At the entrance to the historic and pedestrian only centre of Santillana del Mar we were halted by a policeman. It was fiesta de Santa Juliana, streets were cut off for cars but by miracle the policeman spoke French and kindly showed us the shortest way to reach the Parador and its private parking and garage. There are actually two paradors close to each other the Santillana*** and the Gil Blas**** where we staid.
Nearly all persons at the reception did understand and speak some English; one would also understand some French. They were correct, some were kind.
We had booked a double room with "salon" at the "dias doradas" rate (for persons over 60 yr.) of 170,56 €/night breakfast and tax incl. The room was in fact an apartment of nearly 60 m2.
Remarkable was the old wooden floor. The room was somewhat dark, stronger light bulbs would be welcome; maybe it is done on purpose to keep the medieval atmosphere. Nights were very quiet.
The room was quite clean, the bath room large and complete. Room service without defects.
Breakfast was up to the usual standards of a 4 star hotel in Spain. There was a nice choice of Cantabrian cheeses. Service was efficient and kind, unilingual but we know enough Spanish to say good morning and order coffee with milk.
We had no diner at the Parador. From experience we know that when there are many foreign tourists in a Parador they all enter the restaurant at the opening time what results in congestion and slow service. We usually prefer the ambiance of the local restaurants. There at the opening we are the only ones and get full attention as the Spanish customers arrive later, around 10 p.m.
A swish hotel with the normal high standard of food and service. Sadly, my room was a garrett with only a rooflight window!
The architecture though is excellent.
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Address: Plaza de Ramon Pelayo 11, Santillana del Mar, 39330, Spain