The top luxury hotels in Granada are not your typical upscale affairs. Here, luxury travelers can enjoy staying in an immaculately restored former mansion of the Dutch consul, a 16th-century convent — even a grand Nasrid palace first built in the 15th century for a Moorish prince.
Nineteenth century meets cutting-edge contemporary chic with notable success at the high-end, 24-room Hospes Palacio de los Patos. The boutique hotel's bold architectural meld has garnered much acclaim, and interiors in both the old and the new areas are seriously impressive. Rooms are excellently finished, though some might find the modern minimalism a little cold. The location isn't ideal -- it's a bit of a stroll to get anywhere, and the road outside can be noisy. Rates are a bit high for the area even by luxury hotel standards.
With stunning grounds that include a 16th-century convent and 12th-century Moorish building, the AC Palacio de Santa Paula, Autograph Collection offers a unique luxury experience in Granada's historic center. This 75-room luxury property has a well-regarded and romantic restaurant serving modern Andalusian cuisine, a chic bar with seating around a stone courtyard, and a small gym with a Turkish bath and sauna. Moody, low-lit rooms combine contemporary style with antique ambiance, and have minibars, electric kettles, and beautifully tiled bathrooms. While best suited to tourists and couples, the hotel offers business travelers four event spaces, including a ballroom in a restored 16th-century chapel, along with free Wi-Fi throughout the property.
Originally a Nasrid palace built in the late 15th century, the Parador de Granada is now an upscale hotel offering the unique experience of staying inside La Alhambra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Some of the common spaces feature antiques and traces of the building’s grand past, but its 40 rooms are contemporary, with understated Spanish decor and up-to-date amenities, such as flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi. Highlights include a traditional restaurant -- known for having hosted Michelle Obama -- gorgeous, serene grounds, and striking medieval ruins. Just note that there is no fitness center on-site, and that the city center is a 15-minute walk down a steep path.
The 126-room Hotel Alhambra Palace merits the adjective “grand” -- the impressive building is more than a century old and housed a hospital during the Spanish Civil War. A hotel since 1942, this property is a short quarter-mile away from the Alhambra (the palace and fortress complex dating back to the 11th century) up a steep hill. The lobby has keyhole archways and geometric textiles based on Moorish patterns. Guests come for the charm of the place, not the modernity; while rooms have been updated, they aren't particularly stylish (though the tile work in bathrooms is lovely). Views of Granada from many vantage points, including the roof, are spectacular.