Paradores. The Spanish Parador Hotels are a chain of state-run hotels located in buildings and sites chosen for their rich history or beautiful location.
With over 80 years of history, the National Tourism Parador Hotels in Spain are a chain of luxurious state-run hotels located in buildings and sites chosen for their rich history or beautiful surroundings.
In 1910, the Marquis de la Vega Inclán was selected by the Spanish government to create a Spanish hotel chain aimed at improving Spain’s international reputation. In 1926, Vega Inclán initiated the construction of the nation’s first Parador Hotel in the Gredos Mountains, surrounded by impressive scenery. In 1928, the first Parador Hotel was inaugurated and received enthusiastic support from King Alfonso XIII. Thus, the first Parador Hotel, which would become a chain of 94 Spanish national hotels, was born: the Gredos Prador (El Parador de Gredos).
Following the construction of this first hotel, the Royal Tourism Commission was formed with the objective of searching for emblematic sites of historical or natural interest in which to create new National Parador Hotels.
Inspiration prospered during the 1920s and between 1930 and 1933 four new Paradores were opened in Oropesa, Úbeda, Ciudad Rodrigo and Mérida.
With the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, the National Network of Parador Hotels suffered a decline in growth. Additionally, many of the hotels were converted into hospitals for wounded soldiers and subsequently suffered severe infrastructural damage during the conflict. However, when the war ended, the idea to create a national chain of hotels was reborn. The damaged Paradores were rebuilt and projects for new Parador hotels were launched.
In 1945, one of the most attractive Paradores was opened in the San Francisco Convent in Granada, inside the famous Alhambra Palace. Following the opening of this spectacular National Parador, others were opened in Santillana del Mar, in the Gibralfaro fortress of Malaga and in Potevedra.
In the 60s, major touristic development in Spain propelled the creation of more Parador hotels, with the number doubling to a total of 83. Among those inaugurated during this time were the Spanish Parador Hotels of Córdoba (1960), Cañadas del Teide (1960), Jaén (1965), Guadalupe (1965), Nerja (1965), Ávila (1966), Olite (1966), Gijón (1967), Zafra (1968), Hondarribia (1968) and Toledo (1968).
In the following years, more National Parador Hotels were opened in Salamanca, Trujillo and Cáceres, among others.
In 1991, Tourism Paradors of Spain, S.A (Paradores de Turismo de Espana S.A) was created with the purpose of managing and overseeing the 85 National Parador Hotels distributed across the country.
As of 2011, there are 93 Parador hotels operating in every Autonomous Region of Spain, with the exception of the Balearic Islands. The Spanish hotel chain, owned and operated exclusively by the Spanish state, plans to expand to over 100 hotels in the coming years.
Parador Hotel Routes
The National Parador Hotel chain has created touristic routes of three to seven days for visitors to discover luxurious Spanish destinations. These routes have been arranged in several different categories:
- Cultural routes: castles, monesteries, Mozarabic, through the heart of Al-Ándalus (Moorish Iberia) and more.
- Natural routes: through the Costa de la Luz (Coast of Light), the Picos de Europa (Peaks of Europe), etc.
- Wine routes: Alava wine, Rioja and Navarra wine, Ribera del Duero wine, Rueda and Tora wine routes…
- Pilgrimage routes: St. James Way, to the Monastery of Santo Toribio de Liébana, etc.