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Spanish City Guide

If you are coming to Spain for the first time, be warned: this is a country that fast becomes an addiction. You might intend to come just for a beach holiday or a tour of the major cities, but before you know it you’ll find yourself hooked by something quite different – by the celebration of some local fiesta, perhaps, or the amazing nightlife in Madrid, by the Moorish monuments of Andalucia, by Basque cooking, or the wild landscapes and birds of prey of Estremadura. And by then, of course, you will have noticed that there is not just one Spain but many. Indeed, Spaniards often speak of Las Españas (the Spains) and they even talk of the capital in the plural – Los Madriles, the Madrids.

The cities – above all – are compellingly individual. Barcelona has the edge: for Gaudí’s splendid modernista architecture, the lively promenade of Las Ramblas, designer clubs par excellence, and for Barça – the city’s football team. But Madrid, although not as pretty, claims as many devotees. The city and its people, immortalized in the movies of Pedro Almodóvar, have a vibrancy and style that is revealed in a thousand bars and summer terrazas. Not to mention three of the world’s finest art museums.

Madrid Royal Palace

Madrid Royal Palace

Then there’s Sevilla, home of flamenco and all the clichés of southern Spain; Valencia, the vibrant Levantine city with an arts scene and nightlife to equal any European rival, host of the 32 Americas Cup; and Bilbao, a new entry on Spain’s cultural circuit, due to Frank Gehry’s astonishing Guggenheim museum.

Wherever you are in Spain, you can’t help but notice the Spaniards’ infectious enthusiasm for life!

In the cities there is always something happening – in bars and clubs, on the streets, and especially at fiesta times. Even in out of the way places there’s a surprising range of nightlife and entertainment, not to mention the daily pleasures of a round of tapas, moving from bar to bar, having a beer, a glass of wine or a fino (dry sherry) and a bite of the house speciality.

One of Spain’s greatest draws is undeniably its beaches although with infinitely more variety than you would be led to believe from the sun-and-sand holiday brochures. Long tracts of coastline – along the Costa del Sol, Benidorm in particular – have been developed into concrete hotel and villa complexes but delightful pockets remain even on the big tourist costas. On the Costa Brava, the string of coves between Palamos and Begur are often overlooked, while in the south there are superb windsurfing waters around Tarifa and some decidedly low-key resorts along the Costa de la Luz. In the north, the cooler Atlantic coastline boasts the surfing sands of Cantabria and the unspoilt coves of Galicia’s estuaries. Offshore, the Balearic islands have some superb sands and Ibiza offers one of the most hedonistic backdrops to beachlife in the Mediterranean.

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Barcelona

Barcelona is located in the comarca of Barcelonès, along the Mediterranean coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs. It is 160 km (100 mi) south of the Pyrenees mountain range. The population of the city proper is 1,593,075 (est. 2005), while the population of the metropolitan area is 4,686,701 (est. 2005). Population of the province of Barcelona is 5,226,354 (est. 2005), although this only covers 7,733 km² around the city.     Continue reading

Hotel Ritz Madrid

King Alfonso XIII wanted a luxury hotel to rival the Ritz in Paris – this six-story palace next to the Prado is the result. Presidents and politicians, successful businesspeople, well-heeled leisure travelers, and the stars sink into its soft carpets, handmade by the Spanish royal family’s fabric manufacturers. Service is paramount, and, with a 250:167 ratio of staff to room numbers, each guest is treated to a personalized welcome in the circular, marble-pillared hall and high-ceilinged lobby.

