Hotel Of The Week: Hospes Palau de la Mar, Valencia

Cool, sleek, inviting and oh so laid back. That's the Hospes Palau de la Mar in Valencia. It's a former aristocratic townhouse restored in keeping with the Spanish city's regeneration

I was proof that ladies more than perspire. In the 35C heat I was desperate to find somewhere with air conditioning. But all the savvy Valencianos had gone home for a siesta. I stepped into the Palau de la Mar where everything was cool, from the dazzling white walls that curve into the yawning arches of the ceiling, to the smart staff that appeared from nowhere to assist with carrying bags.

Occupying a pair of 19th-century listed buildings, the hotel encapsulates Valencia's recent regeneration. Inside, the Palau retains the ambience of the graceful townhouse in which it stands, the decor taking inspiration both from its history as a former aristocratic home and from its surroundings.

First, the light: drenched by the sun for most of the year, Valencia is also illuminated by festivals such as the explosive Fiesta de San Juan summer solstice celebrations, reflected in the hotel's gaping windows and bright white interior.

Second, the sea: the hotel's name translates as Palace of the Sea and the city will also host the America's Cup this summer, so a scaled-down replica yacht of the Alinghi team takes centre stage in the lobby.

Last, the dark wood used throughout and the lush courtyard garden are nods to the region's fecundity: Valencia still enjoys its legacy as the garden of Spain. Original features such as the grand lobby, colossal wooden front doors and carved staircase preserve the history.

The location

In the gentrified Eixample Noble district, a short walk from the trendy bars and restaurants in the labyrinthine old town. The impressive Modernista train station is about 10 minutes' walk and the main shops of Calle de Colon are even closer. The lush gardens that have reclaimed the drained riverbed of the Turia are at the end of the road.

The comfort factor

Besides the cloud-like beds, draped with Egyptian cotton and bolstered by an array of soft and squishy pillows (there's a menu if they aren't to your liking), there's also a moody black-slate spa to unwind in with a small hydrotherapy lap pool, sauna and steam room. Four treatment rooms based on each of the elements surround the central courtyard. The 66 rooms also feature plasma-screen TVs with satellite channels and cordless phones and there is complimentary internet in the library.

The bathroom

Take an empty washbag. The bathroom is stocked with a generous supply of Korres Natural Products, from vials of shampoos and shower gels, to a lip balm, deodorant and a chic wooden comb. The goodies only temporarily divert attention from the smart white marble bathrooms, offset by dark wood and shallow tray sinks - accessed from the bedroom via a Japanese-style sliding wooden door.

The food and drink

At the restaurant, Senzone, breakfast is an art. Delicate slithers of pata negra ham, tiny pastries, mosaics of fruit and jugs of sweet Valencian orange juice adorn the buffet table, and scrambled eggs come zig-zagged with basil oil. During the evening it serves modern Spanish fare, using local produce including herbs from the courtyard garden to create dishes such as cherry gazpacho.

The people

Despite the design, the hotel is laid back and attracts wealthy weekenders (this is the boutique hotel in Valencia), families, business travellers and the odd celebrity. (David Beckham is rumoured to stay when in town.) The honchos of the America's Cup will also take over the hotel.

The area

Less kooky than Barcelona but just as vibrant, there's plenty to keep visitors occupied, from the charismatic Barrio del Carmen in the old town to the futuristic architecture of the City of Arts and Science. It's also the home of paella: work your way around the specialist restaurants sampling the variations from the traditional (snail and rabbit) to the modern (seafood), then wash it down with a glass of horchata (a dubiously refreshing drink made from tigernuts) in the Modernista food market.

The access

The nature of the building means that access for guests with disabilities is difficult and there are no specially designed rooms, although there is lift access to all floors.

The damage

Doubles start at €193 (£138), room only. Breakfast costs €16 (£11.50).

The address

Hospes Palau de la Mar, Navarro Reverter 14, Valencia, Spain (00 34 963 162 884; hospes.es).

Sport
sportGareth Bale, Carl Froch and Kelly Gallagher also in the mix for award
News
Japan's Suntory Beverage & Food has bought GlaxoSmithKline's Lucozade and Ribena
news
News
A tongue-eating louse (not the one Mr Poli found)
newsParasitic louse appeared inside unfilleted sea bass
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne celebrates after salvaging a point with the Southampton equaliser
footballAston Villa vs Southampton report
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Out and about: for 'Glee' character Bert Hummel, having a gay son was a learning curve
lifeEven 'cool' parents need help parenting gay teens
News
peopleJack Monroe accuses David Cameron of 'misty-eyed rhetoric'
News
The illusionist believes hypnotism helped him to deal with the lack of control he felt growing up
people
News
Tana Ramsay gave evidence in a legal action in which her husband, Gordon, is accusing her father, Christopher Hutcheson, of using a ghost writer machine to “forge” his signature
peopleTana Ramsay said alleged discovery was 'extremely distressing'
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Windsor and Aljaz Skorjanec rehearse their same-sex dance together on Strictly Come Dancing
TV
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Money
Anyone over the age of 40 seeking a loan with a standard term of 25 years will be borrowing beyond a normal retirement age of 65, and is liable to find their options restricted
propertyAnd it's even worse if you're 40
Arts and Entertainment
Perhaps longest awaited is the adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road with Brazil’s Walter Salles directing and Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart and Viggo Mortensen as the Beat-era outsiders
books
Arts and Entertainment
theatreSinger to join cast of his Broadway show after The Last Ship flounders at the box office
Life and Style
fashion'To start singing with Pharrell is not that bad, no?'
News
news
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Investigo: Group Financial Controller

    £50000 - £55000 per annum: Investigo: A growing group of top end restaurants l...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Excellent opportunities are available for par...

    Investigo: IT Auditor

    £60000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits : Investigo: A global leading travel busi...

    Recruitment Genius: Chef De Partie x 2

    £16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This charming and contemporary ...

    Day In a Page

    In a world of Saudi bullying, right-wing Israeli ministers and the twilight of Obama, Iran is looking like a possible policeman of the Gulf

    Iran is shifting from pariah to possible future policeman of the Gulf

    Robert Fisk on our crisis with Iran
    The young are the new poor: A third of young people pushed into poverty

    The young are the new poor

    Sharp increase in the number of under-25s living in poverty
    Greens on the march: ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’

    Greens on the march

    ‘We could be on the edge of something very big’
    Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby - through the stories of his accusers

    Revealed: the case against Bill Cosby

    Through the stories of his accusers
    Why are words like 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?

    The Meaning of Mongol

    Why are the words 'mongol' and 'mongoloid' still bandied about as insults?
    Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

    Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

    Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
    Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

    The last Christians in Iraq

    After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
    Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

    Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

    Britain braced for Black Friday
    Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

    From America's dad to date-rape drugs

    Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
    Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

    Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

    As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
    Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

    Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

    The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
    Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

    The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

    Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
    Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

    Flogging vlogging

    First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
    Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

    Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

    US channels wage comedy star wars
    When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

    When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

    When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible