Urban hotels are no longer like they were… They’re even better. Now, staying at a 4 star establishment in big cities like Seville, Valencia, Madrid, Bilbao or Barcelona is like entering into a place where everything is cloaked in perfection and where you feel you could stay forever. The competition that exists in this industry has made hotels completely change their services and, in that, the experiences they provide. This is so evident that, a lot of the time, the actual hotel is the main reason for taking a trip to one of these cities.


Computers with Wi-Fi in the rooms, courtesy iPad, free bike hire to explore the city, 24 hour personalised service, special breakfasts’ inspired by the typical ingredients of the destination, events held at the hotel, contemporary-decorated rooms, terraces with panoramic views and cosmopolitan bars. Urban hotels are now the most-talked-about establishments in the tourism sector of Spain.


Spain has always been a strong name in beach holidays (references leading all the way to the Caribbean) and now it can assume the position of reference in the hotel industry for city breaks. Spain has succeeded in doing this through the state-of-the-art design of its hotels, refurbishment of historical and emblematic buildings found all over the city and services that are becoming more and more specialised with every passing year. These hotels are a symbolic example for the rest of the world to follow.


Hotel chains like NH, Melià (with their ME collection) or Barceló are some of the most popular in this sense. However, new chains like Petit Palace Hotels and Catalonia have taken big steps to become a model of inspiration for other hotel chains in Europe.




These are hotels built on historical monuments, in privileged zones to conserve their original charm whilst also implementing cutting edge technology.


Let’s take these small chains as an example; for the effort they’ve put in in terms of investment and the carefully-devised plans they have made; with respect to larger chains. Petit Palace is one that has been one of the most successful in the least amount of time. After having started in the Basque country, it now has hotels all over Spain, counting for all the major Spanish cities like: Seville, Valencia, Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao and Malaga.


Petit Palace was established in 2001 and now counts for 33 urban hotels with their key characteristics being:

  • Privileged location in the historic and financial districts of big cities.
  • Antique buildings with patrimonial value that have been restored to conserve their charm and then adapted to the new requirements of guests.
  • The implementation of cutting-edge technology for the leisure and comfort of guests.
  • Spaces especially designed for guests.
  • Simple but selective dining in practically all establishments.
  • Spacious and functional rooms with unique design for groups and families.
  • An average of 65 rooms to offer personalised service in all aspects.



One aspect most valued by guests, at hotels that stand out like Hotel Petit Palace Triball in Madrid; or Petit Palace Boquería Garden in the Ramblas of Barcelona, is the availability of technology. All hotels offer rooms equipped with technology where guests can access the internet when needed, work or organise excursions with all the information they need only a few clicks away. Some hotels also offer Wi-Fi to go so that, when guests leave the hotel, they still remain connected to the internet without having to use their own data.


Clean, comfortable, exquisite design in all communal spaces, versatility in all aspects of dining and personal service are all pros that make these hotels unique. This is the reason why there’s a strong probability that we are here to stay and will be imitated by others.


To book a stay at a reduced price, as hotel chains, we recommend you do this directly on the official website of the hotels. By doing this you’ll avoid the surcharge that third parties add on and you’ll profit from better prices for hotels that never sway from the 4 star sphere. In the case of Petit Palace Hotels, we also offer special discounts and exclusive offers with breakfast included which is only available when booking on our official website. With regards to this, if you go to Madrid, we offer:  Hotel Petit Palace Triball or if you prefer Barcelona we offer: Hotel Petit Palace Boquería which are the ones with the best deals and discounts right now.


What’s more, if you subscribe to our newsletter, you’ll receive these offers directly to your email. You never know when you can get a good bargain and experience one of the most revolutionary hotels in the city. 😉

Although they are now more popular than ever before, hotels that offer spa facilities in Europe have been around since the 70’s when the first hotels specifically dedicated to guests’ well-being were established. Until this time, they were known as spa hotels which offered thermal waters that formed part of the services provided for guests. Spa hotels have since grown incredibly but what are the basic factors they should offer in order to help us cast our deciding vote?

Guests have a clear view of what a good spa hotel should offer: jacuzzi, sauna, turkish bath, special showers, a great pool with swan-neck taps and jet showers. Every time, it gets bigger and better; we know the possibilities and are not afraid to ask. However, a spa hotel doesn’t always have to have a multitude of facilities as guests are satisfied with the following series of requirements:

  • Water therapy treatments concentrated on the well-being of the body.
  • Basic facilities like climatised indoor pools, saunas and turkish baths.
  • Booths and a massage menu.
  • Specific beauty treatments that combine various techniques.
  • Qualified professionals to carry out these treatments.
  • Medical supervision is not required as this already comes with the territory in wellness hotels.

In accordance with the official definition by the International Spa Association: “Spas are places devoted to overall well-being through a variety of professional services that encourage the renewal of mind, body and spirit.” And if you refer to its name, it comes from the Latin acronym Saluten Per Aquam (SPA), since its origin goes back to Roman times.

Following this, hotels which, as well as offering accommodation, offer these types of services and facilities and are able to relieve stress and bad health habits, are given the name “spa hotel”. However, in this regard, there’s often some confusion about the difference between well-being hotels (a more narrow concept) and spa hotels (a more open concept).

A wellness hotel takes the form of a spa and includes general physical and physiological treatments performed by medical professionals. And then there are others that are health spas, focused on the general health of the client, embarking on concepts like nutrition and always supervised by medical professionals who know everything there is to know about the treatments.

The other concept is a spa which is focused on relaxing and combatting stress. This type of therapeutic spa offers a diverse menu of health and beauty therapies, more often than not combined with thermal waters and are always supervised by medical personnel. Finally, you have the holistic spa which offers a range of therapies, facilities and treatments which, combined, guarantee the client a stay of equilibrium.

What Spain can offer

Nowadays, Spain is one of the best countries in Europe to offer a large range of high-quality spa hotels and resorts. The north of Spain is better for traditional spa hotels. In areas of mass tourism, spa hotels have improved incredibly over the last few years and are almost a regular occurrence in this sector.

It is true that whilst spas vary a lot from hotel to hotel, some mention having a spa when really all they offer is a small zone with indoor pool and jacuzzi with some deck chairs on which to relax. Others, on the other hand, are more authentic paradises of well-being and contentment where you’ll find qualified professionals and special, unique and innovative treatments.

However, normally this term is quite well-received, just look for hotels that actually offer spa services as part of their profile. This is certainly true in superior 3 star hotels in touristic or urban zones, centered around business clients or those who desire a weekend escape.

Where are the best spa hotels? You can find them all over Spain. More specifically in luxury urban zones, in cities’ old towns or financial districts and golf or beach resorts. These offer a lot more in terms of services as they are geared towards larger holiday seasons.

If you are looking for a spa hotel, the islands are your obvious choice of destination. Some of these are: the spa hotels in Cala Millor, Palma, Playa de Muro in Majorca, the spa hotels in Fuerteventura in Corralejo and Playa Jandía and the spa hotels in Tenerife, the coast of Los Cristianos and Costa Adeje, and the capital of Santa Cruz. The prices vary according to the season and the time of year you choose as, due to the demanding season, they rise  in the summer months.