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“A poor quality of service - we will not return.”
Review of Parador de Cuenca

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Parador de Cuenca
Ranked #1 of 11 Hotels in Cuenca
Certificate of Excellence
Salisbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
323 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 123 helpful votes
“A poor quality of service - we will not return.”
Reviewed August 22, 2013

Firstly the good things. Cuenca is a fantastic place to see visit and stay. This was the only place we planned to stay two nights on an extended tour and was also the last stopover on the way to Madrid airport and home. The hotel bathes in a prominent position in the town and shares the building you see. The Church to the right is separate and to be fair the new extension to the right fits in well. You do not need to stay here to have the benefit of this wonderful place.

You would think that with this natural advantage and the prices they were charging along with the Paradores 'reputation' as a Group that you could be expected to be greeted as a 4* guest. Sorry but a cheap hotel chain in the UK comes to mind. We had paid extra for a room with a view but ended up with 305. A view, yes but the tree outside took away the view of the hanging houses - this was disappointing but not essential. The room was 4* but some of the furniture had seen better days.

On arrival at about 17.00 Reception was fairly busy. We were advised of our room number and directed to the room - no offer of help with luggage or concession to age. We elected to pay for parking (€12 per night) and booked a table for two for dinner for €33 per person.

Having rested from our journey it was time to get ready. The internal frosted modesty screen door latch was broken and looked as if it had been in that condition for sometime. Even after 40 years of marriage the double sinks of the en suite fails to overcome a basic failing of being unable to shut the toilet door. This was compounded by the nail that was proud of the wood work by 5 to 10 mm at shoulder height as you entered to bedroom itself. This was evidence of a simple lack of care.

"Don't let it spoil things" and I agree. Changed fresh and looking forward to a first class dinner in the cloister quadrangle with live concert musicians. We arrive on time to a restaurant with 30 people dinning at most. Then a 10 minute wait to be seated followed by a similar wait for a menu only to be able to place an order an hour or so after arrival.

Half way through our first course (A local dish not quite to my taste but I offer no adverse comment) the thunder and lighting started and music stopped. There appeared to be no plan B. Other diners left and ate in the cloister at odd tables - others including us went into the breakfast room and had the main meal there. My sirloin steak arrived and the other main along with it. It was simply inedible and not fit for a dog. We left disappointed and hungry.
Why was nothing said at the time. It had been a special time as it was a Ruby wedding tour and my wife prefers no to make a fuss.

The pre-set breakfast buffet was good value but then it needed to be! We decided to stay out second night. The offer of a free meal with Champagne, if made, would have persuaded us to have diner there again.

With the exception of the room maid and the barman who made a decent cup of tea - I would be hard put to employ any of the staff with whom I had contact in a £ shop.

I have tried to avoid giving any bad reviews and have kept to the facts.

So should you stay here. Yes BUT only if you have the will and resolve to insist and get the service and courtesy you are paying for! Otherwise stay away or go in for a cup of tea if you just want to see the building inside. (Have it outside the bar e.g. on the terrace and that will be 15% extra please!.

One other suggestion Garage fees being charged on a daily rate of €12 could drop a little for the second day and could even be capped a say €25 for stays of three days or more.

The voucher for 15% off a lunch in an other Paradore as we paid the bill. No thank you. Lets get to the Airport!

Room Tip: Room 305 needs some maintenance - You will not see the Hanging Houses because the tree is in direct...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Outofthelaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
4 reviews
Reviewed August 14, 2013

You cant beat the view from the Cuenca Parador to the hilltop town across the easily manageable wooden bridge [don't look down]. Definitely wander up the winding hills and goto the Cathedral - it's impressive. We also enjoyed the abstract art museum in the cliff house; the permanent exhibit is beautifully designed to work with the artwork, floors, tiles and lighting. Both sites are least 15 degrees cooler then outside and in early July that can help. Hotels breakfast was amazing and the thick Spanish hot chocolate is a standout no matter what time of year. Also avail yourself to the jamon, fresh fruit, cava for mimosas, baked goods, egg dishes= all excellent. The hotel grounds include a tennis court and refreshing pool. The hotel was well appointed w/contemporary art and an impressive central courtyard. The front desk staff was helpful and multi-lingual. Rooms had tv, fridge and adequate ac, 2 sink bath w bidet, room safe and hair dryer included. The hotel hosted the wedding we attended which was lovely and lavish. Smartly moving the party to a separate building up the hill so we could dance til morning. So glad we got too Cuenca and stay at the Parador. Gracias.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank sneakyJen007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madrid, Spain
Level Contributor
69 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed August 14, 2013

This Parador has a spectacular location at a hill just besides the old town of Cuenca. It provides beautiful views and nice surroundings - and a pool in summer. You can park your car just at the Parador, and crossing a pedestrian bridge you are right there!

As nearby all Paradores, there is a patina of old times everywhere - but you are by far compensated by spacious rooms and the very architecture of the building, a former monastery. Don't expect ultimate luxury at rooms and bathrooms - but for the price they ask I think quality is fair enough.

If you want to see Cuenca - the best choice for sure.

