For a a refined, luxurious and unforgettable boutique hotel experience during your stay in the heart of Southern Spain.
You make your way through the huge crowds of people bustling in Seville’s commercial shopping district on Calle Velazquez and Calle Sierpes. Then you find yourself in front of the majestic red façade of the Church of Salvador (Iglesia de Salvador) and the lively Plaza del Salvador in front of it. But once you pass the tall church, the streets become smaller and less crowded. Walk past the smaller and humbler Church of San Isidoro into the quiet winding streets behind it, and without realizing, you arrive at the sophisticated boutique hotel of Corral del Rey, tucked away between resident buildings in Barrio Alfalfa of Seville.
Although the hotel blends into its modest residential surroundings, behind the tall, dark, wooden doors, lies a stylish, minimalist oasis. Simply walk into the elegant and serene waiting rooms with high ceilings, smooth arches and marble columns, and one can see that Corral del Rey is easily the most chic boutique hotel in Seville.
The main building of the hotel, where reception and the bar is located, was once an abandoned and crumbling Casa Palacio from the 17th century. In 2005, the building was bought out by the Reid Mora-Figueroa family, a family that has always been dedicated to the hospitality industry. The family undertook the renovation and restoration of the building to turn it into a hotel. Kuky Mora-Figueroa was responsible as the interior designer for the impeccable design and decoration of the future boutique hotel. The main building of Corral del Rey opened in 2007, and soon the family acquired the building in front along with another one down the same street, and incorporated them into the hotel. The hotel is now overlooked by the family’s sons, Patrick and Anthony Reid, who remain in Andalusia managing their leisure and hospitality company, Benchamark Capital.
The aesthetic of the hotel is tranquil, relaxing and understated. The accents of dark wood on the ceilings and windows, the colorful prints of the headboards and elephant figurines placed strategically throughout the rooms and lobby also give the hotel a sort of tribal feel. Every detail of the hotel is curated from the soft lighting in every corner to the ambient house and indie music playing from Bose speakers in the lounge. The interior seamlessly juxtaposes the ancient with the modern and minimalist. The façade of the hotel buildings are of the Mannerist style of the 17th century, from the final stages of the Spanish Renaissance. The tall, imposing and beautifully detailed wooden front doors with a smaller opening on the right hand side through which one can enter, is also associated with Classic Andalusian architecture.
Due to its practical distance from the city’s continuously crowded historic center, Corral del Rey’s less-crowded and low-key location makes it the ideal place to stay. It’s still very near Seville’s central sites such as the Alcazar, La Giralda, Casa Pilatos and the Flamenco Museum, all of which is a short 5 minute walk away from the hotel. In a city that’s constantly packed with throngs of tourists such as Seville, a quiet, discreet haven like Corral del Rey is a blessing. And as the hotel is divided between 3 separate buildings on the same street, it feels as if you were a native living in a local apartment rather than a tourist staying in a large hotel.
A special feature of Corral del Rey, which one won’t find in other hotels in Seville, is the Pool Terrace Suite which the hotel just launched in September. This spacious suite is located at the top floor and gives guests private access to their own rooftop terrace that boasts enchanting views of Seville and the Giralda Cathedral, as well as a private plunge pool and outdoor rain shower. Staying in the Pool Terrace Suite means one will have access to a private rooftop terrace from which one can eat breakfast, take a dip in the plunge pool, have a relaxing coffee with a book during siesta and have drinks while looking out at a lovely view at night.
Because the hotel only has 16 rooms, the staff is able to provide excellent service that is deeply hospitable and personalized. The staff, which consists of a small group of all women, is knowledgeable, warm and gracious and is attentive to every client’s requests, needs and likings.
The option for exclusive use of the hotel for groups traveling together is available, as well as reserving private dining rooms for functions and parties. Other amenities include a bar where guests can have breakfast in the morning and small tapas throughout the day, a self-serve bar in the lobbies, private guides and airport transfer if requested.
The hotel also offers an eclectic range of cultural activities that guests can participate in, which take place all around Seville and Andalusia, and are led by the top experts in each field. In the gastronomy front, guests can spend half a day learning to cook traditional Andalusian food in a private Seville home or take a trip to the Sierra de Aracena near Portugal, where they will taste the finest Iberian jamón followed by a gourmet lunch. There are also multiple tastings and tours for tapas, olive oil, wine, cheese and sherry from Jerez. For those interested in flamenco, there’s an introductory private class by an acclaimed dancer followed by a flamenco performance in the evening. Other activities include equestrian activities in the countryside, watching bullfighting shows and visiting breeders, golf and multiple cultural tours of Seville from diverse points of views.
Staying in Corral del Rey is nothing but calm, relaxing and welcoming, as if you were at home, which effortlessly characterizes the best of Spanish hospitality. It is no doubt the best selection for those who want a refined, luxurious and unforgettable boutique hotel experience during their stay in the heart of Southern Spain.
PHOTO Coral del Rey/Wayne Chasan