’Hotel Alfonso Decimotercero’ I said to our taxi driver as we left the airport to get to our hotel. He looked at me quizzically then said ‘Hotel Alfonso Trese?’ then started rattling off locations close to it in rapid fashion, leaving me grasping for what few words were left in the hidden recesses of my brain from 12 units of university Spanish. Our driver was a kind enough guy and along the way gave us the lay of the land as best as an impatient southerner weaving through traffic could, mumbling and honking at slow cars in front of him and pointing at different tourist spots as we came closer to the city center. And even though he overcharged us in the end – I’d read that cab fare from the airport should only be around €25 – I let it go as a tribute to his perseverance and a contribution to the economy. It’s still tough times in Spain after all.
As we reached our destination, I breathed a sigh of relief that the hotel was just as nice as in pictures, and even more so after our driver agreed that it’s an attractive building that’s actually a stop for tour groups. The grand entrance was a fitting start to what we saw inside and I, being a sucker for historic hotels, was grateful to Anthony for getting us to stay in such a beautiful hotel. Steamy weather aside it was a very nice introduction to Seville.
We weren’t able to check in early so went immediately out to see the city, and when we returned took a closer look at the fine details of our home for the next three days.
So instead of saying ‘Hotel Alfonso the Thirteenth’, best to keep it simple as what the locals do. Despite a few minor breaches – our luggage weren’t in the room yet, the phone didn’t work, the shower head was askew – and a couple of major ones – there isn’t a coffee machine in the room and the air conditioning is clearly no match for Seville summer weather – I still think we chose well for our return trip to Spain. Seville is looking awfully nice right now.