Palacio de Santa Paula Granada, Autograph Collection: Bottom Line Review

5

My wife and I are in the middle of a short trip to Andalucia, in Southern Spain (since Carrie and Greg are in Europe as well, I guess that means FM is now a European blog?). We started our trip in Granada, one my favorite cities in Spain, and had the opportunity to stay at Hotel Palacio de Santa Paula, which is part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection. What a treat.

The hotel has a marvelous location, right in the center of old Granada. It’s within a 15-20 minute walk of the Albaicín (the historic Moorish district), Sacromonte and the Alhambra, and about two blocks from the Cathedral and the Royal Chapel. The 75-room property is beautiful, a historic monument that began as the Santa Paula Convent in the 16th century. The restoration incorporated most of the main areas of the original building. The main restaurant, El Claustro, is located in the ancient cloisters (and still has gravestones in the courtyard where breakfast is served). There’s a bar in the original library and public spaces in the ancient choir, crypt and courtyards.

It’s more than just a historic artifact, though. The service is crisp, warm and responsive: most chat requests were answered within 60 seconds and they went out of their way to help out. The food and beverage outlets are high quality, with an excellent breakfast served around the fountain in the central courtyard.

Hotel Palacio de Santa Paula somehow manages to feel like a peaceful respite, despite being on one of the busier streets in old Granada. It’s one of the more satisfying uses of a 35K free night certificate that I’ve had in some time.

 

Exterior

Hotel Palacio de Santa Paula Bottom Line Review

Bottom line: If I had access to two FM thumbs, I’d use them both. Across the board, this is an excellent experience that I’d highly recommend. It has an almost ideal location in Granada, housed inside a tastefully restored 1500s convent that’s full of atmosphere. The service is great and it’s an excellent value on points. There’s not much more you could ask for.

  • Points Price: 30,000-40,000 points per night through the end of the 2022 while most Marriott hotels retain their pre-dynamic “pricing bands.” After 2022, all bets are off.
  • Cash Price: During high season, routinely $300-400. Low season can go into mid-$100s.
  • Points Value: Excellent. We redeemed two 35,000 point free night certificates for our stay, the points price was 35K for one night and 34K for the second. The cash price for each night was between $325-$375, giving a value of ~1 cent per point, well above the current RRV of 0.75 for Marriott points..
  • Resort Fee: None
  • Parking: Valet, 31 Euros/night. There is a parking garage approximately 500m away from the hotel that is 14 euros/24 hours.
  • Turndown service: Nightly.
  • Housekeeping: Everyday for all guests.
  • Internet: Very good. Able to stream, cast and zoom throughout the property
  • Dining:
    • Breakfast: Served daily at the El Claustro restaurant or in the attached courtyard from 7:00-11:00. There is a menu of hot and cold prepared items as well as a typical Euro-buffet consisting of pastries, fruit, cheese, cold cuts, cereals, yogurts, etc.
    • Lunch: Served daily at El Claustro and on the Terrace from 1:30-4:00pm.
    • Dinner: Served until 11pm at El Claustro and on the Terrace.
  • Spa: None, but there is a sauna and steam room (they call it a Turkish Bath).
  • Fitness Room: Very small. Located in the ancient crypt, which is fitting given how many people feel when exercising:). It has a one treadmill, one elliptical, one stationaray bike and a smattering of free weights.
  • Marriott Titanium Benefits: .
    • Suite Upgrade: We applied two Suite Night Awards and were upgraded to a 2-bedroom suite with a Gran Via view five days before arrival.
    • Club Lounge: None.
    • Free Breakfast: Very high quality and served in the courtyard at El Claustro. All gratuities and F&B included.
    • 4PM Late Checkout: We only needed a 1pm checkout, but they offered us 4pm.
  • Would I stay again?  100%. I would probably make a point of it if/when we’re back in Granada. It’s an excellent value on points, has a marvelous location and is full of history.
  • Palacio de Santa Paula pros:
    • Great location in Granada, right on Gran Via de Colon, within a 15-20 minute walk of just about anywhere that you’d want to be in Granada.
    • Oozes history, as it’s located in a 1500s convent that’s a historic monument. The restoration has been wonderfully done and it’s a hotel that’s actually fun to explore.
    • Terrific F&B options with a high-quality breakfast.
    • Excellent service, extremely proactive and responsive.
  • Palacio de Santa Paula cons:
    • Tiny gym that feels fairly claustrophobic. I guess it is a crypt after all.
Hotel Palacio De Santa Paula Suite Entryway
Hotel Palacio De Santa Paula Suite Bedroom 1

 

Hotel Palacio De Santa Paula Suite Bedroom 2
Hotel Palacio De Santa Paula Suite Bedroom 2
Hotel Palacio De Santa Paula Suite Bathroom 1
Hotel Palacio De Santa Paula Suite Bathroom 2
Hotel Palacio De Santa Paula Central Courtyard (Where breakfast is served)
The original convent library, now the “Library Bar.”
Breakfast in the courtyard/cloisters
Second courtyard, some rooms are on the mezzanine with more on the main floor.
Fitness room in the crypt
Staircase below the crypt/fitness room into the steamroom/sauna area
Steam room/Turkish bath
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Jeff D

Along the lines of a diamond in the rough hotel, we just returned from Portugal which included a 3 night stay in Sintra at the Penha Longa resort. Not sure if you’ve reviewed it before but just a phenomenal golf & spa resort that is a Ritz property.

3 night stay cost me 100,000 points including an upgrade to a suite and an off the charts breakfast. Thought that award point stay was a promotion but it appears to be about the norm throughout the summer.

I would go back tomorrow if my wife would let me!

LarryInNYC

The main restaurant, El Claustro, is located in the ancient cloisters (and still has gravestones in the courtyard where breakfast is served).

Not for me. I’m el claustrophobic!

Also, not sure about the gravestones actually in the restaurant. Could convey a message?

Brian

The word ‘cloister’ is actually derived from the Latin ‘claustrum’, meaning ‘enclosure’, which combined with the Greek ‘phobos’ meaning ‘fear’, creates the ‘fear of enclosed spaces’.

Oh, and great review. Seems like a place I’d really enjoy if I find myself in Spain.

Last edited 6 months ago by Brian