Hotel Patagonia Sur, Cádiz
The Patagonia Sur boasts an exceptional location right in the historical and commercial centre of Cádiz, as well as modern facilities, such as free in...
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Review of "Hotel Patagonia Sur, Cádiz"
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Casting out across rooftops to Cadiz's towering, golden-domed cathedral and the Mediterranean fringes of the Atlantic beyond, I think the picture above just about sells this hotel on its own. Two things though; one - that would render the review essentially pointless, and two - like a show-home that bears no resemblance to the rest of its estate, this is one of only two rooms in the hotel with a view like this - or any outside space for that matter.If this is a little deceptive though, it's not like the rest of the hotel is a letdown - far from it. In the heart of the tightly-wound little streets which interlace the swollen tip of Cadiz's peninsula like capillaries, Hotel Patagonia Sur demonstrates both how little space there is the old city and how much can be done with so little.
Glass-fronted and airy, first impressions hide the way the hotel is squeezed into an irregularly-shaped slice between Calle Cobos, one of the arteries running away from the Cathedral square, and a street so tiny and narrow it doesn't appear to be named. Built over four levels including the stunning attic room pictured, the place manages to sit perfectly and neatly astride a dividing line whereby it's cosy and boutique without you ever feeling like you're too tightly hemmed-in, despite the dark wood corridors. Somehow there's a feeling of space throughout the hotel, with clever design, soothing colourways and liberal use of natural light where it ekes in between the canyon-like edifices surrounding.Geographically, Cadiz is a curious place - a hover-over on Google maps illustrates the way in which the city is an island in all but officialdom. Two routes link the peninsula with the mainland - one bridge from the north-east connecting with Puertos Real and Santa Maria and one long, slender strip of land just about wide enough for parallel rows of road, rail and beach heading south-east to San Fernando and the southernmost tip of Europe, Tarifa. These links aside, it's all sea and sky until you dive into the rabbit warren of the old town, where shafts of sun criss-cross the ground in sharply-angled patterns, all but deterred by the density of the building. There's simply nowhere left to build in the city - so space is at a premium, and it's a delight to find somewhere like Hotel Patagonia Sur that tasks itself with making the most of what it has.
The ground floor is given over to reception and a small café (seating around a dozen people) where the morning's excellent buffet breakfast is served. The receptionists were unfailingly friendly during our stay (Semana Santa/Easter week of 2011), and speak excellent English and German - although, happily they don't insist on addressing you in your native tongue if you don't need it, something that rubs me up the wrong way at other hotels. The rooms continue the light, airy feel and are decorated in unfussy, classy combinations of white-and-wood with restrained splashes of bright colour. The bathrooms are well-equipped with comfy baths and high-quality fittings, and all-in-all, you feel like you're getting extremely good value for money when you weigh up location and the hotel itself.Prices start at Euro70 for a low-season single room, Euro85 for a double and Euro90-105 for an attic room with the wonderful terrace, and rise to Euro100/Euro120/Euro124-155 for the same rooms in high season/Semana Santa. For a three-star hotel in a popular, fascinating city I think this represents value - and breakfast is included.
For a buffet affair, the food's of extremely good quality - fresh pastries served up with the usual suspects of a continental breakfast. Just a pity you're only allowed one go at the fancy-teas-box, as they're rather good. Drinks are served throughout the day as well, and are reasonably priced.Perhaps the only negatives you could level at the hotel are things out of their control - car-parking is an impossibility in the old town, so the only real option is to leave the car in one of the car parks around the newer section of town that stretches out along the beaches to the south (which are well worth a visit, incidentally, even if the new city itself is nothing of note). Parking Canalejas is the nearest of these, only a five-minute walk from the hotel, but leaving the car there for any reasonable period of time will prove pricey. Alternatively, street parking can be found outside the old town, but you'll be left with a longish walk or bus trip into the centre. Actually, the buses are very easy to get the hang of - they run a simple loop along the seafront and back - one of the benefits of a city so hemmed-in by nature.
Cadiz probably doesn't feature high on the holiday hit-lists of the average Spanish tourist - even away from the Malaga costas, cities like Granada, Sevilla and Cordoba are visited in much greater numbers. I'm not sure why the city isn't equally esteemed, as it's got plenty to offer, with its resplendent Cathedral, dense Alameda gardens, stunning beaches and wonderful seafood. Just off Calle del Sacramento, the Torre Tavira/Tavira Tower contains a camera oscura that projects a panorama of the city that acts as a perfect orientation. Given the size of Cadiz's old town, nowhere's particularly far from anywhere else, but the hotel is nonetheless well-placed - for our visit, the Easter processions reached their crescendo just yards away on the square, and you really feel like you're right in the midst of the action.Personally, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Hotel Patagonia Sur. It's beautifully-designed, extraordinarily comfortable and perfectly-based for an orientation of Cadiz, a fascinating city and a good base for trips to surrounding areas. Seville is about an hour and a half's train journey north, and flying in/out of there means you can skip the pains of driving and let the excellent rail service carry you onwards to the coast. Cadiz train station is about ten minutes' walk from the hotel, which is best found by heading for the Cathedral, a trusty focal point in the maze that is Cadiz's old town.
I'm still not sure what the Patagonia link is, but for a good-value, high-quality hotel, I couldn't ask for more - especially if you can get yourself a terrace with a view.
Product Information : Hotel Patagonia Sur, Cádiz
Manufacturer's product descriptionThe Patagonia Sur boasts an exceptional location right in the historical and commercial centre of Cádiz, as well as modern facilities, such as free internet connection.
Long Name: Hotel Patagonia Sur
Address: Cobos, 11, 11005 Cádiz, Andalusia, Spain
Street: Cobos, 11
Post Code: 11005
Listed on Ciao since: 11/02/2011