If the Alhambra is the jewel in the crown of Granada, then the Albayzín is the crown itself. This wonderful hillside opposite the Alhambra is packed full of mediaeval buildings typical of the Granadino style. One such is the Hotel Santa Isabel La Real, high up on the hill where it commands great views of the Alhambra and the Sierra Nevada.
The hotel is a recently-restored 16th century house constructed in typical Granada style around a central patio with wooden galleries, stone columns, brick pillars and lots of pot plants. All around there are gardens, plazas, more old houses and important monuments like the Santa Isabel monastery, the Dar Al Horra palace, the church of San Miguel Bajo and several miradors (viewing points) for getting the best views of the Alhambra.
The classic central patio is the hotel reception, and the lounge nearby is a comfy room filled with easy chairs and typical old furnishings and wall-hangings. Although city hotels never have much outside space, Santa Isabel has a small terrace that is a wonderful spot to wind down in the evening sunshine after a day of sightseeing.
Most of the eleven rooms face outwards with various views of the Alhambra, the Albayzín and the city of Granada, with the remainder facing into the patio. They are beautifully furnished with handmade furniture and antiques, so that every moment of your stay reminds you that you can only be in Granada. The finest room is the Torreón, at the top of the house, with direct views straight out to the Alhambra.
Although the hotel is nicely tucked away, it is only a short walk to the city centre and to the various sights around the old quarter. If walking doesn’t take your fancy though, the frequent minibuses stop right next to the hotel.
The Albayzín is great, the Alhambra is wonderful, this is a beautiful hotel, but the most important thing at Santa Isabel La Real is the friendly staff.
Room 1: Ground floor, twin beds, bath, window facing into the patio.
Room 2: Ground floor, twin beds, shower, window facing into the patio.
Room 4: First floor, double bed, bath, large window facing outward.
Room 7: First floor, twin beds, bath, window facing into the patio.
Room 9: Second floor, twin beds, bath, view of the Alhambra.
Room 3: First floor, twin beds, sofa-bed, bath, balcony facing into the patio.
Room 5: First floor, twin beds, sofa-bed, bath, balcony looking over the Albayzín.
Room 6: First floor, double bed, bath, two windows facing the Albayzín and the patio.
Room 8: Second floor, twin beds, sofa-bed, bath, views of the Alhambra and Albayzín.
Room 10: Second floor, large room with large twin beds, bath, three windows facing the Albayzín, the city and into the patio.
El Torreon: Second floor in the tower, double bed, shower, views of the Alhambra, the Generalife, Sierra Nevada and Granada.
Drinks and snacks are available in the patio, terrace, lounge or in your room, any time from midday to 10 at night. Buffet breakfast is served in the breakfast room.
The Alhambra Palace
The Arab Baths
Churches of Santa Ana and San Pedro
Paseo de los Tristes
Corral de Carbon
The mountains of the Sierra Nevada are all around:
Skiing in winter
Walking and cycling in summer
Tour the area by car
Pueblos Blancos of Andalucía
Reviews from Little Hotels Travellers:
"I would thoroughly recommend this hotel. On arrival we were offered lemonade or coffee in the lounge while the receptionist went over our booking. She then sat with us and gave us loads of helpful information regarding where to visit in Granada, transport, where to eat etc. They had also secured tickets for Alhambra in advance for us as I had been unable to buy any from the UK.
The hotel itself was very typical Spanish in style. The rooms were provided with luxurious soaps and lotions - the towels were a good size, not the usual skimpy things you often get.
Lots of interesting things to try at the buffet breakfast the next morning.
Our only complaint was the people above us who decided to have a bath at 5am before they left - the only downside of wooden ceilings is that there is no sound proofing!"
"On the whole a very nice hotel with helpful friendly staff. We had the tower room with a view of the Alhambra. Bathroom shower could of been cleaner a bit shabby and a bit of mould. Main problem though was the breakfast, continental breakfasts are not my thing but to have no orange juice or choice of eggs, scrambled omelette fresh boiled etc would have been nice. Incidentally the toaster had seen better days not only was it old and slow, could have gone back and had a shower while waiting for toast. Having said all that I would use again because of views and closeness activities and the fantastic bus service operating from outside the hotel."
"Date of stay 21 - 23 October 2009.
Wonderful hotel right in the centre of the old part of Granada, or the Albaicin.
Rooms are comfortable and quite large and nicely decorated and the staff were very helpful.
You can walk out of the front door and find wonderful views of the Alhambra, bars and restaurants all within short walking distance.
There are little mini-buses that run all day past the hotel to take you to any part of the town or to the Alhambra. The bus to the Alhambra got very crowded but it is possible to walk there if you are fit. Go to the view point San Nicholas and you will see the path that leads up to the Alhambra.
Definitely recommend this hotel."
"We stayed at the Hotel Santa Isabel La Real in Granada for 2 all-too-short days. The innkeepers, Lola and Elena both spoke good English and understood well what first-time visitors to Granada needed in terms of recommendations of restaurant areas and, very importantly, the easiest ways to get around. The location of this hotel is excellent- close to everything in the old Albaicin district and the highly-efficient bus shuttle stops right in front of the door. The rooms were charming and the tower room (#11) gave us a gorgeous view of the Alhambra. We loved Granada and if we chose to return we would surely stay at this splendid hotel again."
"Thank you very much for making my stay in your lovely hotel so enjoyable.
The room, the view, the location and the breakfast were all just right.
I will recommend your hotel to friends."
"Overall, the hotel was practically faultless, and we would definitely return! No doubt we were influenced by the fact that we had the most expensive room. Plus and minus points are summarised below:
Well-appointed room and bathroom, superb views of the Alhambra and mountains, no noise at all from other rooms since the Torreon Mirador is in the tower
Extremely welcoming owners. The hotel is family-run with mother and 3 adult children fronting the operation. They helped us book restaurants and hire cars when needed.
Breakfasts were extra, but well-worth it - unlimited fresh orange juice plus a superb selection of meats, cheeses, home-made delicacies etc.
Very convenient for Albacein and bus-stop right outside the hotel
24 hour reception so no need to carry keys
Quiet in the street at night (for Spain, anyway - and it was February!)
Minuses - (not many):
Room was relatively expensive (170 euros without breakfast) - but worth it I think.
Breakfast room below street level, so a bit gloomy.
Bed was quite short (I am 6 ft 5 ins tall...)
So, a fabulous choice and thanks again for managing to change our booking at such short notice."
Here's What Some People Have Written On Other Review Sites or in the Guestbook:
The night-time view from the mirador will take your breath away, but the best part of this hotel is the warm friendly staff. You really feel that they will do all they can to make your stay enjoyable from the moment you enter their world, to the time it comes to bid adios!
It could best be described as a boutique hotel full of character, clean and functional and good value for money.
I loved this hotel - the rooms were lovely and the staff spoke English and couldn't have been more helpful or friendly.
Overall, the hotel was practically faultless, and we would definitely return ! No doubt we were influenced by the fact that we had the most expensive room..... R.L.
Guest Rating: 9.4 / 10
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Buffet breakfast included
|Gift for Little Hotels Guests||A welcome bottle of Cava on arrival, and free laundry service.|
|Garage Parking||19 euros per night. Space is limited, so please book in advance.|
There is no deposit. Just a credit card number is required to guarantee a reservation. The total amount is payable at the hotel prior to departure.
Cancellation must be received in writing (fax or e-mail) no later than 72 hours before arrival. Later cancellations will be charged a one night stay (including parking, if booked). No-shows are charged the full booking.
No hidden extras, booking fees or credit card charges. This is the price you pay, direct to the hotel.
Don't forget the LITTLE HOTELS PRICE GUARANTEE: Our rates are as good or better than anywhere else on the internet. Prices are provided directly by the hotel, so if you do find a lower price advertised elsewhere we will do our best to ensure the hotel honours that.
BOOK THIS HOTEL
In the hotel
- Breakfast room
- Bar service
- Small sunny terrace
- Garage parking (5 places)
- Nearby bus‑stop
In your room
- Satellite television
- Internet (wireless or wired)
- En‑suite bathroom
- Air‑conditioning and heating