hostal del cardenal

Photos courtesy of Hostal del Cardenal








In 1085, Alfonso VI of Castile freed Toledo from Muslim control. He put the first cardinal of Toledo, Bernardo de Cluny (who was from the Cistercian Order), in charge of the area of battlements near the famous Puerta Antigua de Bisagra, or Bisagra Gate. This wall eventually lost its defensive nature and became part of a country “palace” for the cardinals to enjoy.

In the 18th century, Cardinal Lorenzana added a pavilion overlooking the garden, which is today’s hotel.

Pamela’s Perspective

If you have only one day to travel outside Madrid, that day should be spent in the walled city of Toledo. Granted, Toledo can be crowded with tourists and souvenir shops are plentiful, but the charm of its maze of winding alleyways and cobblestone lanes and the sense of history imparted from visits to its monuments make it an important destination.

If traveling to the hotel by car, you may park very quickly in front of the hotel to unload your bags and then repark in a nearby public lot. Parking is free for hotel guests.


Hostal del Cardenal

A 18th-century palace


Paseo de Recaredo, 24
45004 Toledo
Tel: ++34 925 224 900
Fax: ++34 925 222 991
Hotel website
Reserve with

Fast facts

27 rooms

Single rooms: from 59 euros
Double rooms: from 88 euros

Rates include tax and service.
Breakfast extra

Open: all year

Getting there

Toledo is 70 km south of Madrid. Bus and train service from Madrid is available, with buses being preferable. Toledo’s train station lies outside the main part of town, requiring a taxi ride. The hotel sits on the north side of town and parallels the Arab walls.

What to do

Walks through the old town of Toledo.


Just below the old town of Toledo, the Hostal del Cardenal is an oasis of peace and charm. Set into the ancient city walls, next to the Bisagra Gate, you must climb a series of steps (keep this in mind if you have difficulties with mobility) to reach the top of the crenellations where the hotel sits.

Don’t worry about having to climb more steps to reach the center of old Toledo, nearby escalators will whisk you up the hill.

The hotel’s best feature is the terraced, Moorish-style garden, with a fountain reminiscent of the Alhambra, which welcomes you each time you return.

A centuries-old ambiance permeates throughout the hotel’s public rooms, which feature salons filled with occasional antiques and paintings.

Pleasant guest rooms have whitewashed walls, tile accents, and handmade rugs. Some rooms have balconies with views of the garden and city walls. All have modern bathrooms and air-conditioning.

Something special

curlicue Watching the sunset from the ancient walls.