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“This hotel has such potential...” 4 of 5 stars
Review of AC Palacio de Santa Paula, Autograph Collection

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AC Palacio de Santa Paula, Autograph Collection
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Gran Via de Colon 31, 18001 Granada, Spain (Formerly AC Hotel Palacio de Santa Paula by Marriott)   |  
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Ranked #12 of 127 Hotels in Granada
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Chapel Hill
Top Contributor
255 reviews 255 reviews
46 hotel reviews
Reviews in 130 cities Reviews in 130 cities
149 helpful votes 149 helpful votes
“This hotel has such potential...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2012

The "very good" is due to the location, which is great. However, much else about the hotel could use some improvement.

First, be prepared that it is very hard to get to the hotel if you're driving, and there is insufficient loading space to leave your car while you check in. You might get lost in old town trying to get back there to see if a spot has opened up. The hotel's renovations were nice, but seemed to be cheaply done in places. Specific things I would have expected were missing: there was no safe in the room, the closet was open, there was no alarm clock, the radio that was there didn't work. There were three small windows above the bed, and the shutters didn't close properly and one fell onto the bed when we tried to shut it (thankfully, we weren't in the bed at the time).

Don't expect the AC properties to be up to Marriott standards - they're well below. The pillows were not particularly good, neither was the mattress. Request a room off the smaller courtyard - if they have an event, the main courtyard stays loud well into the night, and can be heard through the walls.

Didn't eat any meals at the hotel - they don't offer free breakfast for platinum members, and it was much more expensive than what was available elsewhere.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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613 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (103)
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Montana Rose
Top Contributor
607 reviews 607 reviews
87 hotel reviews
Reviews in 144 cities Reviews in 144 cities
334 helpful votes 334 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2012

My husband & I spent 2 nights here. We took the train from Madrid. It's less than 1 mile from the train station to the hotel. They let us check in early (2pm) and they held our bags for us after we checked out since our departing train wasn't until 6pm. The hotel is very nice, very classy, but not pretentious. The staff all spoke English and everyone was very helpful. We reserved a Superior Room so we could be in the convent section. The whole convent thing is cool. The room was larger than I was expecting and it was extremely quiet (we could hear our neighbors door close though). The bathroom was large (by European standards), modern and very clean. The fitness center & turkish bath were included in the price (but we didn't use them). The lobby's internet signal worked in our room, so we didn't have to pay extra for that. The hotel restaurant (we only ate dinner there) was fantastic and VERY reasonably priced for what we got. The location is the best. We walked everywhere even though the bus was right there. Plaza Nueva and Cathedral were 5-10 minutes, the Alhambra was maybe 30 minutes (what an incredibly beautiful walk!), and the Albaicin was just 10 minutes. There are restaurants everywhere at all price ranges. What a great city! It might cost a bit more to stay here, but I'd definitely stay here again in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Wellesley, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
166 reviews 166 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 61 cities Reviews in 61 cities
101 helpful votes 101 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

Right on the Gran Via, and down the street from the Cathedral, one cannot ask for a better location in Granada. Right out front you can catch a cab or bus to the Alhambra. Don't believe anyone who tells you that you can walk to the Alhambra, unless you are a triathlete.

The hotel has both a new portion and a portion that is in an old, restored convent. The rooms in both sections are beautiful. But beware. We booked a junior suite in the convent section. While the room was absolutely beautiful, it was on the first floor (room 001). The living room's small window looked onto the internal courtyard, and the bedrooms small window looked out onto a graffiti covered ally way where people walked by and could look directly into the room. Drawing the shades on both window resulted in a most beautiful prison cell. (Lesson, never stay on the ground floor of the convent wing.) Claustrophobia quickly set in and a panic call was made to the front desk; either a different room or we are off to a different hotel.

The clerk on duty was most helpful, and unable to move us to the second level at that very moment, she put us in a suite, on an upper floor in the new building, with a Gran Via view, not to mention a view of the tower at the Alhambra. While on a main street, the room was absolutely silent with the windows closed. Beautifully appointed with "old world" charm in a modern building.

The staff is friendly, helpful and speaks excellent English, and put up with my broken Spanish.

Breakfast is served in the main restaurant and is quite nice. Omelets were well prepared upon request. Do request a pot of coffee be placed on the table, if you like your morning coffee. Otherwise, reordering may get on your nerves.

If you are considering using the spa and related facilities, don't. Below standard, IMO. Besides, you'll get plenty of exercise walking the hills of the of Arab section.

Bottom line, this is all about location and comfort.

Room Tip: Splurge on a suite with a Gran Via view on an upper floor.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, TX
Top Contributor
237 reviews 237 reviews
153 hotel reviews
Reviews in 142 cities Reviews in 142 cities
1,723 helpful votes 1,723 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

We recently stayed at the AC Palacio Santa Paula for a couple of nights in November 2012. We used Marriott points for one night and paid 119 euros for the second night.

