Best hotels and hostels in Spain

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Ronda

    Hotel Soho Boutique Palacio San Gabriel

    Despite new chain-hotel management, this heavyweight historic edifice retains its age-old charm, filled with antiques and faded photographs that offer an insight into Ronda’s history – bullfighting, celebrities and all. Ferns hang down the huge mahogany staircase, and there's a billiard room, a cosy living room stacked with books, and a DVD-screening room with 10 velvet-covered seats rescued from Ronda’s theatre. The rooms are filled with wonderful details (the phones might have come from Downton Abbey) and some of the bathrooms are downright palatial. Check the website for packages that include cava (sparkling wine) in the room, vineyard tours and hammam visits.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in L'Eixample

    El Palace

    Launched in 1919 as the Ritz (with Paris, London and Madrid), Barcelona's dazzling luxury original continues to wow a century later. The 120 exquisitely updated rooms retain their historic charm; the six top-tier suites are styled for celebrity guests. It's all complemented by state-of-the-art facilities including a Mayan-inspired spa and Modernista-style rooftop gardens with pool, restaurant and bar basking in 360-degree views. Other drinking and dining options include a plush basement cocktail bar with its own humidor. Cots, high chairs and kids' menus are available for junior guests. Freddie Mercury famously composed Exercises in Free Love at the piano here.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Ronda

    Aire de Ronda

    Located in a particularly tranquil part of town, this hotel is one of those old-on-the-outside, supermodern-on-the-inside places that Spain does so well. Smart minimalist rooms come in punchy black and white, and fabulous bathrooms have shimmering silver- or gold-coloured mosaic tiles, walk-in showers and, in one romantic couples’ room, a glass partition separating the shower from the bedroom.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Catedral & Barrio de Santa Cruz

    Legado Alcázar

    Formerly part of the Alcázar royal palace, this stylish art-clad hotel looks onto the palace gardens, whose peacocks used to roost in one of the suites. Rooms range from bijou, with archaeological remains under the floor, to majestic, with wood-beamed ceilings, contemporary furniture, garden views and an outdoor balcony shower. Set-menu breakfasts (€15) are served in a pretty cafe-style room.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Cantabria

    Molino Tejada

    A wonderful place to kick back, this 16th-century watermill amid extensive riverside gardens, 1km east of Polientes, has been stunningly renovated by its owner, locally born but now California-based designer Celia Tejada. A black-and-white theme runs throughout the property, with its spacious common areas, soft furnishings and varied art and ethnic-flavoured artisanry. The nine large, TV-free apartments sport well-equipped kitchens and big comfy beds. The included buffet breakfast is served in a bright, ample building of its own; other facilities include a mini-cinema and a large lounge with piano, honesty bar and a glass floor revealing the millstream flowing beneath – a feature also enjoyed by the two apartments set in the gardens, where you'll find a pool, a Turkish bath and broad sitting decks. There's normally a two-night minimum stay. There are fine walks in the nearby hills and along the Ebro, and free bicycles for guests.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in East Coast Asturias

    La Casona de Amandi

    This exquisite 19th-century country house in Amandi village, 1.5km south of Villaviciosa, oozes character. The wonderfully comfy rooms are endowed with antique furnishings, plenty of pillows, well-equipped bathrooms and original chestnut floors. Common areas are spacious and relaxing, especially the beautiful garden with centenarian wisteria and sequoia. There are weekly Pilates and yoga classes too. Also here is the excellent restaurant Pušáki, concocting highly original, internationally inspired creations from locally sourced, organic ingredients for its weekly six-course menú. They do dinner for hotel guests (€39 including drinks) Tuesday to Saturday, as well as lunches open to all, and the hotel's breakfasts. Book lunch or dinner at least 24 hours ahead.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Málaga Province

    La Fructuosa

    Ask to see the photo album that documents the Belgian owners' loving restoration of this exquisite small hotel. Original features have been retained as far as possible, and exposed stone, original beams, terracotta tiles and dark-wood antiques complete the high-end rustic look. Downstairs off the breakfast room is a glorious terrace with bucolic valley views. The hotel's restaurant, housed in a former bodega complete with ancient wine press, serves a creative menu that ranges from fennel velouté with toasted pistachios, to asparagus and lemon risotto, to braised lamb with Moroccan spices. It really shines on Wednesday nights, when tapas and live music draw a local crowd, and on occasional Sunday evenings when guest chefs are brought in for special international dinners.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Lanzarote

