The lowdown: Situated in the heart of Seville and just a stone's throw away from the city’s most famous attractions, including the Alcazar, Cathedral, shopping district and the bullring, the five-star GranMelia Colon is the perfect central location for any trip to Seville. While it would be easy to spend all of your time relaxing in the hotel, almost everything you might want to do or visit is about 10-15 minutes walk away: perfect for those who like to mix downtime luxury with some cultural exploits.
The choice of generations of royalty, matadors and VIP figures across the globe, the hotel is considered by the locals as one of the city’s most popular landmarks because the building has formed part of the city’s history since it opened 80 years ago. After a total refurbishment in 2009 that saw it transform into the ultra-glamorous city idyll, the hotel offers a show-stopping combination of culture and style.
Classic design combines with contemporary furnishings, courtesy of influential designers including Philippe Stark, Marcel Wanders and Edra, creating an elegant modern setting while still retaining the hotel's Old World charm. Red velvet chairs blend with rich red and golden tones for an ultra-glamorous look, while each floor pays homage to the masters of Spanish culture, with Goya, Murillo, El Greco and Velazquez all referenced.
Relax and unwind in the rooftop spa, open all year round and complimentary to all guests , where there is access to a 24-hour fitness centre, as well as a sauna, a Turkish bath, a gym, a rooftop Jacuzzi which boast spectacular views of the city, plus two treatments rooms that can be booked for a range of treatments. The atmosphere is welcoming and relaxing and the service is excellent from the beginning to end.
The rooms: Life-size reproductions of Spanish artworks grace each bedroom door which lead into spacious suites designed with minimalist European style and furnished impeccably with supple white leather sofas, huge beds (which were designed for ultimate relaxation and ensure a good night’s sleep is a dead cert) dressed with crisp white sheets, flat-screen TVs, automatic lighting, minibar, a pillow menu and iPod docking stations as standard, making it kitted out with everything that a weary traveler could possibly need . The bathrooms are generously stocked with Clarins minis, boast floor-to-ceiling marble, include an enormous bath with azulejo-style design and a huge rain shower. Penthouse suites have private Jacuzzis and balconies offering jaw-dropping views that overlook some of the city’s most famous attractions. You’ll leave brimming with home décor ideas upon check out and may find it hard pushed to leave your room at all.
Eating and drinking: Two dining options are available in the hotel, each with completely different vibes and food choices. Combining modernity and tradition, El Burladero is the perfect place to sample new dishes, sip decadent sangria and taste new flavour combinations as it offers signature Andalusian cuisine with a unique twist and creative touch. We highly recommend the Bulltail burger. For more informal occasions and international cuisine, sample the delicious food in the Majestic restaurant which is situated next to the lobby and offers a breakfast and lunch buffet, and dinner from an a la carte menu. And for pre or post dinner drinks, the El Tendido lounge bar is a great place to enjoy a cocktail, people watch and is ideal for light snacks. If you want to explore the local cuisine outside the hotel, we highly recommend visiting Seville’s most fashionable restaurant of the moment, Abades Triana. Hovering over the river and opposite the Torre del Oro watch tower, it’s not just worth visiting for the spectacular views because the food is fantastic, too.
What to do: With shop-lined avenues, foodie hotspots and culture by the bucket load, Seville has the ingredients to be much more than a city break! A visit to the Alcazar is a must, as the home of royal families since the early 9th century, the grounds and gardens are breathtaking. If, like us, you love flamenco dancing, then you must book tickets to El Arenal, a popular venue that serves dinner during a flamenco show.
Rates: Rooms start from £192 and include breakfast and VAT. Monarch operates year-round flights from Gibraltra from Birmingham, Manchester and London Luton airports and fares start from £50.99 one way or £87.98 return. Moncarch.co.uk.