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).

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

News
people
Sport
FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Sport
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
athletics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Radamel Falcao was forced to withdraw from the World Cup after undergoing surgery
premier leagueExclusive: Reds have agreement with Monaco
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
music
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
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

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    Day In a Page

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam