In the narrow lanes of Seville’s old quarter, the sun-filled Hospes Las Casas del Rey de Baeza hotel has a rooftop pool and rustic cobblestone courtyard. The 18th-century building is traditional Andalucia, with a whitewashed and ochre exterior and charming terracotta tiles. The interior is contemporary and chic with stone floors and marble bathrooms. Help yourself to the baskets of Seville’s famous oranges.
Get this when you book through us:
Free dessert with dinner. Manzanilla and jamon iberico for Dreamers room guests; a bottle of cava and fruit gift for Superior room and suite guests
Noon, although later check-out can be arranged, depending on availability. Earliest check-in, 2pm.
Double rooms from $132.69 (€120), excluding tax at 10 per cent.
Rates exclude breakfast (€17).
At the hotel
Rooftop relaxation and massage area, library, DVD/CD selection, free WiFi throughout and parking (€24 a night, space is limited so book in advance to guarantee a spot). In rooms: flatscreen TV, DVD/CD player, iPod dock, under-floor heating.
Our favourite rooms
Las Casas’ rooms are all cat-swingingly spacious, so there’s no need to go for a Suite unless size really does matter. We like the front-facing Double Superiors, which have wide French doors. All rooms look out over the main courtyard, and are decorated with elegant simplicity – whitewashed walls, slate floors, cast-iron beds – colourfully spiced with contemporary art pieces and Indian carvings.
The little rooftop pool is lined with potted cactuses and blue-cushioned loungers. You can help yourself to fresh oranges left in baskets around the terrace.
Las Casas del Rey also has a small relaxation area and a solarium beside the pool. Ayurvedic, Thai, shiatsu and aromatherapy massages are on offer in the four treatment rooms.
Your dancing shoes – Seville is flamenco’s motherland and there’s no better place to try your hand (or rather, foot) at the sultry skirt-swishing steps.
Pets are welcome. Non-smoking rooms available.
Extra beds can be provided for €50 a night and babysitting can be arranged for around €10 an hour. The restaurant offers a children’s menu and has a supply of high chairs for babies.
Fly with Vueling (www.vueling.com) or Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) to Seville Airport, otherwise known as San Pablo. It takes around 20 minutes to drive from the airport to the hotel. Alternatively, you can catch the bus to Seville train station.
Santa Justa station, in the centre of Seville, is a 10-minute drive from the hotel, and offers high-speed links to Madrid and Córdoba, as well as connections with Granada and Cadiz.
The hotel is in the historic centre of Seville, so you won’t need more than your walking shoes to get around the local area. A car might prove useful, though, for exploring the Andalucían countryside; hire one at the airport or from the hotel. Parking at the hotel costs €24 a day and is limited so book in advance.
Worth getting out of bed for
Take in Seville from the roof terrace and summon a masseuse to pummel you on your sunlounger. There's a cooling plunge pool up there too. Seville Cathedral and the Royal Alcázar of Seville are the historic big-hitters nearby. Learn some moves while watching one of the passionate flamenco shows at Museo del Baile, then see the Metropol Parasol (the world's largest wooden structure on Place de la Encarnación) and marvel at the chiselled and painted wonder of the Museo de Bellas Artes at Place del Museo.
The Taberno del Alabarderoon Calle Zaragoza has a bistro with a tasty three-course menu, popular with lunchtime diners. The main restaurant, serving excellent game and fish dishes, is best in the evening.Oriza on Calle San Fernando is one of the city’s finest restaurants, serving Andalusian and Basque cuisine.
The Sun burns at 5,800 degrees centigrade, of which a measly three degrees could currently be bothered to make the long journey all the way through space to a wintry London. Admittedly the Sun is 93 million miles away, a distance that would take 18 years to cover by airplane, but what was baffling Mrs Smith and I was that we’d only flown two hours to Seville and already we felt a hell of a lot nearer. In the time it takes to say ‘Hospes las Casas del Rey de Baeza’, we’d skipped forward two English seasons. ‘Just leave me here to sunbathe,’ declared a delirious Mrs Smith. I suggested it would be best to at least go through passport control first.
To us Brits the sun is a bleary-eyed friend that can be tamed with a glass of Pimm’s and a few cucumber sandwiches. The Sevillanos see things very differently. Right now the temperature was perfect, but in August the sun beats down so ferociously that you’d be wise to pack a hardhat. Like most of the buildings in the historic Santa Cruz quarter, the hotel’s dazzling white and yellow 18th-century façade was designed to repel those beautiful sunbeams back into Outer Space as quickly as possible. It seemed a bit unfair that our welcome was so friendly in comparison when we hadn’t had to cross the galaxy to get here.
