The New Luxurious Hotel You Should Book In Seville
If you walk down Calle Castelar in the El Arenal district of Seville’s historical center, you might not even notice the hotel Mercer Sevilla marked only by a very discreet sign. But you will notice the building, a patrician, white 19th-century palace, the former Casa Palacio Castelar Palace and the most elegant structure on the street. Once inside, the elegant tone continues into the lobby with a sweeping circular white marble staircase, a classic, original feature of the palace. But styles then completely diverge. In the transformation that created this 12 room hotel which opened in November, classic vies with modern for attention. The result is fresh, inventive and absolutely stunning.
The lobby, a typical Andalusian courtyard covered in white marble is framed by the palace’s original arches and centered by a running fountain, also a feature of the local Mudejar culture. Around it are couches in contemporary lines; off to the side are a small salon with orange and red contemporary furniture, a vertical garden visible from the rooms upstairs, a cocktail bar overseen by premier local mixologist Diego Cabrera and the intimate restaurant with textured walls, high ceilings and a sophisticated color scheme of tan and gray. Since the hotel had only been open three weeks when I was there, the full restaurant service wasn’t in gear yet but there were clues that the standards would be high from the breakfast service: a well-curated buffet of homemade pastries, yogurt and fruit with additional selections including French omelets with Iberian ham, blinis with Caviar Imperial Baeri and crème fraiche and atelier juices of raspberry and wild mango nectar. As a New Yorker, I was leery of the misspelled bagel with smoked salmon and crème fraiche and went with the omelet with Iberian ham, a reliable and, as it turned out, excellent choice.
Upstairs, the rooms vary by size and location but all have breezy, modern décor including sleek leather chairs in various shades of blue and tufted leather headboards framing beds you won’t want to leave in the morning. My premium junior suite had a terrace with a pomelo tree, Seville being a city of omnipresent citrus, bookshelves containing classical works in case I needed something to read and a stark all white bathroom that should have felt clinical but instead felt stylish and had brilliant, flattering light.
When the weather warms up, the rooftop pool and lounge will undoubtedly be a draw for guests and outsiders alike and provide some neighborhood orientation. From that vantage point, it’s easy to see several of Seville’s prime sights such as the Real Alcazar palace, the grand Seville Cathedral and the Guadalquivir River.
To organize a Seville trip that includes visits to those landmarks with expert guides as well as a fascinating visit to the Palacio de la Duenas, the lavish home of a Seville icon, the flamboyant Duchess of Alba, that recently opened to the public, contact Jaime Lopez of Unforgettable Spain. He knows the best places for performances of flamenco as well.