Inglaterra Hotel, Seville
Seville, home of Carmen and Don Juan, is a place where the new city's wide boulevards contrast with the scented courtyards and narrow, cobbled streets of the old quarter. Orange trees, superb Islamic architecture, bullfights, flamenco and tapas make Seville one of Spain's most exciting cities. Stylish, lively and sun-drenched - wander around the streets and lanes of the town centre, or watch the world go by from a café in one of the many plazas.
It is in such a place overflowing with a rich historic legacy that the Hotel Inglaterra is placed. Like the city, the hotel itself has a long illustrious past. The 19th century saw every monarch on a royal trip to Seville hold court at the Inglaterra, then an inn. Centuries later, the hotel has preserved and propagated its historical heritage. The Inglaterra is undoubtedly the first choice of stay in Seville for its impeccable character and first class service.
For over 140 years, the Inglaterra has enjoyed its coveted location in the Plaza Nueva, right in the heart of Seville. Facing the Town Hall and right in the middle of the historic, commercial, and tourist centre of Seville the hotel dates back to 1857 when it was known as the 'Fonda Inglaterra'. The Inglaterra has the honour of being the oldest establishment in Seville and is sprawled across one entire side of the palm-fringed Plaza Nueva. The Inglaterra stands in the place where an ancient convent - Casa Grande de San Francisco used to be and is in fact built with the very same materials from the old San Francisco convent, bonding it firmly with its historic past.
The hotel is seven-storied with a plush contemporary design with pristine white marble dominating its interiors. The furnishings are a lovely mix of traditional sophisticated Spanish leather, classic furniture, wood panelling, floral-patterned fabrics and the reproductions of old masters' murals, adding style to the walls. The sitting area, reminds one of a quaint parlour that might have once been found in a palace. The area having been sectioned off is ideal for small groups and intimate conversations.
Walk the corridors where Kings and Queens have walked before, stay in rooms where Princes have slept and dine in the same place where statesmen have enjoyed their vintage port over the ages. For it is no secret that the hotel has been a perennial favourite of kings and princes, statesmen and noblemen from King Alfonso XIII to Queen Elizabeth of Belgium to the Prince of Wales.
In keeping with its cultural past, every room in The Inglaterra evokes nostalgia. Gentility is a by word in all the 109 rooms. The 109 rooms are divided into 18 Single rooms, 79 Double rooms, four rooms with Salon, and eight Double Superior rooms.
The furniture in all the rooms from the sofa, the desk to the spacious wardrobe is in rich deep hardwood. These are superbly highlighted by the spotless white stucco walls. Gaze at the ornately framed art print reproductions of old masters, which decorate the rooms done up in subtle shades of burned-orange and sea-green. Most of the rooms have a private balcony accessed by tall French style doors, which overlook the Cathedral and the stunning Moorish minaret, Giralda. Sit in the patio furniture in the balcony as you take in the sights of the city.
Each of the air-conditioned ensuite rooms is elegantly equipped with cable TV and radio, direct dial telephone, personal safe, mini-bar, small desk, coffee table and chair, spacious closet with in built drawers, and 24-hour room service. The pink tiled washrooms are appointed with a shower, double sinks, bidet, towelling robes, hairdryer, a variety of toiletries in an attractive basket and an extra large mirror. The rooms are soundproofed ensuring total and complete privacy to the guests.
The restaurant at The Inglaterra is at the forefront of Seville's gastronomic delights. Dine at La Galeria while gazing at the mosaic pavement of the Plaza Nueva and watch the world go by. The warm, friendly restaurant adopts a frequently changing menu to suit every international culinary preference.
Located on the first floor of the hotel the restaurant, like the hotel itself, is one of Seville's oldest dining attractions. A wide variety of meat and seafood are on offer here. Traditional Spanish cuisine is the talking point of the restaurant, with the superbly flavoured fried fish and the assortment of delicious desserts topping the list. There is also a wide range of dishes to suit the international palate.
The Inglaterra's bar is equally popular. Known as The Trinity Irish Pub, it is as the name suggests evocative of traditional Irish pubs with their old world charm and unhurried approach. Lounge in the pub and get transported to an era where Kings and Princes ruled and life was much more leisurely. Take in the concerts held every Wednesday with a wide-ranging musical symphony right from Celtic music to Blues and Jazz. The pub located off the sitting area has a traditional long wooden bar and brass fixtures. Savour your beer, wine and typical pub food. The Trinity offers Guinness by the pint as well as the world famous crisp Spanish lager - San Miguel.
All the luxuries that you would expect from a hotel of this class and standing are on offer at the Hotel Inglaterra like a business centre, concierge desk, dry cleaning, laundry, valet and so on. However the greatest attraction lies in the hotel's proximity to a mind-boggling number of monuments, churches, shops, forts, citadels, palaces and minarets. You'll have a tough time deciding where to begin your exploration of this historic city.
Seville is blessed with a legacy of monuments that are rich reminders of its Arab past, World Heritage Sites, districts with a strong local ambience and festivals of International Tourist interest. The Cathedral at Seville is one of the world's largest Gothic style cathedrals with four statues holding up a casket that's said to contain the remains of Christopher Columbus and Alfonso X (the Wise). Attached to the cathedral is the Giralda Tower, a Moorish minaret. Wander just across the cathedral to the Alcázar, the spectacular royal residence dating back to the 1300s. Alcázar showcases the intricate craftsmanship of Mudejar artisans with its detailed tile work and an extensive complex of gardens framed by orange trees.
Discover the sheer magnificence of the Royal Citadels on top of a 9th century Arab citadel with its Arab and Renaissance elements and the Archive of the Indies which is one of the most important existing centres for documents relating to the discovery and conquest of the New World. The monumental site formed by the Cathedral, the Royal Citadels, and the Archive of the Indies, together constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Picturesque Barrio Santa Cruz lying adjacent to Alcázar is the city's Jewish Quarter with crisscrossing medieval streets and a hot spot for bars and restaurants. Several clubs here hold live performances of flamenco- Spain's most famous dance form.
On the banks of the Guadalquivir you'll find the Torre del Oro or the Golden Tower housing Seville's Naval Museum. You just cannot miss one of the most well known bullrings in Spain, the Real Maestranza de Caballería where scores of matadors have experienced triumph and disaster. Take in big game hunting, climbing, fishing and water sports at the Sierra de Aracena y los Picos de Aroche Natural Park.