We had the pleasure of staying at the Alfonso for six nights in early September. We felt we got a really good rate for a King room including breakfast for 2 guests. We also felt that location of the Alfonso was the best in Seville, making it walking distance to pretty much anything. There is no doubt; the hotel and property are just stunning. When we arrived, we definitely knew we were in a 5 star hotel. But, even 5 star hotels come with service issues. Some of them have been widely addressed by other fellow TA’s, and I feel are pretty consistent with our experience. Let’s start with the positives.
We arrived in the early afternoon by Taxi from the Train Station. Fare was approx. 12 Euros. There is no ramp to wheel your suitcases, so unless you’re willing to carry them, the bellman is more than happy to assist you and have delivered to your room. Check in was proficient, no long queues. We were provided an overview of the Restaurants/Hours of operation and services available during our stay. We were informed that we were located in a quiet area of the hotel. I inquired if it was possible to move to a room with a balcony. It was possible, but we decided to stay where we were as the receptionist said it would be too noisy. I also inquired about the 5 pm Tour of the hotel/property. I was informed that it wasn’t happening that evening, but someone would get back to me when it was available – NOTE- I never received a follow up on the tour, and saw many taking the 5pm tour on other nights.
Off to room 291 – on the third floor. The lobby is just stunning. Everywhere you turn there are lovely flower arrangements, amazing tiles, crown molding, and pictures of famous people who’ve stayed at the property. Elevators are old school. You open a door to enter the elevator, and a little on the small side. You can also take the stairs, which we opted to do most days. The room was lovely, a little on the small side, but more than adequate. The crown molding/plaster work was amazing. I really took to the Moorish theme. The standard room set up, but the wardrobes were not big enough to store our suitcases, so we had to leave them out in a corner. I like the fact that the window has an automatic black out shutter at the flip of a switch. This is especially helpful on those hot days. Robes and slippers for both, nightly turn down service with 2 bottles of water left every night. Bathroom was nice, standard bath/shower set up which is a little hard to figure out at first. Toiletries were nice, and replaced daily for both of us. The vanity area lacked storage space, but there is a shelf under the vanity. Housekeeping was never an issue. Our room was always spotless. Hotel Management had a lovely bottle of Cava and note delivered to our room to recognize a special occasion. We really appreciated the kind gesture.
Pool: We enjoyed the pool a few times, usually at the end of the day, and days are longer in Seville. It bothers me that guests just leave towels on the chairs in the prime area, but the chair sits vacant. I think the attendants can do a better job removing towels of un-occupied chairs. The pool area is lovely. The temperature of the water is a little cooler, but when it’s 98 degrees out, it’s refreshing. The loungers are very comfortable, with cushions on the chairs. Towels are plentiful. I will comment on poolside service when I address the negatives.
Restaurants: We had dinner one evening in the open courtyard. The dinner was fabulous. It was refreshing to have a nice sit down meal vs. tapas. I expect a certain amount of snobbery in a hotel like Alfonso, but I found the Maitre’D to be boarder line rude with his snobbery. For example – making a face of disgust when we suggested we would share an appetizer. Snobbery aside, the meal was absolutely delicious and reasonable price point. After asking the Maitre’D for our check and sitting there for almost 30 minutes, we had to ask again. There was no apology on his part for the long wait. I received a 15% discount offer for SPG members. I checked with front desk if I needed to show the offer to the restaurant or would it be automatically applied to my bill. They said it would be applied automatically and no action was required on my part. It was not applied despite my proactive efforts. This was settled on check-out. I highly recommend getting the club sandwich for lunch. It was one of the best clubs I’ve ever had. Again, the experience was tainted by having to ask repeatedly for our check. Simply no excuse. Meanwhile,
American Bar/Terrace Bar:
The American Bar makes some great drinks. There are drink menus are you can simply view the drink menu on an ipad. Quality is not in question. Only the finest ingredients are used and that was evident. Terrace Bar is lovely. It was never busy. That’s probably because you had to wait forever to get served that people gave up. We really enjoyed relaxing there before and after dinner. The furniture is very comfortable and cigars are welcome.
Breakfast was included in our room rate. If you wish to purchase, I believe it was 24 Euros. While the breakfast is good, it wasn’t exceptional. Yes, there are plenty of fruits, breads, hot items to choose from. But how much can one really eat? We also found to be lacking quality. Items took a while to be replenished. The coffee is terrible. Do yourself a favor and ask for a cappuccino. They’re more than happy to make any espresso drink for you. There is an omelet station or you can have eggs cooked to order. Salt and pepper was not on the tables, and I always had to ask or seek out myself. You can eat outside in the courtyard, or inside. Despite other comments about service at breakfast, we actually found the opposite of our experiences. Service was never an issue for us.
Wi-Fi: Complimentary in the lobby area. If you have dinner in the courtyard, they will also give you a Wi-Fi code for the faster connection. We really didn’t use that often as we bought SIM cards for our iPhone, but when we did use it, it was pretty fast.
Even luxury has some issues! The NOISE in the room WAS UNBEARABLE. Absolutely no soundproofing. I want to echo what another reviewer stated, it sounds like someone is dragging heavy furniture on the floor above you. Every day it was an issue. We walked around the entire floor trying to find the source and debated moving to another room. Honestly, I don’t think it matters where you’re at in the hotel (unless the top floor). There was noise everywhere. I had the white noise app on my ipad on every night. Housekeeping also does their share of contributing to the problem in the am. They start very early and are very loud with their carts and conversations.
SERVICE: By far the biggest negative for us. We actually implemented a 15 minute rule, which quickly became the 30 minute rule. You want something………..it will be 15 minutes. You order a drink at the pool, arrives at least 15 minutes later (late afternoon when not busy). American Bar – Want a drink, wait 15 minutes for the bartender to come over………wait another 15 minutes for the drink…………..and wait another 15 minutes for the check (when asking once we received our drinks).
Inconsistent rules: One night, towels are cleared at the pool at 6 pm, bar shut, music off. Another night at 7:30pm, music on, bar open, no rush to vacate. Outside courtyard in the afternoon, people having cocktails at 5:30pm, smoking. We come another evening at 5:30ish for a cocktail and told we can’t go out there, they’re setting up for dinner and there is no service. Really! Right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. One night the terrace bar was open at this time, anther night it was closed at that time.
Summary: We really enjoyed our stay at the Alfonso. There are some serious service issues management needs to address. I’ve seen management respond to several posts on TA, yet the same service issues come up in subsequent reviews, months later. We’re mixed if we would return to the Alfonso. I will follow future posts to see if noted improvements to service
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Discover the recently renovated Hotel Alfonso XIII, Seville. Since its inauguration in 1928 the Hotel Alfonso XIII has been the preferred rendezvous for residents of Seville and elite travelers from around the world.From the moment you pass through the entrance of the Hotel Alfonso XIII a world of luxury is your's to explore. Discover the 151 rooms and suites at the newly renovated Hotel Alfonso XIII, Seville, totally equipped and furnished with luxury and comfort. The hotel guestrooms have been decorated with three different elegant styles: Andaluz, Moorish and Castillian rooms. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Alfonso Xiii Seville
- Hotel Alfonso Xiii