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About Ciudad Real
Capital of La Mancha, land of Don Quixote, Ciudad Real sits amongst the local, windmill dotted plains, a working, but charming city forever indebted to Cervantes' romantic imagery. Some of the best places to stay in Ciudad Real are those closest to the Plaza Mayor or the Don Quixote Museum.
The name, which translates to 'Royal City' comes from its founder, King Alfonso X The Wise, in the 13th Century. Subsequent monarchs bestowed gifts upon the city too, like four kilometres of protective wall, more than a hundred towers, several wonderfully Gothic churches and a 16th Century cathedral. Ciudad Real's architecture exposes the city's Christian and Muslim influences, but they're melded indiscriminately into something fresh.
Modern Ciudad Real is probably most popular for its food, especially game and cheeses, and wines. The Plaza Mayor and the area around it are good places to start tasting, but there are numerous vineyards which will open their doors to you on the plains outside the city. Just watch out for the windmills...
- The Palacio de la Serna is an 18th Century home turned 30 room boutique hotel, with contemporary art and design and an outdoor pool and sunny courtyard. The restaurant serves an authentic regional menu, and the rooms are both generously proportioned and reasonably priced.
- La Casa del Rector in Almagro should fit the bill. Here the rooms are contemporary in design and several have huge jacuzzi bathtubs. There's also a plunge pool and spa.
For original features
- The Parador de Almagro has been converted from a 16th century convent. Rooms are traditional in feel and many have original features including vaulted ceilings, exposed beams and tiled floors.
- The Cortijo Sierra La Solana 1878 is a traditional, rural property outside Ciudad Real set against a stunning backdrop of vineyards and rolling hills. The nine rooms are simple, with chintz fabric and beamed ceilings. There’s also an atmospheric dining room.
Best Hotels in Ciudad Real
La casa del Rector 29 rooms from $79Ciudad Real (Almagro)
A charming hotel in an ancient Spanish town just outside Ciudad Real. Large rooms are traditional or contemporary in design, but all feature modern bathrooms. Spa, indoor plunge pool, and wonderful regional dishes. A chic and romantic choice for exploring this historic town.Local exploring - The open air theatre of Almagro is a must see: different festivals hosted in the theatre each monthRomantic Break - Intimate rooms with jacuzzi baths, doors onto the courtyard garden, spa and Spanish cuisineSights nearby - Campo de Criptana, El Visa del Marques, Villamayor de CalatravaGreat walks - To the windmills of Campo de Criptana nearby
Parador de Almagro 54 rooms from $91Ciudad Real
Hotel in 16th century convent. Large rooms have beamed ceilings, four poster beds and traditional tile work. Outdoor pool, garden and terrace courtyard. Excellent regional cuisine and broad wine list. Tranquil, elegant and characterful.Writing a novel - Rooms in former monks cells, with a wonderfully peaceful atmosphere, unique style and much history nearby to seeLocal markets - Wrought iron from Piedrabuena, embroidery from AlmagroSights nearby - Corral de las Comedias and Plaza MayorFull of characterRecommended by - Fodors
Palacio de la Serna 30 rooms from $126Ciudad Real (Ballesteros de calatrava)
Boutique hotel in 18th century building. Large rooms have contemporary furniture, artworks, fireplaces and modern bathrooms. Outdoor pool, garden and sunny courtyard. Excellent authentic regional menu in elegant dining room. Original, bespoke and beautiful.Local exploring - Plenty of historical sights close by, as well as wine tasting tours, kayaking or reading in the flowered courtyardSights nearby - Renaissance plaza at Villanueva de los InfantesKayaking - In La Mancha, hotel can advise on local rentalFull of character