We stepped in off the narrow street and through into a cool, shaded courtyard where the fronds of banana plants lolled in the still air and flowers cascaded down the sides of smoke-blue balconies. The house was a gift from the 13th-century Castilian conqueror Ferdinand III to his ally the Moorish king of Baeza, who had wisely chosen diplomacy and real estate over having his head chopped off. In 711AD the sand-laden Sirocco wind that blows from the Sahara had also carried the Moors to Seville, and their influence still lies heavy on the city today. An exotic hint of North Africa was traced into the hotel’s slender columns, its whitewashed walls and its somnolent, introverted atmosphere.
Our eyes struggled to adapt from the bright courtyard to the hushed half-light of our suite where thick hemp shades hung over the windows to keep out the sun. As the room began to take shape before us, the initial ‘ow’ factor of the low coffee table I’d just blundered into gave way to the ‘wow’ factor of contemporary art, black slate tiles and a bed with enough fine Egyptian cotton to robe an entire army of pharaohs. The muted tones were a soothing contrast to the vivid colours outside and, most important of all, the room had that unmistakable feel of Seville – a sultry, electric, moodiness that makes your skin tingle like an approaching thunderstorm.
I found Mrs Smith next to the little pool on the Soho House-style roof terrace determinedly soaking up the last rays of the sun as it sank beyond Seville’s gargantuan Gothic cathedral. I suggested a visit to the hotel’s Bodyna spa but my solar powered companion was by now fully charged and feeling hungry. The city comes alive after dark and its bustling tapas bars should be declared a World Heritage Site. It was the small hours by the time we decided we‘d had too much Serrano ham and not enough sleep, although as far as the locals were concerned the night was still young. The sound of soulful sherry-fuelled flamenco drifted with us down the cobbled streets back to the hotel.
It was only a short morning stroll to the Giralda tower, an icon of the city and once a Moorish minaret. Mrs Smith and I basked like lizards on the warm stonework and watched the day unfold like a scene from Bizet’s Carmen: Gypsies in headscarves and pavement-length skirts sold lucky heather, horse buggy drivers noisily played dice and newly weds emerged blinking into the light from the cavernous interior of the cathedral. Most dramatic of all was the busking flamenco dancer whose nostrils flared like the winner of the 2.30 at Kempton as she stamped, shrieked and shook in a mesmerising musical tantrum. I hadn’t seen a performance like it since I’d forgotten Mrs Smith’s birthday in 2005.
Just as Seville’s sunshine (and its smooth oloroso sherry) will leave your head spinning if you over-indulge, so the city’s colour and intensity is best enjoyed in delicious tapas-sized quantities. In between leisurely meanders along the banks of the Guadalquivir, past the bullring where Carmen got her comeuppance to the Golden Tower that once greeted treasure galleons returning from the New World, we’d sneak back to the citrus-scented serenity of Las Casas. Sightings of fellow guests were as rare as snowflakes, and with the staff taking good care of us it wasn’t so very difficult to imagine how the King of Baeza enjoyed his days in regal seclusion.
In the gardens of the Alcázar – the magnificent palace that Ferdinand III jealously kept for himself – we walked amid the pools of light that filtered through the date palms and the orange trees. Separated from the heart of the city by high stone walls there was only the sound of fountains to break the noonday silence. Even the King of Baeza would have been ever so slightly envious. I asked Mrs Smith if she would miss Seville once we returned back to London. She looked up into the deep blue sky with a look of contentment, as if the sun blazing all those millions of miles away was shining just for her and declared again with a smile, ’Just leave me here to sunbathe.’
Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Hospes Las Casas del Rey de Baeza’s Guestbook below.
We sat in one of two cobblestone courtyards with sun filtering through the wisteria and thought about the winter back in Australia. Actually, that's completely untrue. We waited for tapas to go with the sangria as our plane was delayed and the staff suggested we base there and continue to use the pool even though we'd already checked out. On our first night, the flamenco performance in the tiny restaurant was breathtaking. Everything here breathes character and charm. We had a car and parking is no problem in the tiny square. We explored the countryside down to the stunning white village on the Atlantic, Vejer de la Frontera. We walked to the stunning Alcazar palace, recognisable from Season 5 of Game of Thrones. There are families here and seemingly happy couples as well; British, German, French and Australian. The rooms are huge and the beds are comfortable, and there are baths and lovely amenities. If only it weren't so far from Adelaide...or perhaps that's another benefit.
Don't expect a noisy bar.
