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“Nice hotel in a great location - not sure it deserved it's 5th star”

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AC Palacio De Santa Paula, Autograph Collection
Ranked #14 of 122 Hotels in Granada
Certificate of Excellence
Sitges, Spain
Level 5 Contributor
69 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
“Nice hotel in a great location - not sure it deserved it's 5th star”
Reviewed March 31, 2013

Overall the hotel was very nice, the breakfast was pleasant and it was a great value, however it didn't really feel like a 5 star hotel. Let's get into details:

The reception and entrance
The reception was underwhelming, very simple and clean with somewhat slow service. There is an open area with modern and functional furniture. Internet is free in the reception which is a common plus in this part of the world. You have to pay for Internet in the rooms.

The rooms
Decent size rooms with a reasonable decor. Playing on the history of the place. The bed is simple, the TV smallish. Overall OK but without the luxurious feel that 5 star hotels have in larger European cities.

The restaurant
I wrote a separate review on the restaurant (El Claustro) but suffice to say that the breakfast was complete, somewhat simple (common yogurt brands, varied fruit but nothing fancy and a smallish buffet) so again overall OK but just that

Overall I felt that the hotel had an ideal location, close to all the places I needed to go to. Other than that everything was just OK...but the hotel will not be what you remember from the trip...

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank cvidela4791
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Cork, Ireland
Level 6 Contributor
80 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed March 21, 2013

It may be a strange thing to say but I really wanted to like this hotel but sadly I left with the feeling that although I must return to Granada I certainly would not be back to the Santa Paula. On the positive side, I really liked the look of the hotel, the minimalist cool reception area and the old world romantic courtyard. The location is fairly good, seems like a business area but when I return to Granada I would opt to stay nearer the Albayzin. Our room which faced the street, was small but adequate for our needs. What lets this place down was the staff, I just found them cold & uncaring and this contrasted hugely with everyone else we met in Granada which to me was the friendliest place we visited in Andalucia.
We arrived around 4 pm, admittedly i rushed into the hotel asking for change for 20 euro note because our eccentric but hilarious taxi-driver didn't have any change and i was met with blank stares (the 3 staff there could see that we were guests arriving at the hotel), after that was sorted out we were just given our keys and directions to the lift and that was it...no welcome to the city, no 'is this your first time', no provision of maps or local advice. We had booked tickets for the Alhambra the next afternoon & I had (as always!) done a lot of research beforehand and knew we could take a bus from the cathedral but at this stage didn't know where the cathedral was (turned out to be a 5 minutes or so walk on the same side as the Santa Paula). I went to the desk the next morning to double check what the best way was to get to the Alhambra and was told 'get the bus outside the cathedral' which in theory I knew, problem was from our room we could see a church across the street and thought that was the cathedral but after walking up & down the street for a while we figured we were at the wrong bus stop! :) No big deal, just one of the silly things you do when on holiday but I just felt there had been very little effort made on behalf of the staff member in the hotel, who had pointed to the door when saying the cathedral, we hadn't walked towards that area so didn't have our bearings or understood where to go, it would have been nice to get proper directions or perhaps a map which was provided to us without prompting when we stayed in the Marriott in Malaga for example.
During our Andalucian trip, we stayed in three ostensibly 5 star hotels, this one, the Alfonso XIII in Seville and the Hospes Palacio del Bailio in cordoba, the latter two were shining examples of 5 stars, the Santa Paula sadly was simply not in their league. It offered the comfort of a 3.5 and service of a 2 star so as a compromise I rate this as 3/5. If you are thinking of visiting Granada then Go, you will not regret it but don't bother with the Santa Paula!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank CorkRoseyK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cleveland, Ohio
1 review
Reviewed March 18, 2013

My husband and I spent 5 nights at this hotel and it was, by far, the nicest one of the 5 AC hotels we stayed in in Spain. We had a room overlooking the courtyard and it could not have been lovelier. It would be worthwhile to take an hour or two just to roam the original convent area. A number of remnants remain. Breakfast had a nice variety which included fresh fruit, cheeses and various ham.

We found the location very convenient and within walking distance to many historical sites, shopping and restaurants. It's also very close to the Arab section which features some absolutely wonderful Moroccan restaurants and late afternoon shopping.

The front desk staff was mostly helpful with the exception of noisy neighbors 2 nights in a row. I have to assume the walls are unusually thin as there was a bathroom between each of our bedrooms. On the second night, I had to call security twice because I thought a woman was being attacked. She kept yelling "no, no, no." Instead of sending police when I called down they sent security but only after I'd called twice. When I asked if something could be done, I was told to just keep calling if it happens again.

Other than that one security issue, I felt the hotel was safe, clean and employed friendly and helpful staff.

