Malaga’s Botanical Spa by Sisley in the Gran Hotel Miramar

The Gran Hotel Miramar is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World and is the first grand luxury hotel in Malaga. The gorgeous historical building had a 65 million euro overhaul last year and is set to place Malaga on the ‘luxury’ map and become one of the Europe’s great hotels.  Surrounded by beautifully landscaped gardens the 200-room hotel, opened in September 2017, now offers a two-storey Botanical Spa by Sisley.

Gran Hotel Miramar, Malaga

The Botanical Spa is a holistic haven wholly dedicated to create a feeling of well-being, the new spa blends gorgeous natural plant-based products with Moorish traditions to create a calming oasis in Malaga, an ancient sea-faring city.

Gran Hotel Miramar, Malaga Sisley Spa

The  hotel’s gorgeously appointed spa offers an array of services such as:

  • Thermal circuit
  • Six body and aesthetic treatment cabins
  • Finnish sauna
  • Turkish hammam
  • Ice fountain
  • Jacuzzi
  • Sensations shower pool
  • Relaxation area with hot stone loungers
  • VIP treatment room offering  Champagne and fresh fruit juices.

The Botanical Spa’s  menu features  facials and body treatments from international luxury beauty brand, Sisley. The prestigious Sisley brand is the benchmark in Phyto-Cosmetology and uses the most effective natural plant extracts to achieve the best skincare results.

Gran Hotel Miramar, Malaga Sisley Spa

With signature treatments such as the Expert Phyto-Aromatic Facial and the Phyto-Aromatic Supreme Anti-Ageing Facial  to moisturise, brighten or rejuvenate the skin, as well as multi-sensorial massage rituals from all over the world.  Respecting  local traditions and using power of aromatherapy to reunify body and mind.

Signature wellness experiences include an 80  minutes Happiness Ritual based on
the vitalising properties of fruit to tone and nourish the body combined with essential oils to bring balance, strength and mental clarity.

Gran Hotel Miramar, Malaga Sisley Spa

The Happiness Ritual includes an aromatic body exfoliation, moisturising massage and a personalised facial treatment. The traditional Moorish treatments range from an Alhama Ritual – a Middle Eastern Ritual combining an authentic Hammam to prepare the skin with a body exfoliation using a Kessa glove with Al Andalus aromas. To complete the experience, guests can relax with a moisturizing massage.
Gran Hotel Miramar

Gran Hotel Miramar on Booking dot com.

Fine Dining Chef Ruben Cabrera at Gourmet Restaurant La Cupula, Tenerife

Ruben Cabrera,  Head Chef  at the gourmet restaurant La Cupula on Tenerife, has won the ‘Best Chef in the Canary Islands’ award. Cabrera’s passion for gastronomic excellence in fine dining, which you can experience at Hotel Jardines de Nivaria, earned him the title of ‘Best Chef’  at the regional  ¡Qué Bueno! Canarias Heineken  gastronomy awards.

Chef Ruben Cabrera
Chef Ruben Cabrera

La  Cupula, located in the five-star Hotel Jardines de Nivaria, has become a must-do dining experience for all foodies and fine-diners on the island of Tenerife. Cabrera’s innovation and passion for gastronomy excellence keeps winning him awards.

As well as being the chosen  chef  to represent the Canary Islands in last month’s Madridfusion Gastronomy Summit, he has had an impressive culinary career so far. Cabrera won the ‘Best Chef’ award at the National Gastronomy Contest for the second year in a row in 2016 and he also won the first prize at the International Creative Cuisine Competition ‘Gamba Roja de Denia’ in 2015.

 

adrian_hoteles_medium-sized_1202291_894a6552

Cabrera, Head Chef at La Cúpula since 2007,  conjures up his delicious dishes  on the fourth floor of Hotel Jardines de Nivaria. An eclectic mix of  fusion,  French and local Canarian cuisines. Not only does the chef have several awards under his belt but the restaurant  had a full refurbishment in 2016 and you can dine with floor-to-ceiling windows giving panoramic views over the Atlantic Ocean.

The Hotel Jardines de Nivaria is part of the Adrian Hotels group  which has another two hotels on Tenerife:

5* Roca Nivaria Gran Hotel

4*Hotel Colón Guanahani

 

Tenerife calls!

 

 

Parador Hotel Routes Around Spain

I expect you’ve heard of Parador hotels but did you know they also have suggested routes around Spain? There’s a huge range of itineraries taking in different Paradors throughout Spain mostly of three or seven nights but you can easily add more routes or just extra nights to your route or trip.

Santo Estevo Parador

My nearest one is the Parador de Santa Catalina in Jaen, a fabulous castle on a hill-style building with incredible views. Some Paradors are modern builds, others fabulous historical buildings.

Jaen Parador

Which route would you choose to go on? It’s hard I know and this isn’t all of them, but personally I’d choose the historical castles or monasteries which are not only gorgeous buildings but usually have beautiful far-reaching views too.