ByElizabeth Anne, GoldSmith
Stayed on 3 Jul 2019
We loved the atmosphere inside the hotel and the great location, and the pool on the roof was just a great escape from the heat.
Stayed on 23 Jun 2019
This is a lovely hotel with cool rooms arranged around restful patios. Loved the (tiny) pool on the roof; great for cooling off in a hot afternoon. Loved the location just a short walk away from great tapas bars and the old centre.
The pool to be anything other than somewhere to cool off – it's tiny and the sunbathing area gets very crowded.
Stayed on 25 May 2019
The decor and style. The staff are uber helpful and just lovely. The rooftop pool, perfect for relaxing after a day exploring. Room 35 is divine – our bed was large and comfortable and the room overlooked the courtyard. We had a great bathroom with double sinks, a circular bath and an overhead shower.
A central location compared to some hotels – it's probably a 15-minute walk to the cathedral, etc.
Stayed on 12 May 2019
The excellent location and lovely setting – peaceful, surrounded by orange trees, with comfortable rooms and an excellent breakfast.
Stayed on 27 Mar 2019
The hotel's layout with the inner patios and the lovely rooms with comfortable mattresses. The soft linen and simple, but nicely-chosen, decor. We had a large, round tub (also serving as shower) which was fun. We welcomed the little fridge where we could store our own liquids. Staff was very responsive to our requests.
Peace and quiet as street noises come through quite loudly nevertheless. You can also hear everyone walking past your door because the tiled floor amplifies rather than cushions noise.
Stayed on 1 Mar 2019
Loved the gorgeous building and beautifully decorated rooms and lounge. Super comfortable room and great spa on the top floor! Staff were super friendly and breakfast was yummy even if a bit expensive.
It to be quiet because of the popular courtyard where people like to sit and loudly eat and drink and be merry! But I guess that goes for anywhere in Spain!
Stayed on 13 Dec 2018
Great location. Easy walking distant to shops, and main tourist attractions. Room was small but worked well. Not much of a view from our window, but we did book on of the cheaper rooms. Breakfast was good, not amazing but nice. Pool area was a life saver as we stayed in August when it was seriously hot, but pool is tiny. Had a few great recommendations from the guy on reception.
To swim lengths, or stay in the pool for any length of time without it becoming too busy.
Stayed on 6 Aug 2018
We loved the small intimate courtyards, the library, the baskets of oranges and the rooftop area - although a shame this closed at 8pm and there was very infrequent bar service. The breakfasts were excellent and the staff very friendly.
Don't expect lively evenings, although there was a wonderful flamenco night on the Wednesday.
Stayed on 25 Jun 2018
My wife and I spent three nights here and loved the large airy deluxe room (no.18) with its view over the front cobbled, orange tree lined entrance courtyard. On the opposite side was the door from the open first floor walkway overlooking one of the internal courtyards. The hotel had been the subject of an extensive and recent renovation and the rooms were smart and comfortable. We had a superking-sized twin bed arrangement – with excellent mattresses. The doubled timber framed windows had very natty built in wooden shutters that helped make the room very cosy and peaceful. There was also a large en-suite bathroom with twin basins and a huge circular bath with rain shower over. The room also came with a kettle and fridge. The staff were very helpful with a good English speaking team on reception, who were very happy to provide jugs of milk for tea and coffee or to book taxis. The restaurant was another delightful space and on the one evening we dined there we were entertained by a flamenco group – a guitarist and two dancer/singers. All very authentic. Dinner was a bit expensive – about €70 for three courses and a glass of wine for the two of us – given that the quality was no better than the local tapas bar (recommended by the hotel), Taverna Coloniales, where 4 lots of tapas (plenty for the two of us) plus bread and wine came to about €15! However, the hotel breakfast €22, while pricey, was excellent – huge choice of cold and hot foods, fruit, cereals etc etc, all very nice and quite sufficient to last you until the evening! The weather was not good enough to use the rooftop bar and pool but the rooftop views were lovely. In terms of location, the main sites (the cathedral, palace etc) were about a 15-minute stroll through the winding city lanes and lovely tree lined squares. All in all a lovely memorable experience in a delightful building in a very convenient position.
This is not a glitzy international hotel. It is an intimate comfortable city centre retreat.
Stayed on 1 Mar 2018
The lovely rooftop terrace. The big bathroom. The perfect location of the hotel (central but super quiet). The view out of our windows.
A big swimming pool/rooftop terrace. A lively atmosphere – it's very quiet (at least it was in January!)
Stayed on 20 Jan 2018
You’ll also find Hospes Las Casas del Rey de Baeza in: