There are oodles of hotels in Seville to suit every budget so choosing one should've been a breeze. And, apart from one small requirement, it was.
Our perfect hotel would've been close to the historic city centre yet quiet enough to guarantee a good night's sleep. Not being into 'old' furniture and dodgy plumbing, it's modernity all the way for us. Nothing that requires a second mortgage for dossing down for the night, yet not so cheap and downmarket that rooms can be rented by the hour. Good air condioning (this IS Seville) and a balcony (this IS Seville),
We got everything but the balcony - not an easy find in Seville apparently (at least not with our other criteria).
We ended up at the NH Plaza de Armas, Seville.
¿Dónde está el hotel?
The name kinda gives it away but let make it crystal clear - the NH Plaza de Armas is spookily located on a street called Plaza de Armas, Seville. It's close to the Guadalquivir river on the edge of the city centre. It's about a mile from junction 17 on the ring road along a dead straight road. Once you leave the junction, head for the city centre, cross the bridge and you're practically there. All that's left to do is travel the 100m or so, turn left and park your car in the underground car park directly below the hotel. But wait, since there's no left turn allowed, why not take a detour round the almost impossible one way traffic system and travel around 3 miles to your destination. Still, we got there... eventually.
As the name suggests, Plaza de Armas is a large square (apparently, the literal translation is weapon's square). No sign of weapons when we arrived, but there was a large square, a hotel, and a small shopping and entertainment mall housed in what used to be a railway station. The underground car park serves the shoppng mall, but there's an area exclusively for the use of hotel guests at the slightly lower rate of Euro16 a day whch is where we dumped the car for the duration of our three day say...believe me, in Seville, that's the best place for it.
The hotel building is a modern six storey job with one side,which is curved, clad in glass and the other a more stark brown brick.
Pollo...sorry, check in
Escaping the oven-like clutches of the underground car park, our first port of call was the supermarket to stock up on essentials - beer, wine etc before crossing the short distance from the air conditioned comfort of the mall to the air conditioned comfort of the hotel.
The reception area is all very chrome and leather and modern. It was also very cool (temperature-wise) which was handy as check-in was a slow process. There were a couple of people being attended to, but it just seemed to take ages to deal with them. Strangely enough, it didn't seem to take as long for us to go through the details and be on our way.
The check-in desk is towards one end of the ground floor, with doors at either side of the building (creating a handy short cut) before reaching the bar area which was fairly busy. Past the bar area leads to the elevators and beyond that is the restaurant and function rooms. There always seemed to be something going on when we were there: weddings, conventions, confirmations etc. but it was the weekend I suppose.
And so to bed...
Like the rest of the hotel, our bedroom was modern in design. It certainly wasn't the bigest hotel room I'd ever been in (20m²), but as I wasn't planning to do any ballroom dancing this wasn't a major problem.The room was equipped with two reasonably comfortable twin beds (with a choice of pillows), bedside cabinets, a desk and chair, an easy chair and not a lot else. There was a mini bar under the desk and a small flat screen on the wall (not much in the way of English channels though, just CNN etc.). The storage area was sort of separate from the living area and next to the bathroom. Plenty of hanging space and drawers for all our needs. We were on the fourth floor and almost had a brilliant view through to the cathedral - we could just see the very top of it poking above the rooftops. Another floor higher would have been nice. But, most importantly, the air condining was ferociously cold. This was a relief because when we first entered the room, it was obvous the AC hadn't been on for a while and the room was stifling.
The bathroom (sin bath) was very nice - all wood panelling and frosted glass. There was more storage space here with plenty of shelves for the towels and whatever else you'd want to store in a bathroom. There were plenty of nice toiletries all bright and fruity, with lots of 'essential' items - shower cap, shoe shine and right down to toothbrush and paste. No bath tub, but the shower was a walk-in affair so plenty of room and plenty of powerful jets of hot water. But more importantly, plenty of powerful jets of cooling water too!
The hotel has various bars, cafes and restaurants, none of which we used. There's also a roof top swimming pool which we didn't use either. This was probably just as well as it was so small that the expression 'three's a crowd' sprang to mind. The views from the pool area were pretty good though, a lovely panorama of the old city. There was also a large terrace on the other side of the roof overlooking the river and the exhibition park - a wedding service was held here when we were staying. It was just a pity that access to the pool area was denied after 8pm so no night time view over the old city.
We were room only but there were plenty of options for breakfast at the adjacent mall from traditional cafes to McDs and there were lots of cafe bars in the surrounding streets. I had read a lot of reviews about the hotel claiming the area around the hotel was dodgy but I can't say that I felt unsafe in any way, even late at night. Also on review sites, many people claimed it was much further than the stated ten-minute walk to the Cathedral. All I can say is they must have been walking a very torturous route (which I think we did once by walking along the riverbank promenade). Nope, cross the road from the hotel, walk around 500m down C/ de AlfonsoXII, turn right on pedestrianized C/Sierpes and follow that through for another 500m or so to the city centre. Both streets are lined with shops, bars and cafes (Sierpes is the main shopping street and is a very pleasant walk as tarpaulins are stretched between the opposing roofs for shade, and most of the shops keep their doors open with the AC blasting out. Very cool... literally, if not envoironmentally.
In conclusion, We enjoyed our stay here. The hotel was comfortable, and close enough to the sights and attractions that everything was within walking distance yet far enough out of the hustle and bustle to keep the noise, and the price down. We booked through yeego and paid Euro53 a night.
Seville is absolutely beautiful and we had a great time there.