. Staying at the Casa 1800 Granada offers the chance to immerse yourself in this spellbinding world.
Hotel Casa 1800 Granada
C/ Benalúa 11
T: (+34) 958 210 700
You can read more pieces about Granada province and city here.
I travelled around Granada with ease, thanks to my Granada Card – making travel and visits so convenient. You can buy the digital card preloaded with entries to museums and monuments such as the Alhambra, and use on the local city buses and the tourist bus. More information here.
I received a preferential press rate for my two night stay at Hotel Casa 1800 Granada but this has not influenced my piece. Please bear in mind that this site and my articles are intended as entertainment and hopefully inspiration for travel – but 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 only 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.