The Parador de Granada fulfilled--and surpassed--our hope that the Alhambra would be the climax of a three-week journey through southern Spain. In fact, our stay in this parador, right inside the Alhambra yet sheltered from the sightseeing hordes, tops the memorable experiences which we have enjoyed around the world. Staying in the “unique room” 304, a duplex in the Torre del Alba, no doubt accounts for part of the bliss, but we are convinced that every room reflects the excellence of this hotel. In this former monastery de San Francisco, lovingly restored and ingeniously adapted, we found the most balanced combination of rich history, stunning surroundings, modern comfort, gentle friendliness, exquisite cuisine, and restorative peace. Everyone made us feel like VIPs, from the warm reception (especially by Ana) and the attentive dinner care (especially by Bartolomeo) to a personal tour by the Director, Señor Juan Carlos Sánchez Gálvez. Thanks to this extra treat, we could appreciate even better how wonderfully the Parador preserves the past while accommodating the present. This is convenience without compromise, luxury without frivolity, and class without ostentation. Reviewers have observed, quite sensibly, that this is a very expensive establishment. We found that this splurge was entirely worth the expense--even if it drained our piggy bank!