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Hotel Highlights

  • Palatial dimensions and beautifully ornate interiors
  • Peaceful pool amid leafy orange-tree gardens
  • Fabulous Andalucían cuisine, served amid Roman ruins

Overview

Hospes Palacio del Bailío hotel is a historic, art-enlivened home in Cordoba turned boutique retreat with lush gardens and a peaceful spa. This high-ceiling hideaway is a mishmash of styles – Roman ruins share the space with Moorish gates, modern furniture and sculptural chandeliers. Art is a focal point in the breezy marble corridors and a subterranean bar serves cocktails beneath a vaulted ceiling.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Hospes Palacio del Bailío with us:

A bottle of local olive oil; guests staying in a Dreamers Room will also get a bottle of cava when they dine in Senzone restaurant; those in a Superior Room or Suite will get a bottle of champagne.

Special offers

Exclusive rates, packages and special offers at Hospes Palacio del Bailío

Early booking offer: 15% off Stay two nights and save 10%

Facilities

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Hospes Palacio de Baili­o - Cordoba - Spain

Need To Know

Rooms

53, including eight suites.

Check–out

12 noon. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $172.21 (€136), excluding tax at 10 per cent.

More details

Rates exclude breakfast (€18) but include use of the (recently restored) Roman baths.

Also

Filled with friezes, frescoes, murals and motifs, the hotel is a living art gallery, with some pieces dating back to the 16th century.

At the hotel

Spa with thermal plunge pools, sauna and beauty salon, library, free Wifi throughout, valet parking. In rooms: flatscreen TV, minibar.

Our favourite rooms

The rooms overlooking the citrus-filled courtyard are the most peaceful and boast the prettiest views – number 117, a small deluxe, is top of our list with its petite balcony, floor-to-ceiling French doors and smart egg bath tub under the window. Room 108 gets the most light and has a fantastic loft-apartment feel. The Grand Suite Loft is definitely not misnamed – the room occupies a vast space on the top floor with rows of shuttered windows and a whopping open-plan bathroom with a freestanding tub.

Poolside

The small, copper-brown tiled swimming pool is tucked in an orange grove surrounded by pink roses and low-lying sun loungers (snag the four-poster canopied one with billowing curtains if you fancy reclining in style).

Packing tips

Fear not if you forget your swimming costume – the hotel has a supply of (only slightly comical) disposable, French-made, Hawaiian-print, one-piece swimsuits.

Also

Non-smoking rooms are available, and lightweight (under 15kg) pets can stay too, for €50 a night.

Children

Under-6s stay free Cribs (free) and extra beds (€50 plus tax) can be provided and babysitting can be arranged on request.

Food & Drink

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Hospes Palacio de Baili­o - Cordoba - Spain

Hotel Restaurant

The hotel’s Andalucían restaurant, Arbequina, occupies a wood-beamed indoor area and spills out into the glass-roofed central courtyard, where you can see the ruins of an ancient Roman house through the transparent floor panels below.

Hotel Bar

Decorated with black-and-white matador-themed photographs, the Palacio’s subterranean tapas bar is both an informal dining alternative to Arbequina, and a great place to relax with a glass or two of vino tinto.

Last orders

Arbequina doles out the dishes from 8.30pm until 11pm, but the tapas bar stays serving until midnight at the weekend.

Room service

Snacks, sandwiches and salads can be brought to your room at any time.

Smith Insider

Dress code

You’ll get by in jeans, but we recommend dressing up to the quality of the Córdoban cuisine (as much as you can in this heat, anyway).

Top table

Try to get a table tucked in the corner of the courtyard rather towards the middle – the combination of the clear glass floor and ceiling can conjure uneasy goldfish-bowl sensations.

Local Guide

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Hospes Palacio de Baili­o - Cordoba - Spain
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

Córdoba is small and easy to walk around but if you’re feeling especially idle you can rent a bike or even a little zippy electric car to explore the area. www.blobject.es rents all sorts of eco-friendly vehicles.

Local restaurants

Traditional tapas-place, Taberna Los Berengueles (+34 957 472828) on Conde de Torres Cabrera, is a short stroll away from Palacio del Bailío and has a lovely little patio to dine on. Across the street, Taberna Gongora (+34 957 490362) is a great choice if you like beer and taxidermy. Head to Bar Santos, just opposite the mosque, for paper plates of delicious tapas at ridiculously low prices (+34 957 479360). Sit a cold beer and demolish your tapas outside, surrounded by locals and lucky tourists.

