Room service:The Hotel Palacio De Santa Ines, Granada


You are likely to arrive at the Palacio de Santa Ines in a bad mood if you try to find it on your own: it's tucked away up some steps, off a street that seems far too narrow for cars, inside a one-way system that must baffle even the locals. But all the tension disappears when you realise that you don't need transport here, anyway. This is one of the best locations in the city, a few minutes' walk from the Alhambra and handy for everything else that Granada has to offer.

You are likely to arrive at the Palacio de Santa Ines in a bad mood if you try to find it on your own: it's tucked away up some steps, off a street that seems far too narrow for cars, inside a one-way system that must baffle even the locals. But all the tension disappears when you realise that you don't need transport here, anyway. This is one of the best locations in the city, a few minutes' walk from the Alhambra and handy for everything else that Granada has to offer.

The hotel is built around two internal courtyards, a modern remodelling of a 16th-century palace. As much as possible of the original has been retained, including fragments of an old fresco, whose religious subject matter gave the building the name by which it has always been best known, the House of the Eternal Father.

The main pillared courtyard, which now houses the reception desk, has been turned into a sitting area, with a cluster of comfortable chairs and plenty of plants. The bedrooms open off the balconies above this, and a smaller courtyard beyond.

Location, location, location

The Hotel Palacio de Santa Ines, Cuesta de Santa Ines 9, Granada, Spain, (00 34 958 22 23 62; www.eel.es/granada/hoteles/sines/sines.htm) is in a tiny square in the Albaicin, or old Moorish quarter. The Alhambra is just across the river.

Time to international airport: Granada's airport is about six miles out of town at Santa Fe; a taxi takes about 15 minutes and costs around €12 (£7.50). Malaga airport is 90 minutes' drive away.

Are you lying comfortably?

The hotel has 17 lovely double rooms and four suites, plus 14 duplexes – although oddly the upstairs seating area makes these cramped, rather than adding to the sense of space. If you feel like splashing out, go for a room with a view, looking out towards the Alhambra, particularly spectacular when it is lit up at night. For this you need to be on the third floor: ask for rooms 7, 9, 10 or 11. Room 12 is best if you need wheelchair access, although unlike all the other rooms it has only a shower rather than a bath. The rooms are comfortably furnished in a style that suits the climate – cool floor tiles and wooden furniture.

Freebies: a standard selection of soap, bath gel and shampoo.

Keeping in touch: Every room has TV with international channels, bedside radio and phone. Fax and internet facilities are available from reception.

The bottom line

Double rooms start at €103 (£66), and cost €77 (£50) for single occupancy; the best rooms – the suites with deluxe sitting-room – are €225 (£144). Breakfast is another €6 (£4) per person.

I'm not paying that: if you want to be in this part of town, staying in a historic building, you won't get much better value than this. However, there is no shortage of hotels in Granada, so if you want something cheaper not too far away, try the Hotel Macia on Plaza Nueva, located between the Albaicin and the Alhambra, where doubles start at €62.51 (£40) and singles at €41.47 (£27).

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