The hotel was located on the bustling, elegant Gran Via de Colon which meant that Granada’s major tourist attractions could be easily accessed by walking. We had a car, however, so we had to deal with parking it somewhere. Granada apparently is very strict about not allowing cars into the town’s center so I contacted the AC Palacio Santa Paula in advance about parking. They helpfully sent a map showing the streets which would avoid the prohibited driving areas. The hotel offered valet parking at 20.65 euros/night but while making our way through Granada’s crowded, narrow streets, I spied a public garage at “Juan del Dios” street near the hotel which allowed overnight parking for 18 euros/night so we ended up parking there just to be out of the driving madness of Granada.

The AC Palacio Santa Paula had an interesting mix of décor with stark modern furniture in the lobby area but cozy, warm terracotta tiles and sisal rugs in the areas leading to the rooms. Also, our room faced a gorgeous old brick and terracotta courtyard with a fountain that was exquisitely lit at night. The courtyard may well have been part of a former Spanish palace – it truly was that beautiful.

Our room was atmospheric and featured a high ceiling, stucco walls and dark wooden beams. The bathroom was tiled with orange and cream mosaics and had a wonderfully deep bathtub. The room felt a little warm at night despite turning the thermostat down to cold so by trial and error, we figured out that the way to keep the room from getting stuffy while we slept was to turn the room’s fan off which despite the temp setting, only blew warm air.

On our last morning in Granada, we enjoyed the AC Palacio Santa Paula’s extensive breakfast buffet which had everything imaginable, such as cereal, cold cuts, pastries, cake, fresh fruit, local cheeses, all of which we enjoyed while sitting in the lovely, tranquil courtyard.

On a side note, if you are visiting Granada, you will likely be visiting the Alhambra. I found it impossible to book this online with a US credit card so fortunately the hotel staff kindly booked tickets for us using our credit card. It was a cinch to pick up our tickets at the yellow ATM at Caixa Bank 3 blocks down the street.

We had a perfect stay at the AC Palacio Santa Paula and would recommend this hotel to anyone!

Room Tip: Ask for a room facing the courtyard.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2012

A friend and I were on holiday for a week in Spain. We started in Barcelona - the city where I had spent the majority of my Erasmus year. We stayed with a few friends in Castedefells. We knew we wanted to end up in Marbella, and that we wanted to drive if possible. On our third night in Barca, we were in Tacua (a pretty cool spot in Castedefells) and half drunkenly booked flights to Granada for the next day.

We arrived to Granada in the evening and had no accommodation booked. We took a taxi from the airport and the driver kindly agreed to drive us to a couple of hotels. AC was the second one we saw, there was a room available, the guy at reception was amazingly helpful - and we took it immediately.

It's an amazing hotel and really adds to the experience of your stay in the historical and enchanting vicinity of Granada. It has been designed in a wonderful way, from pleasant touches of Arabic and old Spain in the rooms to the the layout of the corridors and the architecture of the walls. The location is right in the centre - walking distance to the Cathedral and to the shops, bars and restaurants. On our first night we ventured out to a couple of bars along the cobbled streets - of which in one I had the most amazing tapas (even more brilliant as they were complementary with the drinks). I can't remember the name of this bar but it had pictures from all around the world in it.

The next day we hired a car and we drove to the Alhambra - which was a superb outing. I did not realise how much history lies in Granada. We then drove into the Old Quarter and found a couple of restaurants from which you could see breathtaking views of the Alhambra. We ate in a top class restaurant on the terrace - I do have the card somewhere, but cannot remember the name. It was a converted house.

We stayed one more night and left the next day. The hotel just made our stay that much more memorable. It was so hot in Granada, and the spaciousness of the room was greatly appreciated. The bathrooms are also a generous size.

If I was to visit Granada again, I really hope to stay here again. It's reasonable for the first class quality - and it's not so modern, but is furnished to a high standard whilst encompassing the charm of Granada.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chicago
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

The hotel was in a great location, clean, great service. Very impressed with the hotel and staff. Rooms were a nice size and clean. Great bathroom. You can get to everything by foot-maybe a little bit of a hike to Lhambra. The room was a little hot but it was welcomed because it was pouring rain outside and high 50's for temperature. I only wished we had stayed at more AC hotels in Spain if this one reflects the quality of all of them

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ChelmsfordUK
Top Contributor
164 reviews 164 reviews
61 hotel reviews
Reviews in 63 cities Reviews in 63 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2012

great hotel - fantastic architecture. restaurant really good. nice big room (we had junior suite) with some nices touches. service good in all areas. room was a bit hot for us and we couldn't get the room to cool (and nothing seemed to be done after we reported this to reception). staff all very pleasant. location great. one to visit in if granada.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about AC Palacio de Santa Paula, Autograph Collection

Address: Gran Via de Colon 31, 18001 Granada, Spain (Formerly AC Hotel Palacio de Santa Paula by Marriott)
Location: Spain > Andalucia > Province of Granada > Granada
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#4 Luxury Hotel in Granada
#6 Business Hotel in Granada
#12 Romantic Hotel in Granada
#15 Family Hotel in Granada
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — AC Palacio de Santa Paula, Autograph Collection 5*
Number of rooms: 75
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Also Known As:
Ac Palacio De Santa Paula, Autograph Collection Hotel Granada

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