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About Castile-La Mancha
Castile-La Mancha begins just outside of Madrid, on fertile plains and high plateaux dotted with windmills. The kind of windmills made famous by Cervantes in Don Quixote. This region’s beautiful ancient cities are where you’ll find some of the best places to stay in Castile-La Mancha, along narrow cobbled streets, or in grand plazas.
But this is also a wonderful region to escape to if you’re looking for peace and tranquility amongst nature, and our Guru’s recommendations for the best places to stay in Castile-La Mancha certainly include some ideal places to escape to.
This is a peaceful region of vast vineyards and medieval-era fortress towns with impressive churches, and mosques, and crusader castles. And of course numerous statues and museums of Don Quixote. And you’ll find that many of the places mentioned in the book haven’t changed much since they were written about five hundred years ago.
Ciudad Real is the capital of of La Mancha, land of Don Quixote, and sits amongst the windmill dotted plains. A working, but charming city forever indebted to Cervantes' romantic imagery. 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. Within the city, surrounded by four kilometres of protective wall, are towers, Gothic churches, a 16th century cathedral and a Don Quixote Museum.
Once Spain’s capital, Toledo has long been a religious and cultural centre, so it might seem smaller than you’re expecting. But it's home to a wealth of beautiful religious buildings - from churches, to mosques and synagogues, set around an old town ripe for discovering. Toledo can be busy with day trippers, so it's worth staying through the evening, when the city is even more magical - but don't worry, the best places to stay in Toledo are quite affordable.
Cuenca's wonderful casas colgadas, or 'hanging houses', built precariously onto, and into, the cliffs and gorges which surround the town, are one of the reasons this little city captures the imagination of so many travellers. These wonderful constructions, but also Cuenca's old town, with its beautiful medieval architecture and Gothic cathedral, are why UNESCO has included the whole city on its World Heritage list.
Or head for one of the smaller centres, like Atienza, Consuegra - for its windmills, Almagro - for its theatre, or sleepy, but historic Sigüenza. Castile-La Mancha also has several national parks, the Cabañeros National Park between Toledo and Ciudad Real and the Tables de Daimiel National Park, a floodplain in Ciudad Real.
Use our guide to the best places to stay in Castile-La Mancha and start to plan your adventure!
For an historic stay
- The Posada de San Jose in Cuenca has been enchantingly converted from an old monastery, with lots of the original charming features, like the uneven floors and exposed beams, retained. The modern decor sets this off beautifully too. There's also a tapas restaurant and wonderful views across the Huecar Gorge. Its location couldn't be better, right in the heart of the Historical Quarter.
- Ciudad Real’s Parador de Almagro has been carefully converted from a 16th century convent. Rooms are traditional with original features like vaulted ceilings, exposed beams and tiled floors.
- Valdepalacios is an idyllic country house in the green fields between Madrid and Toledo. There are just 29 romantically decorated rooms, with lots of lovely communal living space and a state-of-the-art spa.
- Just outside beautiful Cuenca, La Casita de Cabrejas is a 13 room guesthouse run out of a working farm. Rooms are romantic with their pastel colours, and rustic by design, and they've a nice pool and serve excellent local cuisine. The guesthouse will also help you get the most out of the region with their own adventure company.
- Molino de Alcuneza is a charming, 17 room hotel converted from a flour mill jut outside the medieval town of Sigüenza. The atmosphere is relaxing, the rooms comfortable and there’s a lovely pool and a spa.
For a City Break
- The Palacio de la Serna in Ciudad Real 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.
The Most Romantic Places to Stay in Castile-La Mancha
- The Parador de Alarcon is easily one of the best places to stay in Cuenca and area if you're after a spot of luxury. It offers four poster beds, exposed stone walls, antique furniture, gourmet food and fabulous views.
- La Botica outside Guadalajara is a delightful, traditional country house hotel with just four romantic bedrooms. Every comfort is provided, including a library ad beautiful gardens. There’s also an excellent local restaurant.
- La Casa del Rector in Almagro fits the romance bill. The rooms are contemporary in design and several have huge jacuzzi bathtubs. There's also a plunge pool and spa and it’s great value, with rooms starting from around £60 per night.
- The Hotel Boutique Pinar, just outside Cuenca, is a collection of chic bungalows in a secluded setting. Arranged around a saltwater pool, these rooms and family suites are elegantly decorated. And this is a great spot for taking up some of the region's outdoors-y pursuits, like horse riding, cycling, canoeing or walking.
For value for money
- Casa de Cisneros is a traditional, and very reasonable, ten room hotel right by the cathedral in Toledo. Rooms are cosy, and decorated with antiques, and there's a great little restaurant specialising in classic, regional dishes.
Still not sure which is the best place to stay in Castile-La Mancha for you?
