Amidst the winding streets in the center of Seville, Spain lies a boutique luxury hotel cloaked by an unassuming building.
The original 17th century casa Palacio that is the Corral del Rey hotel has been meticulously restored to include the original wooden carved detailing, Roman marble columns and Tarifa stone floors.
Monumental wooden doors, antique metal bars with a glass exterior, and charming low hanging lanterns greet you.
You won’t find a bell boy whose job is to greet every person who walks through the door. Instead, after ringing the doorbell on the wall exterior, a staff member will greet you as if you’re coming into their own personal casa Palacio; warm, welcoming, relaxed.
There is no traditional stand-up reception desk. I checked in at a comfortable table for two in the foyer of the building while she explained a bit about the hotel, what time breakfast was served, where to find the rooftop plunge pool, etc.
The atmosphere of this extraordinary hotel is effortless and understated in a way that only the highest quality of historical heritage can be.
After I was done checking in, she kindly took my bag and walked me across the narrow streets central to European cities to another building with more rooms that was a continuation of the hotel. We entered through a similar combination of wooden and glass doors with metal accents.
Once inside the main cozy living room, she pointed to the wet bar on the opposite end of the room that was stocked with beer, wine, and other spirits, noting that if I would like anything to help myself and just jot down what I took so it could be added onto my bill. The honor system; so rare and endearing. I appreciated the trust.
We climbed a flight of stunning white marble stairs to the first floor, and entered the room that would be my home for the next few days.
The hotel room was more of a studio apartment minus a kitchen. Two parts of the bathroom to the left, and a desk to the right. Behind opaque glass you were offered lovely views into the living room below, that funny little window to the inside kind of thing. Yet it remained private and it added refreshing natural light.
I really loved the separation of bathrooms, rain shower and toilet in one room, sink and vanity in the other. It reminded me once of an international marketing course I took at University years ago, and that many cultures, for example in the Middle East, found it absolutely repulsing that the toilet is in the same room as the place you brush your teeth. It was in courses like this, before I started traveling abroad, that gave me glimpses into the idea that just because you’re familiar with one way of doing things doesn’t make it right and another wrong. That we can all learn from others no matter how “advanced” you think you are.
Past this little entryway was the main bedroom, and an unusual treat to the right; a bathtub, right there in the bedroom.
The bedroom was decorated with a large bed with a settee at the foot and a side table framing each side. As I work a lot from home, where ever that might be, I really loved the idea of having two work spaces in my hotel room that weren’t on the bed.
After I settled, I wandered around town a few hours, stopping into some local boutiques to check out their wares and escape the heat before meeting up with the wonderful and accomodating Gerry of Pure Andalusia for a sunset horseback ride in the country amongst the olive groves, then a tapas and wine dinner back in town to boot. When in Spain! The night finished with a cocktail at a rooftop bar with spectacular views of the Cathedral.
At Sapphire & Elm we always try to meet locals in cities around the world, including tour operators to better understand the area and what’s available so we are better able to customize trips for our clients wherever you want to go.
After my walk back to the hotel, I was delighted to plunge into bed. Gerry and I had another action packed day planned for the following morning.
When I awoke, I headed back across the narrow street to the main building of the hotel for their superb breakfast situated in a cozy nook of the restaurant/bar. I was served coffee, fresh squeezed orange juice, beautiful fruits, yogurt, granola and range of decadent breads from whole grain to chocolate filled.
After I enjoyed breakfast, I met Gerry for a surprisingly spectacular tour of a monastery and a tapas tour around town.
Before heading back to the hotel for a rest after a very productive two days, we had an ice cream then parted ways. My next goal was to unwind and pamper myself.
Once I got back to my room, I changed into my swim suit and headed to the hotel rooftop to soak in the last hour of daylight and the views of the city that surrounded me.
A dip in the pool complete with a few chapters of The Alchemist (I had to re-read it while I was in Spain!) while the sun set over this historic city.
It was pure bliss.
Once the day turned into dusk, and dusk into night, I headed back down to my room for a soak in my bedroom tub. Such a wonderful indulgence!
The perfect ending to a wonderful time in Seville. After the homey comforts provided by Corral del Rey, I was ready to head off to the unknown and remote wonder of Morocco.
Seville is a really wonderful option when traveling to Spain. There is so much to do and see here, particularly the very famous Alcázar.
Contact us to help you decide which cities, activities, hotels and restaurants are right for you on your next great adventure to Spain and beyond.