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Gran Hotel Domine Bilbao

Opened in 2002 across from the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, this hotel is itself a dramatic architectural statement. The mirrored façade reflects the museum as well as older neighboring buildings. In the main hall is the reception desk and a lipstick-red sofa shaped like the infinity symbol. The hall leads to a glass-domed atrium dominated by Javier Mariscal’s 26-meter (85-foot) sculpture, Cypress Fossil, comprising tons of stones enveloped in mesh.
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Hotel Catalonia Zaragoza Plaza

Eye-catching modernist building with forged metal adornments, situated 50 metres from the central square, Plaza del Pilar. Air-conditioned guestrooms have contemporary wood-effect floors and wall-panelling; all have cable TV and minibars. After a buffet breakfast, guests can enjoy a coffee and quiz staff at the front desk for tips on local sightseeing hotspots.
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Hesperia Zaragoza Hotel

Located at the historical and commercial city centre, the Hesperia Zaragoza Hotel is just 5 minutes away from the Basilica of Our Lady El Pilar. The hotel is a modern and functional building with private parking, a cafeteria and the Borsao Restaurant. The hotel also has Air-conditioned halls for meetings, seminars, banquets or business lunches. Due to Town Hall planning, the Conde de Aranda street in Zaragoza will be closed to traffic until December. As such the Hesperia Zaragoza Hotel cannot provide on site parking. The hotel has, however, reserved spaces for its clients at nearby parking area (300 mt). The hotel staff is available to assist you at all times. Kind regards, the Hesperia Hotels
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Zaragoza, Ac Los Enlaces Hotel

Modern hotel located in the west of Zaragoza, three kilometres from the centre and just one kilometre from Delicias station. Air-conditioned guestrooms have modern decor and furnishings; all include satellite TV, Internet connections and minibars. Hotel houses conference facilities for up to 100 people and provides a range of services for guests visiting on business.
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Pamplona, Ac Ciudad De Pamplona Hotel

ADDRESS

Iturrama 21
Pamplona, Navarra 31007
Spain & Canary Islands

Nearest major airport:
Pamplona, Spain (PNA-Pamplona-Noain)

DINING

AC Ciudad de Pamplona Restaurant – This formal restaurant, with its designer furniture and minimalist style, serves traditional cuisine using seasonal products from the local area, together with a fine wine list. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Pamplona, Ac Ciudad De Pamplona Hotel

Pamplona, Ac Ciudad De Pamplona Hotel

NEARBY POINTS OF INTEREST

Citadel – 500 meters
Yamaguchi Park – 800 meters
Plaza de los Fueros – 800 meters
Cathedral – 1 kilometer
Town hall – 1.5 kilometers (1 mile)
A-15 – 3 kilometers (2 miles)

Bilbao airport (BIO): Approximate driving time is 150 minutes and distance is 150 kilometers (93 miles).

Taxis are available at the airport, journey to Bilbao city center costs approximately 15 euros. Bizkaibus buses run every 30 mins from 0600-2200 from Bilbao (Plaza Moyúa) to the airport non-stop. From Bilbao, buses run eight times a day to Pamplona.

The hotel is located in the city center, within easy walking distance to many sites. Alternatively, the main bus station is on Avenida de Yanguas y Miranda, one kilometer away from the hotel.

POLICIES

Tax of 7% is not included in the price and is added at the time of payment.
Extra person charges may apply depending on hotel policy.
Rollaways and cribs may be available and should be requested at the time of booking; fees may apply.
Photo identification and credit card or cash deposit are required upon check-in for incidental charges.
All special requests are subject to availability upon check-in.

Pets not allowed
Check-in time is Noon
Check-out time is Noon

PROPERTY AMENITIES

Guests can enjoy an array of amenities including a fitness center, laundry services, bar, coffee shop, 24 hour room service and parking garage.

