Silken Al-Andalus Palace, Seville
Surrounded by extensive gardens with a large outdoor pool by which to relax, the modern architecture of the Al-Andalus Palace creates a light and spac...
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Review of "Silken Al-Andalus Palace, Seville"
Now writing music gig reviews for free tickets. Sorry ciao, less time for you now; just wish you hadn't stopped paying for music reviews.
Booking a type of hotel is always something of a quandary; as we travel a lot I don’t like to spend too much on a place, and it’s thus often a compromise between size of room and quality of hotel versus location. I tend to veer towards the central location option because the best experiences aren’t always the plushest and being in the heart of things makes all the difference, but occasionally I think it’s great to enjoy something of a smarter class of accommodation to see how the other half live.
Smart and DistantFor our recent Seville experience we had the full choice of hotels given we were visiting in February and the Silken Al-Andalus Palace Hotel caught my eye despite being a full two miles out of the centre of Seville. It didn’t necessarily immediately catch my eye in a good way because it rather resembles a cheaply built PFI Comprehensive School. At least if you stay here you are inside looking out. On the bright side, the hotel got some good write ups and it was keenly priced; so keenly priced in fact that I snaffled a Junior Suite and a balcony garden room for £55 a night each. We and our travelling friends took a raffle to see who got what room which somewhat added to the fun.
Given that we were only in Seville for 2 days and arrived somewhat late (after dark at least) i decided we would eat local on night one, and splash out on a taxi home on the second. As it turned out we peaked too soon on our second evening and returned home early in hunt of a second local restaurant which we also enjoyed.
In terms of the choice of the two different rooms again there was method in my madness; if the night was warm we had an outdoor terrace to share a few drinks in, or if the weather was poor we had a separate indoor lounge to gather in. As it happened my beloved and I got the suite and our friends the terrace room. Both had separate seating areas indoors and were nicely (if not that excitingly) decorated. It all felt a little beige and biscuit safe; why is it that I find inoffensive choices fairly confrontational?
So what’s the location like?We spotted from our room that we were silly close to the football stadium for Real Betis (Seville’s “other” football team who plays in the Spanish second tier division). The club were playing Seville at home on the weekend we were there, and we had the pleasure of seeing the home team in the restaurant for breakfast having spent the night before the match in the hotel to keep out of mischief. It didn't work as Betis lost, and the following night it might seem they had been downgraded to a 1 star hovel as they weren't around.
There were a few kids hanging around the team in the morning as they arrived and left at breakfast but it was all very mild mannered, ordered and of absolutely no inconvenience. We were out while the match was playing and again we were inconvenienced not a jot.
Local RestaurantsOn our first night we had something of a little splurge and wandered to a place that Google Maps had decreed the best; it was just a stroll away and called Bar Restaurante El Rincón de Manolo. It was a very pleasant fish restaurant (or I should say, at least it sold local fish in addition to a full range of Spanish fare) and my cod steak in leek sauce was beautifully presented and both plentiful and tasty.
The Bar itself was nicely furnished and felt rather like you were dining in a cosy kitchen, albeit one with a number of dining tables. There were white kitchen cabinets and dressers at the sides of the room and our service was excellent. The main serving bar area looked nice and clean as did our part of the dining room. When I say splurge it was probably mid priced; it’s just since our wonderful nation decided to plunge itself into third world obscurity the Euro exchange rate means that almost everything we do in Europe these days is “cut price”. I think our meal came in at something like 20 Euros each with a drink and salad included.The following evening we strolled across the road and ate at a slightly more modest Pizza Italian right near to the stadium, Pizzería Al Gusto Tapas. The base of the pizzas were really light and flaky and I managed to shovel in a whole pizza and not feel completely stuffed. The tomato sauce was particularly nice. Again the restaurant was simply furnished with plain lines and very clean and tidy. We enjoyed a wonderful side salad at both places too.
I can fully recommend both restaurants as reasonably priced and good local choices for food,The area around the hotel was pretty good and tidy overall and the road into Seville was lined with what looked like government buildings and old grand villas.
In the Hotel
Our rooms were very plush and we were not disappointed beyond the lack of provision of proper glasses for the suite in which we sat and sank a few before going out each evening (indoors won as it was quite chilly).Fortunately, those of us enjoying both suite and balcony had fob access to a little indoor suite area in the corner of the huge public space downstairs where free sandwiches, little cakes and tea and coffee could be had. It was a comfortable little lounge with about a dozen comfortable seats on sofas and the all important glasses were stored on a bar area with free bottled water. Herm, 4 of those glasses quickly made their way back to our suite. The food in the lounge was acceptable rather than lush, but the additional access meant we dispensed with the expense of breakfast each morning as we found enough to keep our morning hunger at bay, and the caffeine addicts amongst our party (I’m caffeine free) could get their fix with a plentiful (and I’m told reasonably tasting) choice from a free coffee machine. There was mint tea and hot water so I was a happy bunny too.
Our rooms were large and comfortable and my beloved was very excited as she had a walk in wardrobe (alas she only had two days worth of clothing to go into it). At least it was something for the bucket list ticked off for her.
DownstairsThe main atrium was also impressive with a long bulging red flower bud hanging from the ceiling and extending down over 3 or 4 floor levels forming a slightly bizarre and rather yonic. To complete the “bling” was a number of open sided lifts to use.
Overall there was a considerable amount of internal space downstairs which was somewhat randomly furnished with lots of sofas dotted around and two restaurants (one at either end). Rather strangely there wasn't any immediate information about the restaurants, bars or anything else in the hotel (there was a gym on the 7th floor according to the lift), but it was noticeably curious that the hotel didn't attempt to keep the tourist cash inside the building.Check in and out was perfectly friendly and quite speedy although we had arrived amidst a bus tour check in; it was rather nice to leave them on their way to “pleb” floor while we hit the suites on the top level.
There was a lot to commend the Silken Al-Andalus Palace Hotel, and while the location wasn’t ideal it actually suited us for our trip and was in a nice area of Seville.
Our rooms were very comfortable with two double beds and nice linen, TV, CD player and lots of mood lighting. The shower was a good walk in jobbie with another shower over the bath if you were in a mood to go for double bathing but not in close proximity to each other.
I'd certainly visit this hotel again but it's not a real must do experience.* Note this review is a reimagining and a tidy up of a “bare bones review” I posted at trip advisor while we were at the hotel.
Product Information : Silken Al-Andalus Palace, Seville
Manufacturer's product descriptionSurrounded by extensive gardens with a large outdoor pool by which to relax, the modern architecture of the Al-Andalus Palace creates a light and spacious environment within. The circular hall with its panoramic lift is a designfeature in itself with an immense inverted red flower suspended above cream sofas. There is a choice of restaurants offering a varied gastronomy. This is a stunning hotel offering great value and an impressive range of facilities onthe outskirts of the city centre, with good transport links to central areas.
Long Name: Silken Al-Andalus Palace
Listed on Ciao since: 04/12/2007