Room Tip: Request a room overlooking the courtyard. The walls are thin, but as long as other visitors aren...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank mary p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
scotland
Level 6 Contributor
99 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed March 12, 2013

location is good as you can walk all over city.
very modern feel to reception but courtyard and cloisters are very historic and romantic.
room was large and modern, with comfy bed and really nice bathroom with everything you need - toothbrush razor etc.
mini bar was NOT free in my room - everything was 3 euros.
wifi free in public areas - reception.
concierge parking is dear at 22 euros but great as u just park in front of hotel and forget car.
driving is very confusing and so i would recomend staying outside and taxi in future.
a walk to river and then up through albaycin to restaurant at the top of the hill is a must - incredible views and worth the visit alone.
walk the las cahoras gorge if you have a spare 3 hrs - u will not regret it - fantastic.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank arky25Scotland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dubai
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed March 10, 2013

We stayed here for one night of a 6 day road trip around Spain; the night coincided with a birthday and a wedding anniversary so we chose this hotel, due to it's price, as a 'treat' for the special occasions. In summary, a disappointing mistake. Firstly, it was extremely stressful to locate this hotel by car. As mentioned, it is immediately outside a taxi/bus lane, with other traffic going in the opposite direction, which at night in a strange city, was difficult to understand and once locating the hotel, only a small strip of parking for 2-3 cars. Once we juggled this, was met by a very curt, almost abrupt receptionist. My husband is a Marriott Rewards Platinum Elite member and was surprised at the lack of warmth in the welcome. My husband mentioned it was his birthday and received an almost sarcastic toned 'happy birthday' in reply with a smirk. She then went on to mention that our included breakfast was only 'continental', and if we wanted to 'upgrade', would have to pre-pay there and then. We had just arrived; I hadn't even decided what to have for dinner, let alone a meal in another 15 hours! We stayed in a room overlooking the courtyard, which is nice to walk past, however once inside the room, you could be anywhere and it's a confusing mix of old-meets-new, with extremely high dark wooden ceiling combined with orange walls, which we found gave an strange uncomfortable ambiance to the room. Again, as usual with AC properties no iron (but was promptly delivered when requested), English language tv channels or tea/coffee facilities. The mini-bar, although listed as complimentary in the brochure, had a price list attached to the front.

The hotel is ideally located if your're walking, across from the old town and access to lots of bars and restaurants, including the Al Hambra bus which was very convenient to use.

The buffet breakfast was adequate, not wow, however equipped with a Nespresso coffee machine which is appreciated. The breakfast was moderately busy, however service very slow, plates left to pile up on tables and again not the level of service that should be observed in this level of hotel.

On checkout, we were charged for 2 buffet breakfasts - our understanding is that as a Platinum Elite member, a continental breakfast should be complimentary. This was queried and discovered that this hotel's definition (contrary to every other Marriott hotel we have stayed in) of this is coffee, tea, juice and pastries ONLY and as we had taken 'cheese & ham' from the buffet, we were to be charged the full rate. We complained to the Front Office Manager who although listened, didn't seem to really care, but did deduct one breakfast. Big deal! The staff did not appear to appreciate the value of a Platinum Elite member, how much money is spent at Marriott properties and room nights on a yearly basis (over 75), and from this property we felt treated like nothing. We are very brand-loyal to Marriott and the customer wow effect from this property was zero.

The concierge did warn us about the camera at the end of the road to take photos of offenders in the taxi/bus lane, so hopefully we will avoid the excessive charges as other reviewers have mentioned!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank PinkPav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia
Level 5 Contributor
61 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed February 23, 2013

Stayed here in June 2012 for a friend's wedding - the hotel seemed a bit more luxurious than most of the hotels in the area - theres a beautiful courtyard where we have breakfast and some of the rooms over look it. The room was a good size, and had a stereo but no coffee or tea in the room. There was also no wifi in the room but there was in the lobby. It definitely wasnt a 5 star hotel but it wasnt horrible either - besides we didnt spend that much time in the room because there was a lot to see.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank possiblebliss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado, United States
Level 5 Contributor
93 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed February 21, 2013

This hotel is nice with the most exciting part being what you see in all the pictures, the center of the hotel with its fountain, the arches, columns, and lighting. The room renovations are not spectacular and as others mentioned, Internet in your room is almost non-existent. This has been a function of almost every hotel we've stayed at in Spain however... not a specific Marriott issue.

We recommend a night or two here, or at least a walk through to see the beauty of the hotel.

Room Tip: Ask to stay in the old part of the hotel.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank DanFortune
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

Property: AC Palacio De Santa Paula, Autograph Collection
Address: Gran Via Colon 31, 18001 Granada, Spain (Formerly AC Hotel Palacio de Santa Paula by Marriott)
Phone Number:
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 ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Luxury Hotel in Granada
#10 Family Hotel in Granada
#13 Romantic 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
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The AC Palacio de Santa Paula, Autograph Collection (R) is located at the historic center of Granada, close to the Albaicín and Sacromonte areas, the Cathedral and the Royal Chapel, the historical Triunfo's Garden, the Archaeological Museum and, Of course, the Alhambra. Our beautiful Property, one of the best five-star hotels in Granada, is a restored masterpiece with 75 rooms and was declared a historical and artistic monument. The hotel replaced the Convent of Santa Paula and Casa Morisca, which existed in the 16th and 12th centuries, respectively. This luxury hotel in Granada also has "El Claustro" restaurant, located in the old refectory of the Santa Paula Convent, which offer our guests a haute cuisine service that mix elements of traditional Andalusian cuisine with modern culinary concepts. The best option to discover Granada. ... more   less 
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