My partner and I always try and take little break on our own every summer. Having had a great Spanish experience in Salamanca a couple of years ago, we were keen to try somewhere a little further south and so Seville immediately appeared on our radar.
Flights to Seville are plentiful in the warmer months and Edinburgh Airport had a good few options with direct carriers. We always like to start our trips with a little indulgence and so we found ourselves in the Aspire Lounge, conveniently close to our gate and enjoyed prosecco and some delicious light food before we took advantage of our Priority Boarding and three hours later landed in Spain in the early evening.
As the cabin doors opened the waft of delicious, resiny pine scent and intense dry heat unmistakably told us that we’d arrived in Spain. As it was a 4-day trip, we’d managed to keep the packing confined to cabin cases only and we quickly left the airport behind and arrived at our destination, courtesy of Uber.
Hotel Palacio De Villapanes
This five star hotel is an absolute gem. A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World and located close to the centre of Old Seville, it’s a calm and luxurious building with columns and porticos, cool courtyards and understated elegance everywhere. Our room was simply delightful with gorgeous white linen and a large bathroom around the corner which made the space feel more like a suite. The mini-bar is not only complementary but also replenished each day which made the room a great place to get ready for each evening. Cava, beer and soft drinks are all yours! Add in the attentive, professional and incredibly friendly staff and this is a place to really enjoy. The brilliant rooftop pool with views across the old town was the icing on the cake.
I wouldn’t normally name drop but my partner was delighted that he’d been able to share a review of a book that both he and our neighbour in the adjoining room, Mary Portas had enjoyed.
The hotel’s central courtyard is the venue for pre-dinner drinks but I’d recommend you might consider sticking to the hotel’s delicious wine and beers as the price of a gin and tonic might give you a slight shock!
With the hotel being so central, it’s only a short stroll to find yourself fully immersed in the heart of Seville and then you’re inundated with classic architecture, tapas bars galore and enough culture to fill a month, let alone four days. Tall buildings offer a welcome relief from what can be an intense sun in July and we loved the typical Sevilla style of window bars and shutters, white-washed walls and narrow, twisting streets.
A short stroll offered us the chance experience the Alcazar Palace (think Seville’s Alhambra), cathedral and a river boat tour with the latter offering a history lesson about how the city evolved from the 8th century to hosting the 1992 World Expo. There’s an almost inexhaustible supply of culture in this town and you’ll never be short of things to see.
Of course, all that culture made us hungry and if you’re a foody then you are in for a treat as almost everywhere you go there’s another tapas option. From the 17th century “El Rinconcillo”, the oldest tapas bar in town to modern interpretations, you’ll be spoilt for choice. These places are a great option when you need to relax after walking up the La Giralda bell tower. Many now have a gentle water mist spraying across their terraces which helps keep the patrons cool.
It wouldn’t be a trip to Seville without some flamenco. We were a little worried that a show might be a little cheesy but we were absolutely off the mark as our venue was small and boutique and the dancers intense and authentic. It was just as engaging as ballet or opera and you must visit a show when you’re here.
Four days in Seville simply flashed by and before we knew it, we were heading back to the airport. The city is a delight for culture vultures and foodies and with its guaranteed good weather is certain to be a place you’ll love to visit. The Hotel Palacio De Villapanes is the epitome of elegant luxury and its central location makes it the perfect place to relax and enjoy this wonderful Spanish city. ¡Disfrutar!