I knew from reviews before booking that this would be a nice hotel, but I was unprepared for just how fabulous it is. Carmens are more like private villas than hotels, which gives them an intimate and friendly feel, and this one must be one of the best. Beautifully situated in the foothills of the Alhambra, overlooking the city, and immaculately decorated. We stayed in La Glicinia (Wisteria) which had a lovely terrace which was perfect for an aperitif. It was spotlessly clean and well equipped. No aircon though, which might be a little uncomfortable at the height of summer. Breakfast is served on the terrace and is a perfect place to charge up for a day of sightseeing.
It is tricky to find, and Manuel (bless him) doesn't give perfect directions. Basically, as you approach the city, follow signs for the Alhambra which eventually turn into signs for Parking Alhambra. Go past that, and stop at the Hotel Alhambra Palace (a huge landmark on a sharp bend). This has a little car park which turns into a tiny lane - take that down the hill to the Carmen San Miguel and then phone Manuel, who comes to get you. His carmen is a 5 minute walk from there and if he can't fit your car onsite, there is a discounted rate at the Parking Alhambra. Be prepared - Manuel gives a 30 minute orientation of the carmen and the city, which is extremely useful but tiring after a long drive when you want to get to your room! But pay attention, his tips for navigating around the city are worth their weight in gold. Tickets for the Alhambra (which you need to book a few weeks in advance) can be picked up from a La Caixa bank branch at the yellow ATMs, easier than getting them at the Alhambra itself, or from a central bookshop that Manuel will direct you to. He recommended the Carmen San Miguel for dinner, and this was entirely justified - a 5 course taster menu for less than 40 euros plus wine.
It is rare to find hotels with this level of care and attention where you feel like a friend rather than a paying guest. I'm sure you could find something cheaper if you wanted to, but you would be missing out on something very special.
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- Also Known As:
- Carmen De La Alcubilla Del Caracol Hotel Granada