by Fiona Flores-Watson, The Telegraph, April 18, 2019
Striking and original décor is a winning aspect of many hotels in Seville, whether it's a patio with avant-garde furniture by top European designers, a room with beautiful hand-crafted, made-to-measure bed, or quirky one-off artworks which make your stay unique and memorable. In these hotels you’ll find each room has a different layout and décor, designed with the guest in mind, with stand-out features like hand-painted murals and antique furniture collected by the owners - a mix of contemporary comforts and period delights.
Corral del Rey
A 17th-century palacio in the heart of Seville’s old town has been reinvented as a deluxe boutique hotel. Decorated in smooth shades of taupe and cream, dotted with South-East Asian and Moroccan furniture, rugs and artwork; it’s hard to fault this complex of converted casa-palacios (mansions). Each of the 17 rooms is simply but beautifully furnished, with oak floors and neutral walls, enhanced by coloured batik headboards and cushions, carved mirrors, Indian embroidered rugs, and quirky artefacts. Breakfast is served either in the restaurant of the main hotel, on the roof terrace, or in your room – especially worthwhile if you have your own terrace. Interesting activities span everything from fan painting and hot air ballooning, to polo classes and sherry tasting.
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Casa del Poeta
So discreet it doesn't even have a sign, this restored 17th-century mansion hidden down a tiny alley in Santa Cruz offers service worthy of a five-star establishment. The hotel is built in the typical Sevillano style of rooms around an arcaded patio with a fountain. Rooms are a good size, with walls in muted, sophisticated tones of pale moss green and dove grey, along with exquisite hand-painted mural panels of palms and vines, as well as decorated headboards. Room 24 (with terrace), and Room 25 both overlook Santa Cruz church and the palm tree-filled garden of the neighbouring Italian Consulate. You can hear live guitar on the patio every night and the roof terrace offers wonderful views of Santa Cruz and Seville Cathedral.
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This friendly, family-owned hotel is hidden down a tiny alley in Barrio Santa Cruz. Music is the ubiquitous theme throughout, from the artworks to 60-odd instruments on display, from Picasso-esque electric violins, to pianos, an accordion, and a 16th-century harp; each room is named after a famous composer. A few have balconies onto the street, while others overlook a pretty courtyard of yellow-coloured houses. Room 301 is beautifully secluded, with its own romantic plant-draped balcony. On the pretty rooftop terrace, with comfy sofas and stylish woven patio chairs, there’s a small hot tub, plus a bar offering everything from cocktails to tea and cake.
Read the full review: Amadeus
EME Cathedral Hotel
Converted from 14 adjoining 16th-century townhouses, the classy mix of chic, contemporary design, period features and amazing views has proved a favourite with celebrities such as Ben Kingsley and Morgan Freeman. It’s worth upgrading to one of the three Superior Rooms with Cathedral View or the nine Junior Suites, as the stunning views of the Giralda bell tower steal the show. The rooftop terrace bar, which also has Giralda views, has a small plunge pool, while the spa has a heated pool with water jets, a Hammam steam bath and ice fountain, as well as treatment rooms.
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Alcoba del Rey
Alcoba del Rey pays homage to Seville’s Moorish heritage – carved white stucco arches and painted Moroccan furniture create a romantic oasis in an off-the-beaten-track spot in the barrio of Macarena. Each room is named after a personality from Moorish-era Seville, from princesses to philosophers and poets; all 15 are decorated in individual colour schemes, but with common elements of carved cedar wood furniture, beautiful mirrors, and colourful ceramic tiles. The vibe is impossibly romantic. The rooftop terrace and bar is an intimate corner, with a mini hot tub for two surrounded by olive trees, bougainvillea and pots of fragrant mint.
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The hotel is made up of adjoining 18th-century casa-palacios, with the 26 bedrooms arranged around two patios. Convincingly good reproduction classical statues, reliefs and pedestals —only the stone sarcophagus in the reception desk is original — recall Hispalis, Roman-era Seville. The buzzing rooftop bar and restaurant has fabulous city views. The best time to be up here is sunset, when the nearby Metropol Parasol glows pink. Order from the Andaluz-Asian menu: expect the likes of tataki of ox loin with Thai marinade and local specialities from Ronda and Malaga such as suckling kid. There's also a rooftop pool.
Read the full review: Casa Romana
This converted 18th-century mansion is not for lovers of cool Scandi-chic, or pared-down minimalism. Mirrors are baroque gilt, chandeliers are large, borne (circular) sofas are vermillion brocade; artworks encompass chocolate-boxy pastoral scenes, 17th-century Flemish religious paintings and huge 18th-century tapestries. There are only nine rooms: all have antique furniture and hand-painted headboards. Book-lovers will go mad for the library suite, which has 800 volumes over two floors, connected by a spiral staircase – and one bedroom on each floor. A small pool on the rear patio is good for cooling off in summer.
Read the full review: Ateneo
In an area already saturated with hotels – this one’s sister establishment sits around the corner on the next plaza – Halo stands out for its glamorous, luxurious touches, such as jewel-coloured velvet chairs and chandeliers. Paintings, either by local artists or depeicting something Seville-themed, are displayed in the passageways (and are for sale). The rooftop pool, with citrus trees framing cathedral views, is divided into two parts: the whirlpool tub (larger) and plunge pool (smaller). Curved headboards and tactile fabrics – bedspreads, cushions and chairs in rose pink and petrol blue velvet – set the style for the 18 rooms. One superior room has its own terrace, up a spiral staircase, complete with traditional ceramic-tiled bench and lookout tower with views over Plaza de los Venerables.
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Palacio de Villapanes
Among the many converted palaces in Seville, this one stands out for its sheer majesty and class. The aristocratic feel – high ceilings, balconies with original wooden shutters, marble-columned patios, and a massive family crest on the grand staircase – is cleverly complemented by mid-century furniture and chairs by Spanish contemporary designer Patricia Urquiola. There’s a small spa in the basement and a rooftop terrace with a small plunge pool and bar with views over the terracotta rooftops of neighbouring grand houses. In rooms, preserved period details add to the historic feel, such as cast-iron pillars, tall wooden glazed doors and cubby holes that now serve as walk-in wardrobes.
Read the full review: Palacio de Villapanes