Luxury can mean so many things from exclusivity to extravagance; yet a genuine pleasure is simplicity and style. La Parada del Marques Hotel in Seville capital offers uncomplicated good taste in a winning location.
It’s no secret that here at The Luxury Editor we focus on sharing the inside track on the finest hotels, the most exclusive places to eat, and those little luxuries you just can’t live without. Yet, we also love to discover new destinations and that doesn’t always have to mean breaking the bank.
Seville is one of Europe’s most beautiful, evocative, and romantic cities. It is also one of the most expensive southern Spanish cities for a city-centre hotel room. La Parada del Marques breaks the mould, by offering the charm of a characterful Andalucian boutique property with the accessibility of a budget hotel.
The historic neighbourhoods of Seville, surrounding the city’s magnificent La Giralda Cathedral with its remarkable minaret bell tower, capture the magic of Andalucia, yet they are undeniable popular sights with other tourists.
The old Jewish quarter of Santa Cruz, home to the UNESCO World Heritage Royal Alcázar, a magnificent Moorish palace from the middle ages, should certainly be on any tourist’s list of sights – but do expect to be sharing the visit with many other people.
If you want to be immersed in the urban Seville, with an authentic city experience, my recommendation is to head out of the oldest quarters, into the other city centre neighbourhoods where the locals live, work, shop and eat.
Location, Location, Location
That’s why I found La Parada del Marques a compelling choice for a city bolthole.
As I swung open my bedroom windows in my loft suite, I was greeted with a clear blue sky, framed with the warmth of the sunrise. My view? The striking new city skyscraper, La Torre de Sevilla, just the across the river.
Yes, when it comes to location, La Parada del Marques hits the mark. It is close to the banks of the river Guadalquivir, and the Plaza de Armas, so well positioned if you arrive in a rental car, as there is discounted, secure underground parking very close to the hotel. Plaza de Armas is also a city hub for public transport, as well as being within easy walking distance to the main tourist sights.
It is about 10 minutes’ walk to the cathedral, and a little more if you want to see the spectacular architecture of Plaza de España.
The ‘el Centro’ of Seville is the place to find the city’s main shops, from familiar international high street names, to some interesting small boutiques selling hand painted Andalucian fans; and quaint grocery stores cramped with shelves laden with local produce from the sea and land.
For me, the real appeal of this small hotel is walking out and being right in the real Sevilla, surrounded by city locals.
Cross the adjacent bridge over the river, and in minutes one is in Seville’s sister town, Triana, which is an unmissable destination! Here the streets of this once ‘gypsy quarter’ are alive with the sounds, sights and aromas of Andalucian life. Impromptu street music, lively bars, historic ceramic workshops, excellent flamenco venues and interesting independent stores and art spaces. The street running along the bank of the river, Calle Betis, is always a good bet for a fun night out eating tapas and drinking chilled dry sherry.
Close to the striking Torre de Sevilla skyscraper is the La Caixa arts centre – always an interesting place to see some fascinating temporary art exhibits.
Alternative, stay within Seville’s city centre and walk north and in less than 15 minutes, you can be sipping a chilled beer on a terrace in the Alameda de Hercules, a huge pedestrianised plaza that’s a hub of activity – daytime people watching and energetic nightlife. This is the allure of the Andalucian lifestyle; the mix of people, from mature residents walking their dogs, to young students animatedly chatting and laughing with their friends. This fusion is reflected in the diversity of restaurants and bars; and you won’t feel like a tourist either, instead immersed in the energy and vitality of this Iberian capital.
Less is more
For me, simplicity in a hotel works when it is combined with quality; and that would seem to be the ethos at La Parada del Marques.
My rooftop loft suite was uncluttered, and sparsely furnished. Yet it looked so appealing. A vintage door was reimaged as a bed head; the floor was tiled in typical Andalucia old tiles, and the exposed roof timbers were brushed white, reflecting the abundance of light.
The king bed was fabulous, and the linens good quality. The space was immaculately clean, and the bathroom with separate WC and large shower was spacious, with plenty of natural, Andalucian light. Windows offered genuine sound-proof and total black out – all making for a good night’s sleep.
The little details are there too, like good bathroom grooming products, free Wi-Fi, a safety box etc. There are also rooms suited to guests living with disabilities and reduced mobility.
The public spaces include a salon and dining space where in the mornings a tempting buffet is offered.
The architecture of this noble property reflects the history and style of Andalucía’s capital. It’s a great place for a city break base to explore the delights of this alluring city.
La Parada del Marqués is a pet-friendly hotel, and the hosts certainly do all they can to make you feel at home. You can find the hotel in the street of the same name:
C/ Marqués de Paradas, 45. 41001, Seville, Spain
Tel: +34 954 448 370
Hotel interior photography is by José Laguna