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“A disappointing introduction to the Paradors”
Review of Parador de Tortosa

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Parador de Tortosa
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Tortosa
Biarritz, France
Level Contributor
461 reviews
79 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 267 helpful votes
“A disappointing introduction to the Paradors”
Reviewed November 6, 2012

This was our first stay in a Parador hotel. After having taken clients to the Parador in Hondarribia my expectations were high. The location is excellent and commands wonderful views over the valley and to the mountains nearby. The older part of the building is very interesting but constitutes the smallest part (overall) of the entire complex.

When we tried to book online the system allocated us a twin room - I definitely selected a double. So after some umming and ahing we decided we would cancel and stay somewhere else if they did not have any doubles left. It was very difficult to get through to them on the phone or by email to the point where we just turned up at the hotel to see what the situation was.

The receptionist was friendly and helpful. Our room had been cancelled and they only had a Superior double room available. It was more expensive but we went for it as we had been driving for a long time. The room was located in the modern wing of the building (as are the rest of the rooms). Way too big for our needs; porch, lounge, bathroom, bedroom and balcony and an unpleasant smell. It was clear that we were the first people to stay in this room for a while.
Everything had a slightly worn out feel about it. The white plastics in the bathroom were all yellowing and there were plenty of chips and scratches on most surfaces. We haven't lived in a house with a bath for a while so that was used straight away, even though the water started coming out of the taps a muddy brown colour.

Out on the balcony a quick scan around the rest of the rooms looking onto the courtyard revealed that most weren't occupied. This was surprising as we were under the impression that the only double room left was this more expensive room...

The swimming pool was cold (don't know if it was meant to be heated) and had quite a lot of insects on the surface. It was also meant to have a lifeguard at certain times of the day - I never saw one.

In the evening we had a drink at the bar and then dinner in the restaurant. The individual meal prices on the menu are quite expensive - clearly a way to try and steer you to choose the Menu del dia. Customer service was poor, it felt like were in publicly-owned restaurant being served by civil servants. Food was bland and tasteless and several corners had been cut from the advertised menu. I can't remember the name of the dish but one was a traditional starter and certain items had been repeated rather than having a taster of each individual thing.
Main courses were more of the same - slightly too greasy for my tastes too. Desserts were from a packet, I could taste the chemicals. The photos I have provided along with this review show the strange sickly yellow lighting in the room too.

So overall not a good experience. They have a lot of other incredible buildings around the country but I'm not sure whether I'll try another if service and quality inside will be the same.

Room Tip: Rooms on the west side can see the car park and the mountain ranges.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank BiarritzTaxi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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671 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (33)
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Barcelona, Spain
Level Contributor
29 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed November 4, 2012

I am a big fan of Paradores, and would like to visit them all in my lifetime. I wouldn't rank Tortosa near the top, though. It is dated, and a bit dull (compared to others). Still, it is a nice hotel for a weekend escape, or as a starting point for exploring the Ebro River delta.

The room was laid out in a typical Parador style - imitation period furniture, wooden window blinds. It was clean. Nice view from the balcony. Even though the furniture was dated, the bed and linen must have been updated recently - they were very good.

Unfortunately, the hotel is near the Ebro river, and that means mosquitoes. I managed to kill 3 before going to bed, but still didn't get a good night sleep "thanks" to the one I missed. And that was on a cold day at the end of October!

Other unfortunate thing was that half of the hotel was closed - the part where the bar and the halls are. I would have liked visiting it.

But my favourite Parador experience - reading a newspaper in a comfortable armchair in a beautiful historical setting after breakfast on a quiet Sunday morning - that I was able to do.

Speaking of breakfast: Excellent! Served on each floor separately, only for the rooms on that floor - less crowded. Great selection, excellent quality, many local products.

I can recommend this hotel for a romantic weekend escape, or as a stopover on a "Ruta de Paradores". Just make sure you bring a mosquito repellent.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank K1000B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Moraira, Spain
Level Contributor
35 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed October 31, 2012

We our great fans of Paradores, so we naturally had great expectations when we stayed there for one night.
On the positive side, the exterior of the hotel looked spectacular and the lady receptionist was most welcoming. That is all the positive side. The inside of the hotel is faded and tired. Our bedroom needed updating, including the easy chair which was spectacularly uncomfortable. Likewise the bar area was uncomfortable and uninviting. The attitude of some of the staff was surprisingly lacking in basic customer care skills. There is definitely a need for more staff training - both in the bar and in the restaurant. Dinner was a non event. Overpriced, simple food served by disinterested staff. Rather like a mass catering dining experience! The over large room in which it was served was very depressing; dull and dark and not enhanced by loud piped music. However the breakfast was excellent and was held in a different, bright and cheerful room - if you ignored the threadbare carpet leading up to the entrance. The waiting staff at breakfast were really pleasant and obliging.
Overall we thought our stay was not good value for money. It has jaundiced our view of Parador hotels. We will need to be much more careful in our choice of Paradores in future. We believe we could have stayed elsewhere in the area more comfortably and at less cost.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Paloma151
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Silves, Portugal
Level Contributor
100 reviews
88 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
Reviewed October 9, 2012

Driving up to the parador is quite an experience and the views from the top are just wonderful. You actually drive under an arch through the parador with the recepetion and sleeping area to one side of the road and a large bar the other side with the dining area above. The reception, bar and dining room make up the old part of the parador and there is a more modern L shaped bedroom wing attached to the reception. I seem to recall reading somewhere that parking was limited, but this was not the case at all.