See a list of property amenities
Complimentary newspapers in lobby
Billiards
Bar/lounge
Coffee shop or café
Parking garage
Business center
Business services
Safe-deposit box – front desk
24-hour front desk
Laundry facilities
Fireplace in lobby
Elevator/lift
Fitness equipment
Restaurant(s) in hotel
Breakfast available (surcharge)
Room service (24 hours)
Meeting rooms (small groups)
Audio-visual equipment
Computer rental
Multilingual staff
Dry cleaning service
Television in lobby
Air-conditioned public areas

RECREATION

The recreational activities listed below are available either on site or near the hotel; fees may apply.
Golfing
Tennis
Basketball
Golf – driving range
Racquetball/squash

ROOM AMENITIES

Internet access – wireless
Air conditioning
Direct-dial phone
Minibar
Hair dryer
Bidet
Makeup mirror
Welcome amenities
Window opens
Cable/satellite TV
Climate control
Bottled water in room (complimentary)
Extra towels, linens, bedding
Bathroom telephone
Handheld shower
Electronic/magnetic keys
Iron/ironing board (on request)
Smoking rooms

ROOMS

This hotel features 117 guestrooms, all of which include cable television, wireless Internet and minibars.

Pamplona, Tres Reyes Hotel

ADDRESS

Jardines De La Taconera S N
Pamplona, 31001
Spain & Canary Islands

Nearest major airport:
Pamplona, Spain (PNA-Pamplona-Noain)

NEARBY POINTS OF INTEREST

Pamplona Airport PNA 5 km, Train Station 1 km, Navarra Cathedral nearby, Estafeta Street nearby, Bilboa Airport 90 km

Pamplona, Tres Reyes Hotel

Pamplona, Tres Reyes Hotel

POLICIES

American Express
MasterCard
Pets accepted
Check-out time is 12:00 PM
Diners Club
Visa
Check-in time is 1:00 PM

PROPERTY AMENITIES

All of the guest rooms are comfortable and nicely equipped to give a feeling of relaxed luxury. The hotel features a variety of facilities and services that are sure to meet the needs of both business and leisure travellers.
Swimming pool
Concierge desk
Coffee shop or café
Conference room(s)
Safe-deposit box – front desk
Number of floors: 8
Laundry service
Secretarial services
Hair salon
Room service (limited hours)
Bar/lounge
Sauna
Room service
Self parking
Number of rooms: 168
Porter/bellhop
Medical assistance available
Laundry facilities
Fitness equipment
Concierge services
Restaurant(s) in hotel

RECREATION

Golfing

ROOM AMENITIES

In-room safe

Bilbao, Petit Palace Arana Hotel

ADDRESS

Bidebarrieta 2
Bilbao, Vizcaya 48005
Spain & Canary Islands

Nearest major airport:
Bilbao, Spain (BIO-Sondica)

DINING

Coffee-Bar Arana – Serves a variety of drinks for up 50-80 patrons.
Bilbao has a wealth of fine restaurants and cafés to discover within walking distance of the hotel.

Bilbao, Petit Palace Arana

Bilbao, Petit Palace Arana

NEARBY POINTS OF INTEREST

Cathedral – 1 block
Plaza Nueva – 2 blocks
Basque Museum – 2 blocks
Plaza Arriaga
Paseo del Arenal
Arriaga Theatre
Guggenheim Museum
Fine Arts Museum
Bilbao Sondica Airport (BIO): Approximate driving time is 25 minutes and distance is 9 miles or 14 kilometers.
Driving directions from Bilbao Airport: Leave the airport toward Bilbao on the highway. Enter Bilbao through the gate Bilbao Centro. Take Hurtado Amezaga St to Plaza de España. Drive from Plaza de España across the river. Turn right following the river to Arenal Square.

POLICIES

Tax of 7% is not included in the rate but is added at time of payment.
Breakfast is not included in the rate.
Rate is based on one to two adults sharing a room.
One child under the age of 12 stays free of charge, when sharing parents’ room, and using existing bedding (or additional bedding provided by the hotel). Cribs are available upon request and are free of charge. Rollaway beds may be available upon request. All bedding requests are subject to availability and should be requested at time of booking.
Bedding: Standard room includes one double or two twin beds and can accommodate up to two adults.
Upon check-in, photo identification and credit card or cash deposit is required for incidental charges.
All special requests are subject to availability upon check-in.

