This wonderful five star Alicante hotel stands right in the historical centre of Alicante city, in an old Dominican monastery which has been completely and meticulously refurbished to combine the austere character of its ancient residents with the most up to date trends.
Its restoration has conserved the original colours of the facade. Part of the monastery's original stone has been recovered and the arches have been left standing in some rooms, all combined with a decoration that creates a warm atmosphere, with soft colours, using top-quality materials including wood and designer furniture. The hotel is decorated with a special collection of paintings by the Alicante-born artist Iluminada Garcia.
This property has 59 rooms (56 standard doubles, two junior suites and one suite), all of them equipped with the most modern services including flat screen TV and DVD, individual air conditioning, wireless telephone, electronically adjustable blinds, a safe box with capacity for a laptop and broadband internet connection, among others facilities.
The hotel's top floor offers leisure and relaxation services such as a swimming-pool with a retractable cover, Jacuzzi and wave-effects, affording magnificent views over Alicante's old quarter, the Cathedral of San Nicolas and Santa Barbara Castle. Guests can also enjoy the spacious teak balcony-solarium with deckchairs and tables, and there is also a small gymnasium with sauna.
This hotel was a finalist in the Conde Nast Johansens awards for excellence in tourism in the category of design and innovation.
The city and its harbour are flanked by the Benacantil mountain, a rocky promontory crowned by the Santa Barbara fortress. Of Arab origin, the castle bears the marks of all the different peoples that the city has sheltered, although a good part of the present building only dates back to the 16th century. From the top of the old walls you have a commanding view of the whole city, while enjoying the impressive coastline and many kilometres of the beautiful countryside.
The old walled city was built at the foot of this fortress. One of the most attractive buildings in this network of narrow streets and alleyways is the Gothic church of Santa María (16th century), built on top of an old Arab mosque. Across from the church is the Casa de la Asegurada Museum (17th century), which has an important collection of contemporary art, with artists of the stature of Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso and Eduardo Chillida.
Plaza del Ayuntamiento (the city-council square), dominated by the Baroque façade of the Town Hall, is another of the significant spots of the old quarter. Behind it there are two relevant buildings, the Academy of the Society of Jesus and the procathedral of Saint Nicholas, finished in 1662. Herrera and Baroque styles are mixed in this temple, the interior of which conceals a beautiful fifteenth century cloister.
The coastline is, without a doubt, the favourite recreational spot for the people of Alicante. The Explanada de España promenade, located across from the port, is a lively boulevard dotted with terraces and pavement cafés. A more modern leisure area extends along the port's breakwater, where there are also many bars and restaurants. Next to both of these is the urban beach of El Postiguet, a privileged spot for enjoying the sea and the sun.
It is worth a visit to the recently refurbished Provincial Archaeological Museum (MARQ). Located on the premises of the old San Juan de Dios hospital, the Museum exhibits, in an educational and engaging way, the remains of the archaeological site of Tossal de Manises, which unveils interesting facts about the ancient city during the times of the Iberians, Greeksand Romans.
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