The Casa De Carmona Hotel has been described as one of the most unique and elegant hotels in Spain. It is a lovingly restored 16th Century palace to a small hotel of character, with 33 bedrooms in the tiny ancient, hilltop, walled, picturesque town of Carmona, only 20 minutes outside Seville and 15 minutes from the airport, and to stay there is to stay in the house of a Spanish Nobleman with good taste.
Our first sight of Carmona, and the Casa de Carmona was in the early evening driving towards Seville. We saw what looked like an ancient walled city perched on a hill, and could instantly imagine it in medieval times holding off hordes of invaders.
Finding the hotel itself was a little tricky through the tiny streets of the town, but it was well worth the effort. I was very worried about parking and unloading our Chrysler Voyager, but very quickly I discovered that the Casa de Carmona is different. The narrow streets leads to what seems an impossible car park, but suddenly there was a porter to park my car, and a hotel boy, dressed in pantaloons and tights, who took our bags to our room.
A charming young lady receptionist will met us at the door of the hotel, and not only showed us to our room, but also around the hotel.
We stayed in room five which is closest to the pool and very romantic too. If you are looking for the ideal weekend retreat, perhaps to impress a lover, or even better a honeymoon stopover, then you have found your almost perfect destination. You can be assured of tactful privacy, in a place where refined good taste is almost a bye word!!
First impressions still remain vivid, and as you enter the Casa through a deep-red terracotta patio, which leads through to the reception area you realise this is different. A second patio, filled with plants in large pots and decorated in the same rich colours, forms the central focus of the hotel. There are lush plants, marble colonnades, fragrant flowers, the singing of birds and the gentle gurgling of fountains. A romantic walled patio with an exquisite formal garden features a picture-perfect swimming pool fed by five fountains.
This is an oasis of tranquillity, and whilst it may just lack a little of the luxuries of a top hotel, you will know you have found a gem.
After looking around the courtyards and gardens you will end up in the library and a complimentary drink from the free-bar. The greatest joy is that your chambermaid will unpack for you if you want, and you can leave your shoes outside your room to be polished, all you need to do is ask the receptionist.
The public rooms of the hotel are around the central patio, with a chess room, and library, which are a little formal, and could almost be a museum to the antiques. However the ?loggia? Next to the pool is altogether lighter and brighter. As well as everything you expect in a luxury hotel, you’ll also find a variety of books and magazines to read, a VCR and music system to play and hundreds of films and CDs to enjoy. However this is definitely a hotel for people who like to relax in the courtyards, shaded from the sunlight, and smell the scent of the orange trees and the jasmine. The world of the 21st century will quickly seem far away.
Everywhere you will find the same aristocratic elegance, with carefully chosen pastel hues (predominantly pale blues and greens) and a generous range of antique furniture, including cabinet desks, ornate mirrors, brass lamps, and a tall hatbox. It’s verging on the fusty, but a range of modern facilities keeps it real: hi-fi, air-conditioning, video, ambient lighting. A concealed mirrored door leads to an impressive large bathroom, with elaborate brass taps and wide shower heads, double sinks, green and terracotta walls. It would be fair to say the plumbing can gurgle, and the paint is a little faded, but somehow it all adds to the glamour.
The restaurant is situated in the space that used to be the stables of the palace. Only the life-size frescoes of eerily staring white horses remind you of its past.
The antique tables, chairs, glassware are all in keeping with hotel.
Breakfast: is between 8.00-11.30 am, and is a huge buffet of pastries, fruit, hams, cheese, and cereals, where you are attended by waitresses in country wench garb. Lunch is between1.30-4.30 pm, and Dinner 8.30-11.30 pm when there’s plenty of choice of Andalucian appetizers, soups, seafood, stews, meats, tarts, fruit and creamy desserts
If you choose to dine out, the San Fernando (on the plaza of the same name) and La Ferrara (attached to the Hotel Alcazar de la Reina) come recommended.
The Casa De Carmona Hotel is just right for anyone seeking elegance and tranquillity, with a predominance of British and American couples.
Although one child under 12 stays free in the parents? Room, this hotel is only really suited to calm and sophisticated young adults, and definitely not for small children.
It’s a great base for exploring Seville, and a week would not be too long
The Casa De Carmona will give you peace and quiet, great comfort. The town of Carmona is a gem, but realise as with many town centre hotels, there are no large gardens, but if it is a romantic dalliance you are after, and then look no further!!