This summer I took a flight to one of my all-time favourite cities, Valencia, to visit a new upscale boutique hotel in the city centre. When it comes to location, Hotel Palacio Vallier already wins you over before you even step over the threshold. A short taxi ride from the airport whisks you to the ancient heart of this Spanish city, to the Ciutat Vella, the historic old town, chockful of palaces and noble houses reflecting the remarkable history pf this strategically positioned Mediterranean city. If you were to drop a pin on google maps at the centre of this maritime metropolis, you probably hit Plaza de Manises square. Here you’ll find a 15th century palace that’s home to the Valencian regional government, and next door a 19th century aristocratic property. Once a privileged private home, an archive, and even the city’s courts, this elegant piece of prime real estate has recently been lovingly restored and updated to become Valencia’s flagship 5 star boutique Hotel Palacio Vallier, writes Andrew Forbes (The Luxury Editor).
City Break Destination
If you’re looking for a city break that ticks all the pieces, then you probably can’t go wrong with Valencia. It frequently tops the charts as one of Europe’s most liveable cities – a lifestyle that encompasses stand out architecture, culture, sporting activities, climate, nature, and cuisine. So, little wonder that Valencia is bouncing back stronger than ever following the pandemic. It has the urban buzz you want when it comes to eating out, or experiencing culture, but it also has the wide open spaces, immense beaches, and wild nature that we all want more than ever. It’s a city that continues to exceed all expectations. I have been visiting Valencia for decades and each year I discover another reason to love this place.
Hotel Palacio Vallier is part of a small Valencian group, MYR Hotels, which includes some emblematic properties, including Marques House, home to the renowned Café Madrid where the famous Aqua de Valencia cocktail was born. Yet it is Hotel Palacio Vallier that is their flagship property, and understandably so, as it features an enchanting combination of wonderful history, stunning interior design, 31 charming guest rooms, a chic rooftop bar, and a superb restaurant, La Perfumería.
Spain is a world leader in contemporary cuisine, thanks to chefs that innovative, break with conventions and use the country’s exceptional produce from the land and sea. Valencia is renowned as a foodie destination, a heritage that goes back to ancient times. Rice is grown here, and with the proximity to the Mediterranean it’s little surprise that Spain’s de facto national dish, paella, was created here. Valencia rice dishes are sophisticated and diverse. This culture of creativity and elegance is epitomised at La Perfumería where you can indulge in high end tasting menus, or simple dishes that are beautifully crafted. Here regional ingredients, as well as local and national wines, are celebrated. Chef Juan Otatti showcases amazing Valencia ingredients like gambas rojas prawns from Denia, roasted in salt and paired with delicious Valencian wines like Blanc de Trilogía. The setting is remarkable – in fact the restaurant takes it names form the Roman perfumery that they discovered during the renovations. Unearthed, fragments of perfume glass bottles were the inspiration for the sparkling décor.
The team are highly knowledgeable, so if you really want to engage and understand more about the wines and dishes you are enjoying, they will enthusiastically give you plenty of information. It’s a real eye-opener to the rich diversity of Valencia gastronomy and wine-making. The approach is contemporary, with a focus on healthy eating, fresh, light, layered favours that sing with the accompanying wines from the region and across Spain.
Lladró Lounge Bar
Where best to experience an authentic ‘Aigua de València’ cocktail than in this elegant bar, evocative of an art deco American cocktail bar. Shelves and cabinets display contemporary and classic Lladró pieces, an impressive collection from the city’s most famous ceramic works.
Here bartender Denis prepared me the iconic drink of the city, ‘Valencian Water’ which includes Valencian sparkling wine (or Catalan cava), as well as gin & vodka, mixed with the region’s famous orange juice and then served in a coupe glass. The drink, by the way, was created in 1959 in Café Madrid, probably the best known cocktail bar in the city. The bar is part of Marqués House, another MYR Hotels property in Valencia.
One of the privileges of being a guest at Hotel Palacio Vallier, is that one can enjoy the chic and exclusive rooftop terrace bar, with views taking in the neighbouring palaces, the cathedral and the domes and spires of old town. It’s great for early morning yoga, but in my mind, it’s the best way to enjoy a late night cocktail, during the sultry summer Valencia nights. Go, on you know you want to…
The rooms & suites are a delight – each has its own style, thanks to the quirks of an old property – different shapes and outlooks, but all include the elegant interior design and top notch materials, from seductive bedding to chic upholstery. There are all the 5 star amenities you’d expect, and if you’re lucky, you’ll also have a lovely view too, either of the Manises square or out towards the cathedral.
If you really want to push the boat out, then choose the spectacular Lladró suite or the Presidential Suite.
Valencia is in my humble opinion, is the best Spanish cities for a short break. You have all the joys of being on the Mediterranean, and here the beaches are huge. The city has hosted the America’s Cup a few times and its one of the best places in Europe for sailing. If you can, get out on the water, it’s one of the best ways to enjoy Valencia. Plus, the remodelled port and marina area is full of life, with great places to eat, promenades for taking a stroll, running or to cycle a bike. Visit Valencia offers plenty of travel inspiration.
Valencia’s City of Arts and Sciences ( Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències) is one of architect’s Calatrava’s masterpieces. It has been featured in countless movies, as the place truly takes you to the future. There’s cool museums and a world-class aquarium. It’s built on the reclaimed riverbed, which is now a green artery running through the city, an urban park with sports facilities, walking and running trails and cafés too.
From 2022 you can also enjoy the UNESCO festival of the Valencia Fallas – crazy pyrotechnic extravaganza that really can only exist in a country as lively, passionate, and fun as Spain.
So, you next city break has to be Valencia, and my recommendation, is that you home from home should be Hotel Palacio Vallier.