Northern Spain and Galicia offer an exceptional variety of visitor accommodation. Accommodation can be found that will fit all forms of budgets and even the most particular tourists will find something to suit their particular needs.
If it is luxury that you are after then the best advice should be to head straight for the exclusive hotels and Paradors but to be honest even the basic family casas rurales are extremely good value for money. Good accommodation can be found also in some of the various mountain refuges where the stunning views complement the high standard of the accommodation but also for those looking for a beach holiday on a budget there are lots of campsites to be found in the coastal areas.
As would be fit any major country in the western world, hotels in Galicia and Northern Spain are spacious, comfortable and clean. The hotels are awarded between one and five stars and these are allocated by the local tourist Authority. If you need actual visible proof of the standard of your hotel you can find confirmation indicated by a small blue plaque near the hotel front door.
You’ll find in hotels that they have at least a shower in each room but more usually en suite bathrooms. Do not expect to find en-suite facilities in the smaller Hostels and Pensiones but you might be surprised in certain cases.
Don’t assume that just because you might be forced to stay in a one or two star hotel that the quality of the service is inferior to a five star hotel because in some cases it might actually be better because the stars are allocated for the facilities the hotel can offer not the quality of the service. The more exclusive hotels offer all kinds of extra facilities, such as air conditioning, on-site parking, internet-access and rooms with televisions as well as facilities for the disabled.
Two or three star hotels are the most popular in this region and their rates vary on the season or time of year that you stay there. It has been found that in this area quite often the hostels (hostales) and guest houses are actually more popular; the fact that they are cheaper may have something to do with this. These are usually small family-run establishments offering just a few beds.
It is estimated that there are approximately 92,000 registered beds in this territory, described as Green Spain and there are in excess of 1500 hotels.
The largest hotel chains in the area are called Grupo Sol-Melia and NH. The standard of accommodation in these hotels is extremely high. Latterly there have been a growing number of smaller privately run hotels that offer memorable relaxing accommodation available.
Throughout Spain you’ll find in key areas tourist accommodation known as Parador’s. These have classifications of anything between three to five stars in accommodation standard. Spain’s first Parador opened in 1928 and now there is a wide network of them throughout the country. The theory behind them was that they should never be more than a day’s drive from one to another. The Parador de los Reyes Catolicos in Santiago de Compostela, located in a former royal hunting lodge is possibly the best known Parador in the area. Other Paradors can be found in Castles, Monasteries and various other monuments. Some Parador’s have been purpose built often in spectacular scenery or in towns of historic interest.
The local Parador might not be best hotel in town but it will usually deliver a predictably consistent standard of comfort. The bedrooms are usually spacious and comfortable, and all furnished to a standard that varies little from Parador to Parador. Some also offer fine regional cuisine. It is usually wise to plan ahead and book your accommodation if you wish to use the network of Paradors. You can either call each Parador direct or use the Central booking service based in Madrid called the Central de Reservas. You have to expect as in most cases that if you choose to travel during the high season accommodation can be on the expensive side but deals can be found if you’re able to shop around.