Room Tip: Upgrade to room with view to Cuenca - you will enjoy the sights
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Joaquin M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ski
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 22, 2013

This hotel has a huge the potential of being perfect. Perfect Room, perfect interior and exterior. But you cant be good if the staff is not. They do all they shall(almost), but nothing extra. Then i include smiling as extra. This is the same in the restaurant, bar and the reception.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Kjetil_Almvik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santiago, Chile
Level Contributor
54 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed July 17, 2013

What a dream location - directly across the river gorge from the emblematic hanging houses. Treat yourself to an upgrade to ensure you get a room with a view - definitely worth it. Room was typical of other Paradors - comfortable, clean, well-equipped, and well-serviced. Breakfast buffet was also typically excellent. Otherwise, the restaurant was unexceptional for lunch. One of our best Parador experiences in Spain - a great property in a relaxing location.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Renee T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
28 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed July 15, 2013

Stayed here recently for one night, hardly any other guests there which we thought was unusual for July until you sample the poor general attitude that this hotel takes towards its guests and then you know why!!!! We received a lukewarm greeting by the receptionist on arrival and we were not offered any help with our bags to our third floor room. The room was nice enough but was small and not worth the 150 Euros per night that we paid for it. We found a dirty glass in the bathroom so housekeeping is obviously a bit shoddy. We had dinner in the hotel and wished we hadn't. In the very large restaurant there were only three tables occupied. We were the last table to leave and it was obvious that the staff wanted us out of the restaurant as they were very nosily clearing away the dinner table settings and setting up for breakfast. The restaurant is supposed to be open until 2300 but we saw a guest being turned away at 2200. The food was ok but was very salty and at 15 Euros a bottle, the wine was very over priced. The breakfast was ok but I had to ask for a fresh fried egg as the ones on the hot plate had obviously been there for some time and the waitress had to be reminded about my request for decaffeinated coffee as she had obviously forgotten this the first time I asked for it and it wasn't busy at all in the restaurant at breakfast. We asked to speak to the manager who was a charming young man who apologised profusely for our experience at his hotel. A tip for anyone reading this is not to eat at the Parador but to take the short walk across the bridge and go in to the town where you will find several good restaurants close by. The staff all appear to be old and have probably worked in this government owned hotel chain for years, their jobs are obviously so secure within the archaic Spanish employment laws that they feel little need to make any effort to help or make the hotel guests feel welcome. Having said all of this the Cuenca Parador is indeed a beautiful old building but as I said at the start of this review, shame about the staff, cost and poor service

Room Tip: Don't bother paying extra for a room with a view of the gorge
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Bellicious
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, England
Level Contributor
98 reviews
46 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
Reviewed July 12, 2013

We stayed at this Parador with friends and it was a curate's egg of a visit. The location is fine, directly across the gorge from the historic town centre and connected via an adjacent iron bridge that crosses the gorge, so it is perfect for a visit to Cuenca. This is a Parador where there is an old original part of the property that was a nunnery, added to with a modern extension. Our rooms were slightly more expensive, on the 3rd floor and overlooking the gorge/bridge/hanging houses in the town. Our room was OK in standard Parador furnishing and the air con worked, albeit a bit warm in the summer heat as the room thermostat didn't have any effect when adjusted. Bathroom fine with twin hand basins.

So far, so good, but dinner was poor on a number of levels: the dining room only had a maximum of 6 diners apart from our group during the evening, but service seemed lacking in welcome and enthusiasm. We arrived at the opening of dinner service at 20:30 and it was meant to be open until 23:00. By 21:50, (still early for Spanish dinner) the staff were clearing all the dining tables noisily and we were under no illusions that our continued presence was not desired as the minimal staff on duty set up the breakfast displays prior to heading home. Our main courses were poor, being produced by a chef who believes that an unbelievably heavy hand with salt is a brilliant idea. Every dish (including vegetables) was hideously over-salted. We eschewed desserts and gave up after just about passable coffee. Parador dinner menus promise much on paper but deliver far less. Our breakfast was OK but our friends (breakfasting later than us) suffered disjointed service and frustration. They had already asked to see the GM (who was personable, courteous and sympathetic) regarding the dinner fiasco and he adjusted our dinner bill, for which we thank him.

Recently, we reviewed another Parador which also suffers comments about poor customer service and in our review we mused that this is not just in Paradors. The Parador organisation seems to have problems in common with Spain itself and, as these hotels are not cheap, such difficulties could prove ever more difficult for the government-owned chain: perhaps it is the ownership plus central direction of Parador customer-facing staff that is the issue here.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sue14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Parador de Cuenca

Property: Parador de Cuenca
Address: Convento De San Pablo Paseo Hoz Del Huecar | Subida a San Pablo s/n, 16001 Cuenca, Spain
Location: Spain > Castile-La Mancha > Province of Cuenca > Cuenca
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 11 Hotels in Cuenca
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Parador de Cuenca 4*
Number of rooms: 63
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
16th-century Convent in late Gothic style, lovingly restored & converted into fascinating Hotel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Parador De Cuenca Hotel Cuenca
Parador De Hotel Cuenca
Cuenca Parador De Hotel

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