+ Enlarge
Quiet corner of cultured Córdoba

Hospes Palacio del Bailío

10–12 Ramírez de las Casas Deza, Córdoba, Spain, 14001

Planes

Fly with Vueling (www.vueling.com) or Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) to Seville Airport, otherwise known as San Pablo. It takes just over an hour to drive from the airport to the hotel. The bus takes 20 minutes to reach the train station in Seville, which is a convenient five minutes from the hotel.

Trains

If you’re thinking of organising a day trip, the nearest train station is Córdoba Central, which is Renfe-operated (www.renfe.es), and offers high-speed links to Seville, Madrid and Málaga.

Automobiles

The hotel is in the historic centre of Córdoba, and guests have free access to bikes to zip around on. Car hire is available at the airport. If you’re driving to Córdoba, use the E5/A4 motorway and take exit 403 towards Plaza de Andalucía. Valet parking at the hotel costs around €26 a day.

Reviews

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Hospes Palacio de Baili­o - Cordoba - Spain

Anonymous review

by Sarah Jappy , Wordsmith wondergirl at Mr & Mrs Smith

Our taxi is bombing down the moonlit motorway, the garrulous driver jabbering away incomprehensibly. Uncharacteristically, Mr Smith and I are silent (all that remains of my GCSE Spanish is a smattering of stationery terms – una goma, una calculadora y un sacapuntas – and I can’t see this spicing up the conversation). Suddenly, Córdoba appears before us, its lights winking …
Read more

Hospes Palacio del Bailío

Anonymous review by Sarah Jappy, Wordsmith wondergirl

Our taxi is bombing down the moonlit motorway, the garrulous driver jabbering away incomprehensibly. Uncharacteristically, Mr Smith and I are silent (all that remains of my GCSE Spanish is a smattering of stationery terms – una goma, una calculadora y un sacapuntas – and I can’t see this spicing up the conversation). Suddenly, Córdoba appears before us, its lights winking in the darkness like gold dust on velvet. Mr Smith nearly ruins the sense of mystery when he spies a sign for a shop called Porcenalosa on the roadside, and declares, ‘They have one of those in Wandsworth.’ But I’m practised in selective hearing, and ignore him.

As we enter the city, walled ramparts slide into view like a dinosaur’s jagged back, and we pass grandiose palaces, nocturnal teenagers, and neon-lit tapas bars. In a tangle of side streets, the car slows down and purrs into a stone archway, lit by glimmering floor lights. A dapper concierge emerges from Hospes Palacio del Bailío’s courtyard to take our luggage, usher us into the sleek lobby and guide us past pearlescent wall panels, elegant sofas in silvery mushroom and burnt orange, and sparkly globe lights like giant baubles. Our white-walled corner room is more than roomy – there’s a sitting area with two leather chairs, Juliet-balconied windows overlooking the outdoor pool, a gargantuan grey-granite bathroom, and a bed fit for a bordello, its fabric headboard decorated with Moorish curlicues.

Mr Smith looks for liquor, while I discover an in-room treat: plump berries and cake dipped in dark chocolate. Our intentions of exploring vanish, and we order in steaming bowls of spaghetti bolognese, crack open a bottle of red, and run a bubble bath. Tub time makes way for bedtime, when I risk a thorn in my (back)side by sitting on a spiky, blush-pink rose adorning the duvet. Thankfully Mr Smith rescues it – and my posterior.

‘Where are you?’ he bleats plaintively the next morning, so I roll across our white-sheeted expanse and prod him reassuringly. It’s a struggle to abandon our blankety kingdom, but I’ve heard that the hotel restaurant is glass-floored, with Roman ruins on show underneath. I love a lie-in, but that’s definitely worth getting out of bed for.

Senzone, the Andalucían restaurant is the heart of the hotel. It’s a glass-ceilinged atrium with sculpted chairs and plump velvet sofas, pillars and mosaics visible below, and a mural of a palace occupying an entire wall. The Roman influence extends to the orgiastic approach to catering. Athletically, I polish off 15 items (I counted) from the breakfast buffet. Then I order fried eggs with roast garlic, bacon and spicy sausage. The waiter looks impressed. I order churros with hot chocolate. The waiter looks askance. Mr Smith doesn’t bat an eyelid.

