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“Parador Paradise! Great sunny weekend break.”

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Parador de Alcala de Henares
Ranked #1 of 18 Hotels in Alcala De Henares
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 19, 2012

We booked a very last- minute break to this hotel at the end of July to try and escape the dismal UK weather, and ended up having the most perfect weekend. We were looking for a hotel out of Madrid city centre (but not too far from the airport) that had a good pool and was within walking distance to good restaurants and interesting sights. The old University town of Alcala de Henares with its funky part-modern, part ancient Parador seemed to fit the bill perfectly.

The ultra-modern hotel interior may not be to everone's taste (we loved it) but was very well run, spotlessly clean and right in the centre of this ancient city (very like Oxford or Cambridge in the UK). There were numerous restaurants dotted among the ancient buildings (be warned though most menus are entirely in Spanish) and we found the food and drink excellent value compared to the UK, especially as drinks always arrive with a tapas dish. Alcala is very picturesque and it was delightful to see storks nesting on the roofs of the old buildings and flying overhead.

The pool at the hotel was just as inviting as the photos suggested and we found it hard to tear ourselves away from it in temperatures of 35C. We had been a bit worried about the lack of sun beds in the photos, but there were quite a few, and we never had a problem finding some, although it was noticeably less crowded after the weekend. Our only gripe was that the pool did not open until 11am, but it stayed open late.

It is worth scouring the official Parador website for special accommodation packages. We chose one that included bed, breakfast, entry to the weird and wonderful 'sensations' spa circuit each day ( really just a series of showers of varying temperatures with a jacuzzi and sauna and steam rooms, but fun for 45 minutes) plus entry to the Thyssen museum in Madrid (which we did not use) for less than the normal bed and breakfast rate. The half board package seemed expensive in comparison, as the set dinner included was only 34euros per person anyway.

Breakfast was great, a huge buffet with plenty of choice and eggs cooked separately if you wanted them, served in a lovely room . We dined in the town on our first night, but tried the hotel set menu the second and were blown away by the quality and presentation of the food. We chose to eat outside in the lovely courtyard but inside was great, too. The food was typical Spanish regional cuisine and we drank the nicest Rioja I have ever tasted! There were 4 or 5 choices for each course so you might get a bit weary of the half board option for a longer stay, but there is also an a la carte menu for added choice (although more pricey).

It is worth visiting the bar before dinner : my husband and sons were intrigued by the 'design your own gin and tonic' menu (we had not realised there were so many brands of gin and types of tonic!) and have been trying to replicate them at home ever since!

All in all, we all felt the weekend was a great success, and amazing value. It was our first visit to a Parador, but would love to visit more around Spain (there is another at Chinchon just a little further out of Madrid which looks equally delightful, with more traditional interiors).

Room Tip: We chose basic rooms but they were huge with excellent bathrooms. If you want to be near the Spa ask...
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank PEHSurrey_UK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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143 - 149 of 1,023 reviews

Reviewed August 14, 2012

Built inside the walls of an old convent but with modern rooms inside. We didnt eat in the restaurant at night but the breakfast was very comprehensive.
The Parador has a very good swimming pool with bar area.
Very close to the old city of Alcala which is on the main train line to Madrid.
The Staff were very pleasant and spoke good English..

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Harrythehat63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2012

We selected this hotel to celebrate our wedding and we are so glad we did, the staff were friendly, helpful and professional. The hotel itself is ultra modern inside with all modern features and the exterior retains its former glory as a convent. The food was wonderful, the breakfast has a great selection and the amenities were second to none, the pool was a great place to relax in the June heat. I would recommend this hotel to anyone who plans to visit Alcala which is a beautiful historic city.

Room Tip: Upgrade to a suite they are very spacious and immaculate
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank RonBeijing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2012

We travelled through Spain for our Silver Wedding staying at various locatins/hotels., but this was the first time at a Parador hotel, it was everything we had hoped for and more. Excellent service, friendly and helpful staff, fantastic rooms, superb food and just a short walk to Alcala de Henares.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with Easytobook.com
1  Thank samsunshines
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 3, 2012

This Parador was part of our planned "UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE CITIES" route. It is ultra-modern, astoundingly designed around an ancient core. The rooms were excellent but the sophisticated ambience-focussed lighting was a challenge to this somewhat technologically challenged visitor. The windows on the ground floor looked out onto a private bamboo garden and our room was not overlooked. A cool, quiet haven and a retreat from the sightseeing just on the doorstep. Frustratingly, the hotel pool was filled but out of bounds due, once more, to the Parador's policy of opening after 15th June despite the soaring temperatures. Dinner in the outside patio was one of the best we had during our ten days in Spain. Ideally placed for visiting the ancient university buildings - one night was enough to get a glimpse of this university town and parking was provided free of charge.

Room Tip: The ground floor rooms, not in the high block, are beautifully designed and look out onto a private...
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Ian52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 9, 2012

This is my new favourite parador. Helpful efficient staff, stunning clean rooms, excellent parking and beautiful public areas.
Took advantage of their spa promotion and wasn't disappointed. Breakfast was good and varied......can I live here?

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Superharrio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 12, 2012

Have stayed at many Parador for leisure but this time stayed here for a business conference. Extremely clean, well presented and impressive rooms with great immenities.
Location not optimal but perfect for business meetings or visiting Alcala.
Service was outstanding! Nothing was too much trouble from check-in to check-out. From wait staff through to Reception, for anything I asked, they didn't have to do, but they did it plus more! Small personal touches that really made you feel welcome.
Can't comment on the food as we did not eat at the hotel.
Whilst this venue is not the usual traditional Parador style, it beautifully mixes modern with some original features. Highly recommend this Parador.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled on business
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Thank MrsSuisse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Parador de Alcala de Henares

Address: Calle Colegios 8, 28801 Alcala De Henares, Spain
Location: Spain > Community of Madrid > Alcala De Henares
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 18 Hotels in Alcala De Henares
Price Range: $109 - $254 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Parador de Alcala de Henares 4*
Number of rooms: 128
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the birthplace of Cervantes, where every nook and cranny oozes art and culture, stands the Parador de Alcala, a 17th-century monastery school and student lodgings located in the former San Jeronimo College. However, do not let so much history overwhelm you, because the hotel offers the perfect combination of tradition and avant-garde. The interior decor is of a modern design: tasteful, minimalist and extremely elegant. The services are without par: in addition to the standard offerings at Paradores, there is a spa, business center, convention centers and twelve conference rooms. 26 Kilometers from Madrid, 20 kilometers from Barajas International Airport and the trade fair facilities at IFEMA, and just 2 kilometers from the train station, the Parador's location in this World Heritage City is one of its main advantages. ... more   less 
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