    Finca de Arrieta

    Fancy sleeping in a stylish Mongolian yurt…in the Canaries? Fuelled by wind turbines and solar power, this fabulous British-owned creation hosts guests in silk-interior yurts, stone cottages, wooden cabins and an old family farmhouse, centred on a Manrique-inspired solar-heated pool and chill-out area where paella nights happen. Antique doors and furniture from Indonesia and Morocco adorn the kitchen-equipped accommodation. Owners Tila and Michelle include battery-petrol hybrid cars with most bookings and provide invaluable island tips, organic fruit and veg and fresh eggs from their own chickens. All kinds of activities, from yoga to wine tastings, are offered. The finca is part of the ever-growing Lanzarote Retreats empire, with attractive, eco-conscious properties across the island.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Northern Huelva Province

    Finca Buenvino

    For four decades, the Chesterton family has been welcoming guests to their spectacularly sited salmon-pink farmhouse on a hilltop 10 minutes west of Aracena. Six rooms in varying configurations (including a couple of family-friendly suites) all have high ceilings, charming decor and lovely views over the surrounding countryside. There's a grand living room and a sun porch with wraparound windows. Optional dinners (€35 including wine) and occasional four-day cooking courses (€850 including meals and accommodation) feature recipes from the family's own Buenvino Cookbook. Down the hill are a pair of two-story cottages sleeping up to four people each, surrounded by organic gardens where you can pick your own veggies. All in all, it's a dreamy base for exploring the Aracena area.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Málaga Province

    Finca El Cerrillo

    The kind of cathartic rural retreat that’ll make you want to up sticks and come live in Andalucía, Finca El Cerrillo is a longtime labour of love for British owners Sue and Gordon Kind. It inhabits an old olive-oil mill on the northern side of Canillas de Albaida (4km from Cómpeta), attracting art- and walking-focused groups and indie travellers. Rooms are comfortable without sacrificing authenticity, and there’s ample space around the rambling building to do yoga, paint, take in the view or just bask in the sun. Inviting common areas include a stately lounge, a magically illuminated tree house bar, and a flowery terrace with a cool pool where you’ll want to spend 10 minutes admiring the view before jumping in. Dinner is available most nights (and breakfast daily).

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Alicante Province

    Cases Noves

    Run by brilliant Sofia and Toni, this is B&B taken to a whole new level and worth travelling a long way for. The five thoughtfully designed bedrooms come with fresh flowers and numerous excellent details such as a tablet on which to watch Netflix or order your dinner. The gorgeous terrace offers views of the distant sea and the floodlit village. There's a fireplace in winter and year-round great advice on local sights and the splendid opportunities for hill walking and cycling (they’ll fit you out with hiking kit and a packed lunch for €7.50). Three-course evening meals (€22.50) are fantastic, but if you can, time your arrival to coincide with the 10-course Saturday-evening affair (€30) – absolutely fabulous. It doesn't take young children. Book ahead.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Sierra de Aracena

    Finca La Fronda

    Tucked away amid cork/chestnut forest, La Fronda makes the perfect hillside hideaway. Modern-rustic charm abounds in the bright lounge, Mudéjar-inspired patio and huge, flowery rooms with splashes of British character. Spectacular vistas of Alájar and the Peña de Arias Montano unfold from the rose-fringed pool, and the Saturday evening dinner concerts in the finca's dining room are not to be missed. It's all under the loving care of the gracious Wordsworth family (yes, by the way, they are descendants of the poet), who are generous in sharing their love and knowledge of the local area; they can arrange jamón tastings, horse riding and hiking. It's signposted off the HU8105 at the top of the hill between Alájar and Linares de la Sierra.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Córdoba

    Patio del Posadero

    A 15th-century building in a quiet lane 1km east of the Mezquita has been superbly converted into a welcoming boutique hideaway combining comfort and unique contemporary design with that old-Córdoba Moorish style. At its centre is a charming cobble-floored, brick-arched patio, with steps leading up to a lovely upper deck with plunge pool, where the first-class homemade breakfasts are served. The handful of rooms, with themes like the Córdoban countryside, flamenco and Moorish culture, have king- or queen-size beds, carved-wood doors and lots of tadelakt (a waterproof Moroccan lime plaster) giving an appealingly unusual finish to the bathrooms. Your friendly, welcoming hosts offer as much help and info on Córdoba as you like.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Girona