Best Hotels in Castile-La Mancha
Casa de Cisneros 10 rooms from $52Toledo
A traditional Spanish ‘hostal’ close to the cathedral. Atmospheric rooms with exposed brick, wooden beams, heavy shutters and antique style furniture. An exceptional location for exploring this UNESCO listed town. Perfect for those on a budget and groups of friends.Groups - Triple rooms are ideal for groups of friends.Sights nearby - Lion's Gate entrance to Cathedral is on the doorstepLocal markets - Good for local colour.Full of character
La Casita de Cabrejas 13 rooms from $68Cuenca (Jábaga)
A lovely private farm cum guesthouse surrounded by vineyards, gardens, and the historical sights of the Cuenca region. Romantic rustic bedrooms in pastel colours have wooden beams and attractive furnishings. Excellent regional cuisine, pool, and an adventure company to get you involved.Active Holiday - The hotel has its own adventure company, so countryside activities are a highlight of your stay.Country EscapeLuxurySights nearby - Cuenca Cathedral.
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
La Botica 4 rooms from $80Guadalajara, Castile-La Mancha
A delightful country house hotel. Luxurious and romantic bedrooms, traditional in style, with attractive furnishings and all the mod cons. Excellent local restaurant, library, gardens, and lots of exploring to do in the landscape around. Ideal for a romantic country getaway.LuxuryCountry EscapeRestrictions on children - Adults only propertyRemote - Off the beaten track.
Antidoto Rooms 10 rooms from $85Toledo (Calle Recoletos, 2)
Ten stylishly decorated rooms, in a 16th century structure in the heart of Toledo's historic centre. Chic and charming, rooms blend history with modern day functionality and lovely views of the city from private terraces. Free wifi, a coffee maker and breakfast is included.Local exploring - Located in the heart of the historical centre, a few minutes walk from the Alcazar, this place is ideal for exploring the city.City Style - In a painstakingly renovated building, the design element has been well thought out, keeping in mind the comfort levels.Value chic - Great value for money- chic modern rooms in a beautifully restored property featuring 8th-century walls.Local markets - Many restaurants, cafes and bars are located in Zocodover Square. The Arabic Market cannot be missed.
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
Posada de San Jose 22 rooms from $101Cuenca (Castile-La Mancha)
An enchanting former monastery. Characterful rooms have uneven floors, exposed beams, white washed walls and modern furnishings. Outstanding views across the Huecar Gorge. A terrace, excellent regional Tapas cuisine, and walking tours nearby. A perfect spot to explore UNSECO listed Cuenca.Local exploring - Cuenca is a UNSECO site, and walking around the gorge is a must. Fishing, climbing and mueseums on offerSights nearby - Mountains of the Serrania and visit Ventano del Diablo, Ciudad Encantada, Callejones de Majadas, Nacimiento del Rio CuervoViews - Huecar River GorgeGreat walks - Good for walkers.Recommended by - Sawdays
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
Hotel Boutique Pinar 5 rooms from $183Cuenca
Hotel Boutique Pinar consists of a number of chic bungalows, in a secluded countryside setting outside Cuenca. There is a shared outdoor seawater pool and plenty of local hiking, cycling and horse riding options. The rooms are decorated in an elegant manner and there are family suites available.Families - The perfect family escape with large family suites available, an outdoor pool and plenty of room to run around.Active Holiday - The surrounding area offers a range of horse riding, cycling, hiking or canoeing.Sights nearby - Cuenca's famous hanging hosues only four miles away and well worth checking out.Great walks - Make the most of the range of beautiful walking trails in nearby Cuenca.
Parador de Alarcon 14 rooms from $192Cuenca
Riverside hotel in a castle. Elegant rooms feature stone walls, antique furniture, regal drapes and river views. Garden and terrace. Sublime gourmet cuisine in the restaurant, and extensive wine list from the region. Unique, full of character and romantic.Romantic Break - Gorgeous rooms with antique four poster beds, housed in a historic castle on the river, with riding and wine tasting tripsFishing - On the Júcar River, hotel can advise on equipment rentalSights nearby - Castillo de Alarcon, Iglesia de Santo DomingoGreat walks - By the nearby Alarcón Reservoir
Molino de Alcuneza 17 rooms from $207Sigüenza, Castile-La Mancha
A charming rural Spanish hotel set in a renovated 15th century flour mill. Enjoy the relaxing atmosphere inside and out with spacious, comfortable rooms and deluxe outdoor pool. For further indulgence, have an afternoon in the hotel's spa. A delightful country getaway.Total relaxation - A relaxing retreat and spa in an old flour mill set in fragrant gardens. Unwind by the pool or pamper yourself in the spa.Sights nearby - Explore the beautiful medieval town of Sigüenza, three miles from the hotel.Great walks - Make the most of the beautiful walking trails alongside the river Henares.Secluded setting - For escaping.Recommended by - Relais & Chateaux
Valdepalacios 29 rooms from $266Toledo (km 9)
An idyllic country house nestled between emerald fields and lakes just outside Madrid. A state of the art spa, beautiful elegant living areas, romantic bedrooms, and excellent Catalan cuisine. A languid countryside spot for couples and spa breaks.Romantic BreakLuxurySpa breaksRomantic - Good for couples.Recommended by - Relais & Chateaux