Over a millennium of conquest, cultural exchange and architectural extravagance conspire in the capital of Andalucia — a grand history that’s now reflected in a sumptuous sweep of storied, luxury hotels

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1. Hotel Alfonso XIII
Seville’s most prestigious hotel has been impressing dignitaries, celebrities and travellers alike with its show-stopping Andalucian design and old-world grandeur since 1929, when it was unveiled in the heart of the city as part of the elaborate Ibero-American Exposition, held the same year.

Showcasing a wealth of crystal chandeliers, coffered ceilings and brightly coloured azulejo tiles from the local kilns of Triana, the 148-room landmark reopened in 2012 following a nine-month refresh of its facilities. While plush rooms and regal suites meet every contemporary need, the hotel’s great strength is its picture-perfect communal areas, from the flowering courtyard around which an expansive breakfast buffet is served each morning to the elegant outdoor swimming pool and moody cocktail venue, Bar Americano. From €360 (£300), B&B.

2. Hotel Palacio Villapanés
Housed in a stately 18th-century palace, this 50-room hotel achieves a marriage of contrasts: stunning minimalist design choices are displayed across a baroque canvas, resulting in a hotel that feels simultaneously playful and aristocratic, inviting and utterly sumptuous.

The antique, carriage-height front doors first opened in 2009; today, they usher guests into a calming patio oasis of potted palms and painted tiles — all enclosed by a two-storey arched colonnade. While the ground and lower floors hold a bijou spa, gym, restaurant and dining courtyard framed by Seville orange trees, the rooftop has been converted into a sun terrace, complete with four-poster loungers and plunge pool. On the floors in between, spacious rooms and suites feature soaring ceilings and wood-panelling, rich-yet-muted colours and uber-modern comforts including massage-jet showers.

The hotel’s crowning glory is its 915sq ft Torréon Suite — a penthouse of sorts, with direct lift-access — set in a domed former-pigeon loft and featuring not only a gargantuan bed and 19th-century marble soaking tub, but also a private terrace from which to watch the sun rise and set across Seville’s terracotta rooftops. From €285 (£235), B&B. Suites from €710 (£590).

3. Hotel Casa 1800
In an unbeatable location, encircled by legendary tapas bars and flamenco venues, this light-flooded, three-storey mansion dating from 1864 offers 33 rooms (six with private, outdoor hot tubs) in the heart of the medieval Jewish quarter, Santa Cruz.

The property opened in 2010 after two years of renovations and its ambience is characterised by the interplay between boudoir-esque glamour — think: gilt furniture, ritzy chandeliers and champagne-hued walls — and more understated, historic touches such as exposed-brick and period prints on the walls. There’s almost nowhere better to enjoy a nightcap: the rooftop has unmatched views of the cathedral, dramatically lit up come evening. From €167 (£140), room only.

4. Corral del Rey
This 400-year-old palace complex was reinvented for the 21st century as a sophisticated urban bolth­­ole, replete with a creamy colour palette, Moroccan antiques and Indian woven rugs across its 17 rooms. A menu of organised activities, from tapas tours to equestrian experiences, sets the hotel’s hospitality offering apart, while the two Pool Suites are worth splashing out for: ascend a staircase to a private terrace with a pool, sunbeds, blooming bougainvillea and sensational city views. From €308 (£255), B&B.

Published in the June 2022 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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