    Mil Estrelles

    Stargazers will adore this unique, owner-designed country hideaway, 16km north of Girona. Fabulously combining old stone and modern plastic, it offers three lovably rustic rooms in a noble 18th-century farmhouse, as well as fun, stylish rooms (some with bath tubs) in clear plastic bubbles scattered around the garden, perfect for spotting constellations from the comfort of your double bed. It's all designed for couples, with eco credentials in mind; there are no bathroom doors and facilities include a floatarium, sauna and hot tub, along with massages. Dinners are available, often delivered to your room. It's 1.5km northwest of Pont-Xetmar (which is on the C66) and well signposted. Book ahead, and leave the kids at home.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Castilla y León

    Santa Cruz

    Now here's something a little bit special. Fernando and Carmen have been largely responsible for bringing this charming stone village back to life. Their lovely rural home is beautifully restored and decorated with exposed stone walls, polished floorboards, comfortable beds and a general warmth – it's the sort of place where you'll want to stay longer than you planned. Cash only. The village has few year-round residents and lies in a valley at the end of a quiet rural road, close to the Portuguese border. To get here, start in the regional centre of Villardeciervos and take the ZA-P-2639 to the northwest. After passing through Codesal, take the ZA-P-2640 and then follow the signs to Santa Cruz de los Cuérragos.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Madrid

    Hotel Puerta América

    Given the location of their hotel (halfway between the city and the airport), the owners knew they had to do something special – to build a self-contained world so innovative and luxurious that you’d never want to leave. Their idea? Give 22 of architecture’s most creative names (eg Zaha Hadid, Norman Foster, Ron Arad, David Chipperfield, Jean Nouvel) a floor each to design. The result is an extravagant pastiche of styles, from zany montages of 1980s chic to bright-red bathrooms that feel like a movie star’s dressing room. Even the bar (‘a temple to the liturgy of pleasure’), restaurant, facade, gardens, public lighting and car park had their own architects. It’s an extraordinary, astonishing place.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Sierra de Aracena

    Posada de San Marcos

    Andalucía's first European Eco-Label hotel, this brilliantly restored 200-year-old house bordering a stream in the heart of Alájar runs on geothermal energy, rain harvesting and natural-cork insulation. The six comfortably rustic, airy rooms have big terraces, breakfast is homemade, and welcoming Spanish-English hosts Ángel and Lucy are experts on local hiking. The pool looks across the village to the peña. The owners take pride in sharing Aracena's culture with guests, offering tastings of local olive oil, goat cheese and DOC Iberian ham (per person €40), along with walking holiday packages. Lucy makes excellent three-course dinners upon request (per person €25, plus €12 per bottle of wine).

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Northeastern Mallorca

    Cases de Son Barbassa

    Rising like a dream of Mallorcan aristocratic luxury from fields of almond, olive and carob, capped by a 16th-century stone tower, this traditional finca hotel approaches the sublime. The rooms nail rural chic, dressed in local stone and wood, while suites come with jetted tubs. Lazy days here revolve around the pool lined with cabana beds and an open-air whirlpool. Beautifully designed communal areas, an outstanding restaurant with a mountain-view terrace, and gardens fragrant with herbs, lavender and roses complete the picture: Cases de Son Barbassa is one of rural Mallorca's best. It's located just off the road to Cala Mesquida, and signposted off the main Artà–Cala Ratjada road.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Rías Baixas

    Quinta de San Amaro

    A dream base for enjoying the Rías Baixas, unique Quinta de San Amaro sits surrounded by vineyards 12km south of Cambados. With inspired traditional-meets-contemporary design, first-class service and a relaxed atmosphere, it unites 14 different rooms with diverse common spaces, including an inviting pool and lovely gardens. An important part of the magic is the panoramic restaurant, serving delicious updates on traditional Galician cuisine (open to all; reservations recommended). Groups of four or more can do cooking classes (Galician, Mexican, Moroccan...) in a lovely big kitchen for €55 per person, including a full meal based on what you've prepared.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Central Mallorca

    Es Castell

    The Es Castell is an 11th-century farm estate, set out on a ledge by itself in the shadow of the mountains. It encompasses a muddle of sturdy stone houses and 300 hectares of olive groves, and makes the perfect rural escape. The on-site restaurant does wonderful, simple things with good produce, much of it grown on the estate. The gentle hum of cicadas and clang of sheep bells are your soundtrack at this adorable finca. The rooms are appealingly rustic, with terracotta floors, timber furniture and marble-topped chests of drawers. In keeping with the hotel's eco-friendly approach, the vast majority of the food served is home-grown or market-sourced.