Photos courtesy of Parador de Úbeda
Double rooms: 95–230 euros
Single rooms: 80% of double
Rates include tax. Breakfast extra.
Open: all year
Úbeda is 42 km east of Bailén, which is located on National Road IV (the Madrid-Córdoba highway). Trains and buses connect Úbeda to Jaén, Linares, and Baeza. In town, signs marked “parador” lead the way through the narrow, twisting streets.
Nearby: walking tours of Úbeda and Baeza.
Though the Parador de Úbeda faces the plaza with a rather plain façade, step inside and find a charming courtyard filled with plants and blue tile work and enclosed by two levels of Moorish arches.
To one side of the courtyard are a sitting room and library. Another large room with stone arches and low beams is used for special festivals.
A large stairway leads up to the guest rooms, which feature high ceilings and spacious bathrooms. Good use is made of the palace architecture in a few of the guest rooms. You might find your bed partly under an arched alcove. Unlike the current trend of many paradors to go contemporary in style, guest rooms here are warm and charming with an occasional antique (or tasteful reproduction). Throughout, attention is given to detail, such as floors inlaid with small hand-painted tiles of animals and Andalucian scenes.
The dining room is a friendly place, with Andalucian cuisine presented by waitresses dressed in traditional costume. The three-course meals often include garlic soup, rabbit, and quail.
The town of Úbeda is a Spanish National Monument