Hotel Review: La Alcoba del Agua, Sanlucar de Barrameda
Back from Spain for two, weeks, a new job to settle into, house a mess and two bored cats – not the best circumstances for writing a long post.
While I have loads from our Andalucian honeymoon to share, let me start with La Alcoba del Agua hotel, our favourite hotel of the trip. It’s in Sanlucar de Barrameda. Yes, it’s not the most obvious of places, not even in well-visited Andalucia. Having visited both Jerez de la Frontera and Cadiz, I think the small town of Sanlucar de Barrameda is the best place to base yourself if you want to visit the Sherry Triangle. An old town full of historical buildings, great restaurants and cafes, proximity to the sea and being somewhat off the beaten track make this a great place to stay. And it had the best hotels…
We came to stay in this hotel by chance, as the equally nice Hotel Barrameda could only accommodate us for one night.
The hotel is in the centre of the old town, in a small lane running parallel to the main pedestrian street, therefore it is quiet. Sanlucar is easily walkable, unless you want to visit some sherry bodegas outside the centre. The famous strip of seafood restaurants on the Bajo de Guia is a pleasant half-hour walk away. If you bring a car, either leave it outside town or book a private car parking space with the hotel – they have secure parking about 100m away.
The “official” and published rating is 2 Stars, which is a complete joke, but often, things like I would rate this a superior 3 Star to 4 Stars by Western European Standards.
Probably because it is so small, it doesn’t have a ton of facilities, but they do a lot to make you feel at home. We were asked to give our arrival time, because reception is not always manned, but can be contacted by phone easily. There are two small building, with a very cute astro-turfed courtyard with plenty of seating between them, a light-flooded lounge and dining room, and even a narrow pool you can actually swim laps in. All is super clean, and in tones of white, red and green, very sparse, very modern, yet they managed to make it really comfortable. The design is clean-lined and has a lot of classics of yesteryear. My favourite were the Artemide Tolomeo lamps in various places, which are extremely versatile, and staying here has finally inspired me to buy one. They may be a relic from the 1980’s, but hey, they are so practical and beautiful. Well, I couldn’t name the designers of all the clean-lined interiors, and they may be a decade or two old, but simple elegance paired with comfort are the key here.
WiFi was good! WiFi quality in the Spanisch hotels we stayed in was variable, and this was one of the better ones, fine for web surfing and uploading a few photographs
Ever the cheapskates, we booked the cheapest available room (“Economy”) for 54 EURO and stayed in the back building on the second floor in a small, very well appointed room. It was really quiet, and did not feel claustrophobic at all. Even if you were to stay in a room facing the street, it would probably be quiet, as the hotel is about 200m from the lively pedestrian street, and the old town of Sanlucar is all narrow lanes, so there is no mad traffic to contend with.
Our “Economy” room was, according to the hotel website, 11 square metres. Small, but it did not feel claustrophobic at all. The double bed may have taken most of the space in the room, but there was enough space to get in and out ouf bed, space for our luggage, a wardrobe, and a decent sized bathroom. Small but perfectly formed, in a pleasing unobtrusive white and light grey colour scheme.
The bed was 150cm width which is pretty standard for a double in Spain, and had one of the most comfortable mattresses, and beautiful bright white bedlinen and silk cushions – top marks for bedding. The aforementioned flexible Tolomeo lights made reading in bed possible even when my better half was asleep.
There was even space for a small cafe table and chairs by the window, perfect for working, although there was plenty of space to work in the lounge/dining area, along with free tea and possibly coffee.
For a small hotel, this packs in a lot: a pleasant lounge, courtyard, small lap pool, outside sun lounging area… in low season, they were deserted and there was space everywhere, not sure what this would look like when the hotel is fully booked.
There’s secure parking,
They will rent you bicycles, which might come in handy for a trip to the beach, the fish restaurants along the Bajo de Guia or outlying sherry bodegas. The bodegas, unless you are a sherry aficionado, look very similar, and there are at least three in walking distance.
For me, it as the whole package – small hotel, fresh clean design, friendliness and peaceful surroundings that won me over.
So this is the best hotel in Sanlucar?
If you ask me, yes. It is a bit of a walk to the Bajo de Guia and the beach. If you want the beach (there will be better beaches along the Costa de la Luz), you might be better off staying in a beach hotel. If you want to be right in the centre of action, where you can see from your window what’s on offer at the market and have at least ten cafes ( and a little bit of noise until midnight) at your doorstep, stay at the equally comfortable Hotel Barrameda. In terms of charm and style, the Hotel Algoba del Agua one wins by a small notch.
Address: Calle Alcoba, 26, 11540 Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Cádiz, Spain
Telephone: +34 956 38 31 09
Hotel Website: https://www.laalcobadelagua.com
We booked this room on Booking.com and paid 54 EURO in March 2019 for a double including plus 10 EURO a day for secure off-site parking.
Nearest Airport: Jerez (XRY), 34km
Features: Escalator, breakfast (at an extra 9 EURO), bicycles for rent, super-cleanliness and clean pleasing interior design. Also secure off-site parking (10 EURO), swimming pool, flamenco dress rental (and no I did not try this one)
Doesn’t have: bar, restaurant, party culture
Disclosure: This trip was entirely self funded. I have received no monetary or non-monetary rewards for linking aside from some affiliate links. I will only review and recommend places that I have stayed in myself. You can trust me for the whole, unbiased truth. In this case, this post contains come affiliate links to Booking.com. This means that I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you decided to book through the affiliate links. More details on my affiliate link policy are here.