Quality Vacations With A Difference
PARADORES SPAIN - WHAT THEY OFFER
Whilst most visitors holidaying in Spain from abroad tend to stick to the stereo-typed hotel chains for their vacations, Paradores make a superb alternative: quality accommodation and food guarantee a stay that is remembered for comfort, style and value for money; and, through them, you will gain a better and deeper knowledge of Spain.
Right from their beginnings in 1928, the aim of the state-established Paradores Spain was to offer high standards, at reasonable prices, in a noteworthy building or location, and to help preserve the traditions of regional cooking, by serving the best of local cuisine in the Parador restaurants.
Equally important objectives of the hotel chain were to help preserve the country s national and artistic heritage and to promote tourism in areas which had been overlooked by the private sector.
Today, Paradores can be found in converted castles, palaces, fortresses, convents, monasteries and other traditional buildings throughout the mainland and its islands. The group has also built new hotels in unspoiled areas of the country in magnificent locations.
There are currently 88 paradores for vacations, following the opening of the Monforte de Lemos in Lugo in July 2003, offering 9,000 places althogether.
A number of new parador openings are planned for vacations in 2004 and 2005, including in San Esteban de Rivas de Sil in Ourense, Limpias in Cantabria, Morella in Castell n and Lorca in Murcia.
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PARADORES SPAIN - BIRTH AND HISTORY
In 1910, the Spanish Government assigned the Marquis de la Vega Incl n the task of creating a hotel infrastructure for vacations - practically non-existent in Spain at the time - that would house travellers and improve Spain s image abroad.
In 1926, through the Royal Tourism Commission established in 1911, the Marquis de la Vega Incl n initiated the establishment of a hotel in the Gredos Mountains in Castilla La Mancha, making the wonders of the area s landscape accessible to tourism.
King Alfonso XIII of Spain was very enthusiastic about the idea and he, personally, chose the location. Construction began in August 1926 and was completed on the evening of 9 October 1928. The hotel was inaugurated that same day and became the first establishment of the future Paradores Spain network: the Parador de Gredos.
After the opening of the Parador de Gredos, the Board of Paradores and Inns was formed and efforts were channelled into perfecting the original idea and into making use of selected historical/artistic monuments and beautiful landscapes for the establishment of new Paradores Spain.
The paradores for vacations that followed were all clear examples of how the characteristics of hospitality were harmoniously integrated with the restoration of castles, palaces and convents, rescuing from ruin and abandonment monuments representative of Spain s historical and cultural heritage.
There are Paradores Spain to suit all tastes and the wide variety of geography and type of establishment make each one unique with something special to offer.
However, if choosing Paradores Spain for your vacations, it is best to book early as, apart from being popular with the Spanish, they are now becoming better-known amongst visitors outside Spain.
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