Chinchon Parador

Parador Hotel Routes

  • Palencia Mountains and Picos de Europa Route
  • Caceres, Monfragüe National Park and Jarandilla Route
  • Montserrat to the Aran Valley Route
  • Costa Blanca (White Coast) to Costa del Azahar (Blossom Coast) Route
  • Nasrid Route
  • Don Quixote Route
  • Gredos Natural Reserve and Monfragüe National Reserve Route
  • La Mancha wines and National Park of Las Tablas de Daimiel Route
  • St. Teresa Route
  • Almoravid and Almohad Route
  • Andalusi Legacy Route
  • Castle Route
  • Costa de la Luz Route
  • Galician Wine Route
  • Green Spain Route
  • Kingdom of Leon Route
  • Maestrazgo region Route
  • Mediterranean Route
  • Monastery Route
  • Mozarab Route
  • Portuguese St. James Way Route
  • Ribeira Sacra Route
  • Ribeira del Duero Wine Route
  • Pyranees Route
  • Rioja and Navarre Wine Route
  • Rueda and Toro Wine Route
  • Royal Sites Route
  • St. James Way Route
  • Southern Sun Route
  • El Cid Route
  •  Wine and Monastery Route

 

These routes were chosen to offer not only accommodation but activites in the surroundings too. What better way to visit Spain than having freedom to explore but a framework of what you should see in and around each town, city or Parador.

I would do them all if I had time, driving in Spain is easy, the roads, except in cities, quiet and there are always stunning views.

Top Ten Paradors

According to Trip Advisor the Top Ten Paradors in Spain are:

1. Parador de Santo Estevo, Ourense

2. Parador de Alcala de Henares, Madrid

3. Parador Hostal Dos Reis Catolicos, A Coruña

4. Parador de Cangas de Onis, Asturias

5. Parador de Plasencia, Caceres

6. Parador de Carmona, Seville

7. Parador de Oropesa, Toledo

8. Parador de Cadiz

9. Parador de Alcañiz, Teruel

10. Parador de Chinchon, Madrid

All photos are courtesy http://www.parador.es

B bou – Boutique Hotels in Andalucia

 

Hotel Molino del Arco, Ronda

B bou Hotels director and co-founder Maria Herrero is awarded the first woman to be awarded the Premio Andalucia de Turismo, a well-deserved prize for the best business person and a driving force behind  B bou Hotels the new Spanish Boutique Hotel group whose motto is ‘harmony and passion.’

Hotel La Viñuela & Spa, Viñuela, Malaga

Hotel La Viñuela & Spa  the flagship hotel in a lovely  area of inland Malaga, next to a lake of the same name, is now joined by three more beautiful and stylish hotels making up the gorgeous B bou portfolio of four hotels in Andalucia.

Hotel Cortijo Bravo

The B bou hotels – Be boutique – are located in some unique parts of southern Spain, both inland and on the coast and this lovely collection comprises:

Hotel La Viñuela & Spa in Viñuela, inland Malaga

Hotel Cortijo Bravo in Velez-Malaga, Malaga coast

Hotel Molino del Arco in Ronda, inland Malaga

Hotel Casa Romana in  Sevilla city

Hotel Casa Romana, Sevilla

Harmony and passion flows across every aspect of the hotels, decor, sevice and gastronomy . Each hotel has its own identity and in the kitchens locally sourced ingredients are paired with traditional dishes of the area which are then carefully prepared with harmony and passion.

Visit their website to read more about B bou and each of their hotels.

All images in this post are courtesy of  B bou Hotels  and José Salto.

Best Spa Hotels of the World in Spain

The collection of Best Spa Hotels of the World has two fabulous hotels in Spain, let’s take a peek at behind their doors to see why they are part of this great portfolio.

Hacienda Zorita Wine Hotel & Spa

With forty  rooms and villas Hacienda Zorita on the edge of the famous university town of Salamanca and the impressive River Duero has lovely views. Once a Domincan monastery, its contemporary interior design compliments the solid 700 year-old structure and its long history of hospitality together with today’s modern amenities provides a graceful and elegant yet peaceful and comtemplative escape.

Hacienda Zorita Wine Hotel & Spa

Hacienda Zorita  was brought back to life, after a long slow decline, as the home of Marques de la Concordia family of wines and now restored to its former glory with modern installations it’s now owned by The Hacienda’s Company, and is part of Small Luxury Hotels collection.

See Hotel Zorita on Best Spa HotelsHotel Zorita on Best Spa Hotels

 

Hotel Peralada Wine Hotel & Golf

Fifteen minutes from the Costa  Brava coast and in the middle of a golf course the 56 rooms offer fabulous views in peaceful surroundings. The innovative spa offers a wide range of treatments many of which are grape/wine based. What about a grape oil massage or a four-hand massage?

Hotel Peralada Wine & Golf

An ideal away break for golf lover and spa lovers, sharing both experiences or each to their own.

