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EME Catedral Hotel

Spain   Andalucia   Seville   Why Andalucia?
Seville 15kms
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Reviewed by Michael Soffe

“JUST TWENTY STEPS” ..............

Newly opened in March 2008, it would not be possible to find a better or more central location in the Barrio Santa Cruz in Seville. We have been waiting for a 5-star chic design Hotel to open its doors in this wonderful city and I must say, this one has been well worth the wait!! Unlike many hotels that seem to close their doors to the “goings on” of the outside world, the concept of this “Sevillano” owned Hotel is an interesting one. The owners are insistent on involving the local citizens, welcoming them into the public areas, restaurants, coffee shop, and cocktail lounge. To encourage this, during special events throughout the year such as Semana Santa and the fabulous Feria, special exhibitions such as religious artefacts and flamenco dresses will be on display. During Seville’s renowned book fair, local authors will give public readings. It is a great concept and when I visited, the public areas had a real “buzz”. Not to say that you cannot get away from the bustling public if you want to. A truly wonderful roof terrace made up of several different levels, lounging areas with sun beds, an open air pool and jacuzzi, a bar and amazing views of the landmark Cathedral and Giralda tower is exclusive to hotel guests (except for the odd VIP event).

“20 Pasos”, literally translated as “20 steps” is the distance to the Cathedral entrance. And as you enter into the strikingly, almost day-glow pinky-violet reception you will find the “20 pasos” coffee bar to your left. Designer chic shouts from every corner – “beautiful young things” man reception dressed in pure white cotton with white ties draped languorously around their necks. All style, and definitely with substance!! A lift from reception will take you to the bedrooms and the roof terrace.

Passing through reception you enter into a typical inner courtyard with fountain and arches, where Seville orange trees complete the effect. The inner sides of the courtyard have an iron grill that lines the walls of the building – designed especially for the Hotel it encompasses the Moorish influence placed on Seville and is a “motif” that is recurrent throughout the Hotel on furniture, lighting and other “objets”. The renowned designers, Isabel López and Sandra Tarruella (they designed the emblematic Hotel Omm in Barcelona too), have had a field day with these four neighbouring properties which architect Juan Pedro Donaire has cleverly now connected – so discreetly done that you do not realise you have passed form one old house into another.

The 60 bedrooms are spread over several floors throughout the interlinking houses. It does not feel as if it has 60 bedrooms. They are very contemporary in style. My favourites were the “EME GRAN DELUXE" rooms, some of which have views and small balconies overlooking the Cathedral that towers in front of you. Those that do not face the Cathedral have views over neighbouring streets within the Barrio Santa Cruz, Others, such as the lower category “EME STANDARD” rooms have inner courtyard views and are the smallest. For complete luxury and much more space, the "EME SUITES" rooms are sumptuous for honeymoons and those not on a budget. All the rooms are different – all bespoke. Beiges, creams, dark browns and black are the main colour scheme with the occasional flurry of colour. Of course they have the five star touches – all are equipped with heating, air-con, safe, mini-bar, wi-fi, satellite television and DVD music centre. Loved the bathrooms! They are of a good size and have gleaming fixtures and fittings (the showerheads are huge!) and in true Design Hotel style, all the bathrooms are different. Toiletries and copious fluffy white towels are provided. If you want to open your wallet wide there are 6 exclusive apartments that share a private pool and terrace on the roof and have a 24 hour butler service!!

Of course, no 5-star Hotel would be complete without a Spa these days – heated pool, sauna, steam room and treatments of all differing kinds to “pamper, placate and pummel” - all at extra cost.

The breakfast room on the ground floor doubles as a glamorous Mediterranean restaurant for both lunch and dinner. The beige tones and hanging black lamps make it a romantic place at night. The cuisine is “del autor” – the Chef’s own personal twist to the best the south can offer. A further restaurant is accessed from the patio area past its open kitchen (or from the street for the passing public) and serves a fusion of Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese cuisine. I enjoyed my meal of sushi, wok fried chicken and avocado with spices and perfumed Thai rice. It is sometimes a good thing to divert from the classic Spanish dishes such as paella!! Prices were amazing good value for a 5-star Hotel – thus maintaining the vision of including “Sevillanos” from the street and not excluding them by making it overly expensive or exclusive to the well-heeled. If you just want to “snack” there is a tapas bar too.

An ideal Hotel for those who want a stunning design hotel in a truly incredible location just a stone’s throw from the sights of Seville. It comes at a cost, but then don´t all good things?

Roof Terrace with plunge pool
Spa with indoor pool, massages, therapies and beauty treatments
Bar and Cocktail Lounge
Coffee Shop
Tapas Bar


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From 150€ to 600€

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Please Note - these prices should be used as a rough guide only. The Hotel operates a pricing policy similar to that of low-cost airlines with prices fluctuating according to occupation levels of the Hotel. The earlier you book the better deal you will get. We can guarantee that we will get the best deal available at the time of booking. Late deals may also be available so please contact us for availability!

The Hotel only requires credit card details in order to confirm a reservation (except for Semana Santa, Holy Week and the April Feria - please contact us for terms and conditions of bookings in these peak periods).

Cancellations made less than 48 hours before the arrival date and in the event of a no show: the total cost of the first nights stay will be charged by the Hotel.

Early departures: the total reservation cost will be charged by the Hotel.

Different cancellation policies apply for bookings during Easter Week, April Fair and the Christmas and New Year periods. We will inform you of all the details in our response to enquiries for these dates.

For all cancellations will charge an administration fee of 15 Euros.