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Hostal del Cardenal

Spain   Castilla la Mancha   Toledo   Why Castilla la Mancha?
Madrid Barajas 120km
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Reviewed by Michael Soffe


It is not often that you enter a Hotel through a doorway in a 1000 year old wall, but here at Hostal del Cardenal that is exactly what you do. The magnificent walled city of Toledo lies above you and nestled at its base through the wall is this enchanting Hotel. Part of its enchantment is that it lies hidden away. Since 1085 this lower part of the city next to the “Bisagra Gate” has been under the control of the Cardinals, the first one being Bernardo de Cluny, appointed in this year after the re-conquest of the City from the Moors. Since then the area has undergone few changes except for this wonderful hideaway, which was the Cardinal’s mansion, and which became even grander when a pavilion was built overlooking the gardens in the late 18th Century. History lesson over!!! This “pavilion” now forms the Hotel and Restaurant.

On passing through the gate you are greeted by traditional flower-filled gardens in the style of the Alhambra Palace gardens in Granada. A long pool with tinkling fountains completes the effect. There are a few stairs to be taken into account and you veer off left for the Hotel’s renowned restaurant (more of that later), or straight ahead for the Hotel reception.

A charming Jose greeted me on arrival. The Hotel is on two floors and the bedrooms are off the long corridors on both levels. Décor is definitely in the style of the Cardenal’s mansion – antique furniture, oil paintings and antiques can be seen everywhere. Features I really loved were the enclosed patio courtyard and the heavy wooden, carved Moorish ceilings. There are several examples of wonderful ceramic tiling and brickwork.

The 27 bedrooms, of which two are Suites, are simply furnished in a style in keeping with the 18th Century building. They are equipped with heating and air-con; satellite TV and hairdryer. A safe is in reception for clients’ valuables. There is a mini-bar in the Suites, which also have a small balcony overlooking the beautiful gardens.

One of the most notable features of his Hotel is the restaurant and bar area. Its excellent reputation entices both locals and tourists alike and in the warmer months tables are laid in the garden for lunch and dinner. Breakfasts for Hotel guests are served in the restaurant (not included in the room rate). Do reserve your table for dinner as it can often be fully booked at the weekends. The famous cuisine of Paco and Amelia knows no bounds and their pride of joy is the wood-fuelled oven which gives a unique taste to their “roasts”. Miguel, the restaurant Manager is charming, and will advise on an extensive selection of very good wines. The food is quintessentially Spanish with the emphasis on meats and fish.

An ideal Hotel for those who want a grand historical building but on an intimate scale. Excellent Hotel for a peaceful stay in Toledo away from the hordes of tourists who visit this remarkable city.
Conveniently placed near the lift which takes you up into the walled city centre.



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From 63€ to 280€

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Low Season: 2nd January to 31st March, August, 1st November to 31st December (excluding 2nd to 10th December, 24th December and 31st December which fall under high season)

High Season: 1st April to 31st July, 1st September to 31st October, 2nd to 10th December, 24th December and 31st December.

The Hotel requires credit card information in order to confirm a reservation.

Cancellations made less than 48 hours of the arrival date and in the event of a no show: 100% of the total reservation cost will be charged by the Hotel.

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