See Hotel Peralada on Best Spa Hotels 

Hotel Breakfasts are Very Important

Why are some hotel breakfasts so bad? I just have to say….

Breakfast is something I can take  or leave at home. Nothing special, important yes but a banquet, no. There’s never time. So when away, for me the breakfast really is the make or break of a great hotel. Hotel Breakfasts are very important. It’s often the last impression as we eat breakfast before leaving. It’s the way for hotels to really sing and dance but …. often it’s very disappointing.

Hotel La Gastocasa Breakfast
Hotel La Gastrocasa

A great hotel, and I presume most hotels want to be great at what they provide, have to lay on a finale – the final spread. A great breakfast. So why don’t they? How often have you looked over the selection and felt let down?  With no real desire to eat because it’s so uninspiring. What about the coffee machine? Does it grumble like an old man? Take ages? And then the coffee is just plain awful.

Hotel Viento 10
Hotel Viento 10

For larger hotels, yes it’s more difficult but I’m talking about those small, boutique, charming hotels that forget their charm in the morning, like a lover who sneaks out in the night.

Hotel Los Castaños
Hotel Los Castaños

What does it for me? Juice has to be juice. Freshly squeezed. Personally grapefruit or orange or the chance to have a mixture. I don’t want bacon and eggs but hubby would if on offer and freshly cooked but not when congealing and only lukewarm.

A choice of wholemeal bread and a toaster that doesn’t take forever then spit the toast out or loose it down the back. Extra virgin olive oil, fresh tomatoes preferably grated,  a choice of chopped fruit  and good coffee, made to order or maybe an Earl Grey tea (but I often have ‘my’ brand tea bag with me.)

What makes a good to fabulous breakfast for you?

Hotel Breakfasts are Very Important – to me. Are they to you? Please leave a comment and  let me know what you think and/or some great and not so great breakfasts you’ve experienced.

The Hotel Breakfasts in the photos are ones I have particularly enjoyed and rated highly, you can find these hotels on my Only Spain ~ Boutique Hotels site. I’ve linked each to its page below.

Hotel Viento 10, Cordoba

Hotel La Gastrocasa, Gandia

Hotel Los Castaños, Malaga

See my post on Two Great Small Hotels.

Five Charming Hotels in Seville

Seville, or Sevilla in Spanish, is one of my favourite Andalusian cities. It’s huge and one of the ‘famous three’ that most visitors head for when visiting southern Spain – Cordoba, Granada and Seville.

Did you know you can submit an article about Andalucia here?http://bit.ly/24Nn88O
Seville University

I don’t know it as well as Cordoba or Granada and nowhere near as well as my nearest city – Jaen (pronounced ‘hi-en’) which is probably the least known of the eight cities and provinces that make up Andalucia.

Jaen monumental cross
Jaen Monumental Cross

When I saw in the local Spanish paper ABC an article on ‘The five most charming hotels in Seville city’  I took note for the next time I go.

Five Charming Hotels in Seville City

Boutique Hotel Casa Poeta

Boutique Hotel Casa Poeta
Boutique Hotel Casa Poeta

 

Named after the poet Al-Mutamid, Boutique Hotel Casa Poeta, the house where he lived is located in the heart of the old quarter Santa Cruz with its maze-like narrow streets and enormous choice of bars and restaurants all around. The hotel has a gorgeous interior Andalucian patio and individually-decorated rooms.

Hotel Corral del Rey

Hotel Corral del Rey
Hotel Corral del Rey

The second hotel is in the area – Barrio de la Alfalfa. A beautiful ancient building once an VII palace, now completely renovated into this intimate boutique hotel with a minimilistic style and a great merging of modern and antique.

El Rey Moro Hotel Boutique Sevilla

Hotel El  Rey Moro, Seville
El Rey Moro Hotel Boutique Sevilla

In the heart of the Jewish quarter with lovely views the Rey Moro translates as Moorish King. Each bedroom has been decorated with  a different theme. One of its main selling points is after a long, and hot day sightseeing you can relax in the jacuzzi with views of the Giralda, the Moorish tower.

Alcoba del Rey de Sevilla

Hotel El  Rey Moro, Seville
Hotel Alcoba del Rey

Located in the same house where the Moorish poet Al-Mutamid lived,  Hotel Alcoba del Rey preserves that historical and cultural spirit one thousand years later. With a Moroccan/Arabian feel to make your stay here an unforgettable one.

 

Palacio Pinello Hotel Boutique

Hotel Palacio PinelloHotel Boutique , Seville
Hotel Palacio Pinello Hotel Boutique

The final one on the list is Palacio Pinello Hotel Boutique in the heart of Santa Cruz quarter. Built on a  XV palace it’s a charming hotel with lovely details transforming and merging ancient and modern with maximum comfort.

Very tough choice, I love them all, perhaps a night in each!

Photo Credits: Hotel photos from the individual hotel, Seville University official photograph and Jaen Monumental Cross is my own.