After reading the "dreadful" comments here below we wondered what was going to be our miserable fate at the Parador Gil Blas at Santillana del Mar where we had booked 4 nights.
First we found immediately the entrance to the historic centre where we were halted by a policeman. It was fiesta de Santa Juliana, streets were cut off for cars but by miracle the policeman spoke French and kindly showed us the shortest way to reach the Parador and its private parking.
We did not expect a porter to take our luggage because most 4 stars hotels have no porter anymore! The receptionist did understand and speak some English and took our luggage to our room (maybe the Parador management had read the complaint here below!).
Nearly all persons at the reception did understand and speak some English; one would also understand some French. They were correct, some were kind.
We had booked a double room with "salon" at the "dias doradas" rate (for persons over 60 yr.) of 170,56 €/night breakfast and tax incl. The room was in fact an apartment of nearly 60 m2.
Remarkable was the old wooden floor. The room was somewhat dark, stronger light bulbs would be welcome; maybe it is done on purpose to keep the medieval atmosphere. Nights were very quiet.
The room was quite clean, the bath room large and complete. Room service without defects.
We tested the service by complaining about the noise made when opening the door to our room. The same afternoon the hinges of all our room doors had been lubricated.
Breakfast was up to the usual standards of a 4 star hotel in Spain. There was a nice choice of Cantabrian cheeses. The waitress was efficient and kind. She spoke only Spanish but we know enough Spanish to say good morning and order coffee with milk.
We had no diner at the Parador.
From experience we know that when there are many foreign tourists in a Parador they all enter the restaurant at the opening time what results in congestion and slow service. We usually prefer the ambiance of the local restaurants. There at the opening we are the only ones and get full attention as the Spanish customers arrive later, around 10 p.m.
In Santillana we would recommend the restaurant Casa Cossio, near the church, superb "parilla's" (grilled on barbecue) of tasteful meat. The pork ribs are the speciality. The menu is translated in English, French and German. Waitresses are efficient but speak only Spanish.
Tourists may complain that Spaniards are not very clever on foreign languages but, quite frankly, do they speak Spanish in restaurants in the U.K.? I made a trial, for the fun, speaking French in hotels and restaurants in London; result 1/10.
Just one thing about Cantabria. The country, the mountains, the sea side are very nice but don't expect sunshine. When the Spaniards are fed up with sun and hot weather they go on vacation in … Cantabria!
- Also Known As:
- Parador De Santillana Hotel Santillana Del Mar
- Parador De Santillana Del Mar
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This newly built manor house respects the traditional local architecture and harmonises perfectly with the style of this lovely town. Comfortable rooms and a pleasant atmosphere add to the peace and tranqulity of this hotel. The restaurant and bar, in the Parador Santillana Gil Blas, offer a chance to try the most traditional dishes in Cantabrian cooking. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, Priceline, Travelocity, Orbitz, Tingo and Hotels.com so you can book your Parador de Santillana reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.