When it comes to accommodation, paradores are in a class of their own and undoubtedly among the best hotels in Spain. Converted from castles, monasteries and other Spanish monuments, they can be really special places to stay, sited in the most beautiful parts of the country or in some of the most historic cities. Prices compare favourably with the five-star hotels with which they compete – typically €150–180 per night for a double room. Here are seven of the best hotels in Spain.

Hostal dos Reis Católicos, Santiago de Compostela

Apparently the oldest hotel in the world, the Hostal dos Reis Católicos is impressively set in a fifteenth-century hospital at the end of the Camino de Santiago in A Coruña province. Its 136 irresistibly luxurious rooms are arranged around four separate tranquil courtyards, and there are also two restaurants and a plush bar. It’s worth every penny, especially if you get a pilgrims’ or multi-day discount.

Parador Carlos V, Jarandilla

This majestic former imperial palace is set in the verdant Vera valley in Extremadura. Castillo de la Suda has a splendid palm-fringed courtyard, period furnishings and a very good restaurant serving Extremeño cuisine. What’s more, there’s an open-air pool in summer.

Best hotels in Spain: Jarandilla paradorInterior of Jarandilla de la Vera National Parador, Spain © Oscar Garriga Estrada/Shutterstock

Parador Condes de Alba y Aliste, Zamora

Occupying a grand fifteenth-century palace in the middle of a quiet town, Zamora’s Parador is gentility defined. It mixes lovely rooms with princely trappings throughout, from the heroic medallions surmounting the internal courtyard to the idly positioned suits of armour. An elevated garden terrace and open-air summer pool have city views, while a fine restaurant serves updated cuisine from the Duero region.

Parador Castillo de Santa Catalina, Jaén

Occupying a stunning, crag-bound thirteenth-century Moorish fortress, Parador Castillo de Santa Catalina is one of the most spectacular locations in Spain. In the city of Jaén in northern Andalucia, its imposing ruins can be seen from miles around. The comfortable rooms have fine balcony views with a sheer drop to the valley below; facilities include a pool, restaurant, bar and ample parking.

Best hotels in Spain: Castle of Santa Catalina in JaenCastle of Santa Catalina in Jaen © Sergey Dzyuba/Shutterstock

Parador de Lerma, Lerma

The Parador de Lerma is a remarkable ducal palace facing a broad plaza of elegant beauty. A stunning central courtyard sets the tone, around which are the public areas and restaurant. Rooms are palatial and look out over the burned countryside far below. Located just south of Burgos, Lerma makes a great stop on the route from Bilbao to Madrid.

Best hotels in Spain: Ducal palace at Lerma in LermaDucal palace at Lerma in Lerma © Iakov Filimonov/Shutterstock

Parador Marqués de Villena, Alarcón

There are just fourteen rooms in this atmospheric Arabic castle perched on the rocky promontory above the Río Júcar in Cuenca province. The restored interior combines modern and classic designs, and the restaurant serves local specialities including lamb stew and the sweet almond sauces for which the Alarcón and Alaju regions are famous.

Parador Nacional Castell de la Suda, Tortosa

Tortosa’s highest point, the splendid Castillo de la Suda, looms majestically over the lush Ebre valley south of Tarragona. For a splurge, it’s well worth opting for this historic hotel, where you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into the medieval era. Undoubtedly one of the best hotels in Spain, it also has one of the better restaurants in town, open to non-guests and specialising in fish from the Ebro delta.

Best hotels in Spain: Tortosa from Suda castleTortosa from Suda castle © Iakov Filimonov/Shutterstock

Top image: Exterior of Parador Jarandilla de la Vera, Spain © Oscar Garriga Estrada/Shutterstock

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