The receptionist was friendly and spoke good English so we had a seamless check-in. We had a standard room on the 2nd floor which was a good size and very clean with a lovely large balcony. The rooms were quite dark and "chunky" and a little old fashioned, but it sort or matched the surroundings so we were fine with the decor.

We had a quiet drink in the bar area before having dinner in the huge dining room upstairs. The service was a little slow and a bit antiquated as drinks and amuse bouches were trundled around on old trolleys which reminded us of the film "Thoroughly Modern Millie" - I think if they'd squeaked as well, we'd have been helpless with laughter. The food was fine, but not outstanding as I can't actually remember what we had, but I do remember enjoying it. We did think that the bill was quite high for what we'd had. We didn't bother with breakfast as we're not morning people plus it was incredibly expensive.

All in all, a very pleasant and relaxing experience with amazing views.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Iberian_Lynx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cantley, Canada
Level Contributor
82 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed October 8, 2012

What a great experience! The site of this Parador is wonderful with breathtaking views. Our room was lovely and decorated in a medieval style and was clean. We also had a nice balcony overlooking the surroundings and city views. The breakfast had great variety and was very good.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank EBen16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
132 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
Reviewed October 5, 2012

The hotel is in a stunning location with great views across the Ebre valley. The quality of the rooms was more a 3-star level, but they did have a lot of character, with traditional doors and shutters complementing the woodwork of the old part of the building.

The service was terrible. The receptionist took 15 minutes to check us in, never smiling, and the staff in the restaurant were particularly grumpy.The barman ignored us for ten minutes, concentrating on very slowly loading his dishwasher before making eye contact.

The food was pricey, so expectations were high. The reality was acceptable...but small portions and served too quickly, as if they wanted to squeeze a sitting in every hour.

My advice is to get a room cheaply here via expedia, but go the supermarket and bring your own breakfast and local cava to have on the balcony.Then you can enjoy the view and not suffer with the service.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank James B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Henley-on-Thames, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
149 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 88 helpful votes
Reviewed September 25, 2012

This was the fifth Parador that we visited in a recent trip to see friends in Spain. Tortosa is quite a large and interesting town situated on the River Ebro quite near the delta which has some wonderful wildlife. The Parador is in a lovely medieval setting overlooking the town with great views. Many of the rooms have balconies overlooking the view and there is a delightful open air pool available to guests. As with many Paradors you need to bring your luggage up a number of steps into reception and then there are more steps before you reach the lift. there did seem to be potential to get level access through the bar area but this wasnt offered and so it was quite a tortuous process. Disabled guests may have a problem here. Reception was not inspiring and even though we booked two rooms as "Amigos" they only offered the free drink to one room, even though our friends also signed up to join the loyalty club. In another Parador at Bielsa they encouraged you to join by offering the drinks if you signed up! Given the cost of a couple of glasses of loac wine this seemed a bit mean spirited! The rooms were Ok though our friends had to reject the first room as there was a strong smell of smoking (even though the rooms are all meant to be non smoking. The second room and our room were OK though. Quite spacious, the twins seemed better than the doubles? Clean and airy with french windows to the balcony and efficient air conditioning. A large bathroom with double sinks and a decent sized bath with shower over. Also a bidet. The rugs over the tiled floor in the bedroom looked a bit worn and you wondered whether they often got cleaned or replaced (again in Bielsa they provided a linen foot mat to go by the side of the bed, but not here! Beds were comfortable and we enjoyed a good nights sleep. The free wifi in the room was poor and kept disconnecting and wasnt much better in the public areas so we gave up trying to use it in the end. Breakfast was the regular parador menu, with eggs cooked to order though shame they didnt just cook the bacon and sausages to oreder as well as they were on the buffet and once again stone cold (as in most of the other Paradors). Nice fresh orange juice and also fresh Kiwi fruit juice and excellent pastries. Dinner in the baronial dining room however was grim. Poor service and poor food. Dont bother eating there go into town would be my advice. Definitely the worst food we experienced in the 5 Paradors we visited. The staff were surly and uncommunicative. This let down the stay and we certainly wouldnt return or recommend this particvular Parador on that aspect alone.

Room Tip: Ask for a twin with balcony.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank GastroInn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Parador de Tortosa

Property: Parador de Tortosa
Address: Castillo de la Zuda S/N, 43500 Tortosa, Spain
Location: Spain > Catalonia > Province of Tarragona > Terres de l'Ebre > Tortosa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Hotels in Tortosa
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Parador de Tortosa 4*
Number of rooms: 72
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Parador De Tortosa Hotel Tortosa

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