The very classy, sophisticated Duques de Medinaceli is one of the most luxurious hotels in El Puerto de Santamaría. This hotel is ideal for a romantic break to surprise a loved one thanks to its fine cuisine, stylish lounge areas, and private pool, not to mention its proximity to a hundred-year-old wine cellar!
The Duques de Medinaceli is located in the centre of El Puerto de Santa María, literally backing onto the Terry winery and very close to the exit for the Jerez de la Frontera road. The centre of town is just a few minutes' walk from the hotel, whilst the beach is just over a mile away. The closest airports are Jerez (just over 9 mi) and Seville (62 mi), and the El Puerto de Santa María local railway station is just two minutes away. The city of Cadiz is about 12 mi away, and if you're coming by train, the Alvia service stops in El Puerto de Santa María with 3 trains a day from Madrid whilst the TGV will take you as far as Seville.
The hotel is housed in a former palace home of the Duke of Medinaceli, the aristocrat responsible for helping Christopher Columbus to plan the journey that would result in the discovery of America. The elegant residence was once home to the Terry family, which also owned the legendary El Puerto de Santa María wine cellar close to the hotel. In fact, you can see some of the cellar buildings, as well the courtyards, from some of the guest rooms. Guests staying at this charming boutique hotel will no doubt feel like royalty for a few days, with access to the most sophisticated of lounges with rather garish light fittings, elegant tapestries, rugs, and paintings, and comfortable velvet sofas giving the place real character. The hotel's usual clientele consists of couples, entrepreneurs, and international tourists who come here for the sun, the beach, and the golfing, for which this part of Andalusia is renowned. You'll also find families staying here, but bear in mind that there are no specific facilities or entertainment for children. The hotel does, however, offer a few additional services, such as in-room massages, charged at around £45 for 50 minutes. You might be interested to know that the King of Norway, Julio Iglesias, and various bullfighters have stayed at this hotel. In collaboration with the neighbouring San Miguel Monastery (which both belong to the same chain, namely Jale), the hotel has organised various gourmet days dedicated to a specific type of food, such as fish or mushrooms, and offers special set meals for around £31. It also gives its guests the opportunity to acquire a 'Privilege Card' that, among other advantages, gives couples (or any two guests) a 50% discount on their restaurant bill.
The 2 storey building is a semi-Andalusian, semi-Colonial-style palace home with sacred Elizabethan-style interiors and surrounded by elegant gardens. The entrance hall is very original in that it consists of an inner courtyard with a glass roof where you'll find a series of sofas, chairs, and tables where guests can relax with a coffee and enjoy the natural light from above. This Andalusian-style courtyard also has a great door and links the main entrance (which resembles more of a luxury residence) to reception. One of the nicest parts of the hotel is its huge and very well maintained garden spanning some 5000m² and home to various tropical species, many of which originate from Latin America. Among the hundred-year-old trees you'll find walnut, araucarias, palm, orange, and lemon trees, as well as roses, not to mention elegant fountains, sculptures, and benches where you can relax and really enjoy these heavenly surroundings. Other communal areas include a library (also in the classical style), a Mudejar-style chapel, a small sauna, and a free external car park. The Duques de Medinaceli opened as a hotel in 2002.
This boutique hotel has only 28 guest rooms, each one different and named after an aristocratic title relating to the Ducal House of Medinaceli. They also come in various categories, including 18 Junior Suites, 5 Standards, 4 Superiors, and a Presidential Suite. You'll also find all the amenities you could need: a bathtub and separate hydromassage shower, a telephone, a free safe, bathrobes, slippers, and a fine selection of hospitality products, among other things. Having said this though, you might expect the rooms at a 5 star hotel to be a little newer-looking and more up-to-date.
The hotel's one and only restaurant, the Reina Isabel, features a huge portrait of Isabel II on one of its walls in memory of her visit during to El Puerto de Santa María during her reign. The Elizabethan-style decor here is rather bright, too, as there's is plenty of light filtering in through the various glass doors that open onto the terrace and the garden. All three meals of the day are served here, with breakfast being buffet-style and lunch and dinner à la carte. Make sure you try the signature dishes, such as the oxtail croquettes and the Reina Isabel rice (with calamari and prawns). Hot and cold drinks and snacks can be ordered from the bar near reception, with an Iberian ham or mixed sandwich costing around £5.40.
The closest beach to the hotel is Valdelagrana and is just over a mile away. Found in Costa de La Luz, the beach boasts fine sand, a beautiful sea and a comfortable place to relax, not to mention a large choice of restaurants. There is no private area for guests of the hotel, but it is possible to hire hammocks and parasols by the day or half-day from private companies. A 10 minute bus ride from the hotel will take you directly there. The same distance will also take you to Vistahermosa beach, which is almost 2 mi long. The services here are similar to those available at the other beach but do bear in mind that there is no promenade.
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