Hotel review: Hotel Alfonso XIII – Seville, Spain
One of the things I like most about collecting miles and points is the possibility of an aspirational flight or hotel stay. What I mean is that sometimes, while you are saving up your miles and points, you discover flights you want to take (like 1st class in the Etihad Apartment) and hotels you’d stay at with points, but probably wouldn’t pay cash for because it feels too extravagant.
For me, there have always been a few hotels in Spain on my aspirational list from the Starwood chain. While I’m about to check in to one of those – the Westin Palace in Madrid, I just checked out of another – the Hotel Alfonso XIII in Seville. It is part of Starwood’s Luxury Collection brand.
Ironically, while I’d always planned to use points, I was able to find a good enough deal on a cash rate such that it made more sense to save the points. I paid 197 Euro + tax a night (vs 20,000 Starpoints). The rate also included breakfast which would have otherwise been 50 Euro a day for the two of us. As I’ve written before, always check the Special Offers page! Since I value Starpoints at more than 2 cents each, it wouldn’t have made sense to use them. Still, had it not been for the SPG program in general, I’d have probably never had it on my bucket list.
A bit of history on this hotel: It was built in the late 1920’s to accommodate guests for a exposition in Seville designed to boost the city’s desirability for tourism (which apparently worked!). King Alfonso XII, who was in power at that time, lost a son. The hotel was named Alfonso XIII in the boy’s honor.
Was the hotel worth it? 100%. When we mentioned to a tour guide where we were staying, she looked at us as if we were royalty. “That is the absolute best hotel in all of Seville,” she said. When you arrive by car into the grand driveway it is clear you are staying somewhere special. It looks like you have arrived at the grandest mansion in town. In my review of the Le Grand Hotel in Bordeaux, I mentioned how that felt super luxurious and special. While the Le Grand had a slightly more intimate feeling, the Alfonso XIII has a less intimate feel. It’s bigger – more of a resort. In fact, given the grand terrace where you can take breakfast overlooks the pool in the style of a large resort. And I do highly recommend you take that breakfast.
The selection of food is fantastic and the quality is top notch. I’d have been OK to pay extra for it and I’m not a breakfast person.
On top of the top quality food and service, starting the day in the shade of the terrace is very relaxing. The shade seems to protect the area until about 10am. As well, the pool is an amazing amenity in a town where the days of summer regularly top 100 degrees. While we stayed two nights, I’d have preferred a third so we could have spent more time relaxing poolside.
There is also a beautiful courtyard on the main floor of the hotel with seemingly endless seating to just relax and enjoy a book. You can enjoy a coffee or a cocktail, or just let the waiter know you don’t need anything and they will mark your table accordingly so as to not disturb you.
The entrance, hallways and rooms all have that feel of elegance.
Our room was beautifully furnished and my Starwood Preferred Guest Gold status earned us both a 4pm late checkout and two drinks worth up to 15 Euro each as our Gold amenity (or I could have taken 250 Starpoints but with the value of that at $5, it was an easy choice.) You could use the drink voucher for coffee or tea if you don’t drink alcohol.
Our room looked down into the main courtyard, which was a peaceful view, and the room was not just stylish, but functional as well with outlets located on both nightstands. (It’s a pet peeve of mine when, in 2016 where everyone is charging phones if not multiple devices, a room does not have outlets accessible on both sides of the bed.)
Staff was consistently friendly and eager to please, as you’d expect in a 5 star hotel.
All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed having the Hotel Alfonso XIII as our home base for our 3 days in Seville and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it. Seville is a magnificent city to explore and this kind of hotel is icing on the cake.
PS: it’s not part of the hotel, but while in Spain, please get some churros 🙂