Having breakfasted for Britain, it’s time to explore, and we set off hand in hand, admiring the narrow streets, creamy stone façades and cool, peaceful courtyards. We queue up for the Alcázar of the Christians and wander the castle’s gorgeous gardens. After another edifying dose of mediaeval magnificence care of the Great Mosque of Córdoba, we head for tapas at Bar Santos. Here we devour pavement-sized slabs of tortilla de patata and sip crisp, cold beer while admiring a bride in a white froth of lace, posing for pictures in a flower-bedecked garden. Hours could easily trickle away like this, but spa treatments await.

Back at our boutique hotel, we’re issued with bathrobes and slippers and guided down a spiral staircase, where we can hear a rush of water. The Roman baths are dark and cavernous, with an L-shaped pool split into three sections: cold, less cold and slightly less cold. This intimate hideaway is a seductive little lair (I guess that’s where the cold water comes in handy), but thankfully, Mr Smith and I remain within the bounds of decency.

Soon it’s massage time – Mr Smith plumps for a sports pummelling, and I opt for an Ayurvedic one. As I lie back, I congratulate myself on my choice, especially when I hear whimpering sounds issuing from my beloved’s bed. 50 minutes later, we’re reunited and Mr Smith, I’m glad to see, is still in one piece, though he limps a little when we get into the lift.

We’re booked in for dinner, so I hog the shower while Mr Smith soaks in the bath. Having donned our finery, there’s time for champagne cocktails in the bar – a subterranean stone-walled space with lipstick-red lights, decorated with black and white photographs of a matador. (‘He looks very Spanish,’ Mr Smith utters sagely.) Our drinks come long and strong, and it’s lucky we’re eating soon, because the alcoholic kick and the cigar smoke wafting from the international playboy nearby are making me woozy.

Clinging to sobriety, we claim our table. The dusky night sky dims the restaurant romantically, and there are just a few other couples dining around us, with a clutch of staff, like fish, weaving noiselessly between tables. The meal becomes a blissful blur of silky pea soup with a parmesan foam, fat scallops with tissue-thin ham, and crispy suckling pork with a cloud of amanth seeds. After coffee mousse with a chocolate truffle, we abandon our seats in favour of one of those cushioned sofas.

It’s there that my memory fails me, as regrettably, the red wine sends me to sleep, and poor Mr Smith has to lug me up the stairs (limping and all). Admittedly, I would have to confess this snoozy end to a boozy night has happened before – but never in such sublime surroundings.

The Guestbook

Reviews of Hospes Palacio del Bailío from Smith members

Whenever you book a stay through us, we’ll invite you to comment when you get back. Read the Guestbook entries below to see what real-life Mr & Mrs Smiths have said about this hotel…

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I thought the hotel was beautiful, in a good location with very helpful staff.

Don’t expect

There were no tea or coffee facilities in the room until requested. And the room key was impossible to use (even the staff struggled).

Rating: 9/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The hotel is beautifully designed, cool and peaceful. Staff members are attentive and friendly. The location is convenient for walking to all places of interest, bars and cafés.

Rating: 10/10 stars

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

We booked a Grand Deluxe room and were given a beautiful room overlooking the courtyard. It was very spacious with a wonderful bathroom area and free standing bath.

Don’t expect

We would have used the bar/courtyard area more but there never seemed to be any staff around without asking at reception first.

Rating: 7/10 stars

SilverSmith

Stayed on

We loved

On arrival we were upgraded to a casita which was such a treat: we had our own garden area and pool. Lunch and breakfast by the pool was special and we felt very pampered. We stayed all 3 days at the hotel as had already explored Seville. A brilliant place for a relaxing stay.

Don’t expect

My husband went on a mission to rid the casita garden and pool area of wasp nests. This didn't seem to be a problem at the main house pool.

Rating: 8/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I loved the great staff, beautiful surroundings and fab pool.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

The concierge was wonderful and helpful.

Don’t expect

My room was next to the very noisy street so I couldn't open the windows at night.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

This is a very comfortable hotel set in a lovely location. The spa was excellent.

Don’t expect

The WiFi connection in the bedroom was rather weak.

Rating: 9/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I liked the beautiful location, lovely architecture, very comfortable beds, fabulously welcoming and helpful staff, and the great Roman baths!

Don’t expect

While the hotel restaurant has a lovely setting, looking through a glass floor to Roman ruins, it felt a bit fusty so we didn't actually eat there. The bar is better but could have been a bit livelier. Having said that, we went in a cold January. I am sure in the spring and summer, sitting outside in the courtyards would be wonderful.

Rating: 9/10 stars