Check-in time is 11 AM
Check-out time is Noon

PROPERTY AMENITIES

See a list of property amenities
Concierge services
Bar/lounge
Breakfast available (surcharge)
On-site car rental
Business center
Event catering
Fax machine
Business services
Number of rooms: 65
Express check-out
24-hour front desk
Multilingual staff
Hair salon
Tour assistance
Dry cleaning service
Living room
Suitable for children
Complimentary newspapers in lobby
Restaurant(s) in hotel
Parking (surcharge)
Limo or Town Car service available
Conference room(s)
Photocopy machines
Internet access in public areas – surcharge
Computer rental
Porter/bellhop
Security guard
Safe-deposit box – front desk
Currency exchange
Babysitting or child care
Laundry facilities
Shoe shine
Air-conditioned public areas
Wheelchair accessible

ROOM AMENITIES

Internet access – high speed
Balcony
Air conditioning
Soundproofed rooms
Internet access – dial-up
Refrigerator
Wake-up calls
Complimentary toiletries
In-room safe
Trouser press
Welcome amenities
Wheelchair accessible
Smoking rooms
Cable/satellite TV
Complimentary newspaper
Climate control
Direct-dial phone
Fax machine
Bottled water in room (complimentary)
Housekeeping
Hair dryer
Iron/ironing board (on request)
Desk
Cribs (infant beds) available
Non-smoking rooms

ROOMS

The Prime Arana Hotel features 65 guestrooms. Some rooms offer a computer and free high-speed Internet connection. All bathrooms have hydro-massage showers; some feature a sauna.

Bilbao, Barcelo Nervion Hotel

ADDRESS

Paseo Campo Volantin 11
Bilbao, 48007
Spain & Canary Islands

Nearest major airport:
Bilbao, Spain (BIO-Sondica)

DINING

The Ibaizabal Restaurant – Savor local specialties at this on-site restaurant.

Bilbao, Barcelo Nervion Hotel

Bilbao, Barcelo Nervion Hotel

NEARBY POINTS OF INTEREST

Guggenheim Museum
Fine Arts Museum
Congress Palace
Arriaga Theater
Old Quarter
Parque Dona Casilda de Ituraiza
St Ioge Church
Deusto University
Plaza de Torros (bull ring)
Casino Nervion
Bilbao River
Bilbao Sondika Airport (BIO): Approximate driving time is 20 minutes and distance is 7.5 miles/ 12 kilometers.

Driving directions from Bilbao Sondika Airport: From the airport, take the highway toward the city center. Then follow signs for the Guggenheim Museum. From there you will find the hotel next to the town hall.

POLICIES

Passports are required for travel outside of travelers’ country of residence. Please be advised that some destinations require an entry visa.
Tax of 7% is not included in the rate but is added at time of payment.
Breakfast is not included in the rate but may be purchased at a cost of 11Euro (approximately US$10).
One child under the age of 12 stays free of charge, when sharing parents’ room, and using existing bedding (or additional bedding provided by the hotel).
Cribs are available upon request and are free of charge. Rollaway beds are not available. All bedding requests are subject to availability and should be requested at time of booking.
Upon check-in, photo identification and credit card or cash deposit is required for incidental charges.
All special requests are subject to availability upon check-in.

Check-in time is 1:00 PM
Check-out time is 12:00 PM

PROPERTY AMENITIES

Bar/lounge
Restaurant(s) in hotel
Photocopy machines
Currency exchange
Safe-deposit box – front desk
24-hour front desk
Elevator/lift
Babysitting or child care
Conference room(s)
Fax machine
Self parking
Room service
Business center
Number of rooms: 348

ROOM AMENITIES

Cable/satellite TV
Private bathroom
Direct-dial phone
Video-game console
Minibar
Hair dryer
Clock radio

ROOMS

This downtown, seven-floor hotel near the Guggenheim Museam has 348 rooms. Contemporary in style, all rooms proved mini/honor bars and cable/satellite TV. Video game consoles with SonyPlayStation provided. All rooms are soundproofed and air-conditioned.