Parador de Santillana Gil Blas - 17th Century Ancestral Home Hotel (4*)
The Parador de Santillana Gil Blas occupies the palatial mansion of the Barreda-Bracho family, parts of which date back to the 15th century, and which was later refashioned by Count Guell (the patron of Gaudi) in the 1920s as a hotel. One of a number of local buildings of great architectural appeal, the property is very traditional in style with stone arches, pan-tiled roof, wooden balconies and beamed ceilings.
Located conveniently close to Santander (15 miles away) and on the main square of one of the most attractive and well-preserved old villages in Spain, the Parador de Santillana Gil Blas is a good base for exploring both the northern coast of Cantabria with its superb beaches and coves, and the magnificent mountains of the Picos de Europa. Also nearby are the world-famous Altamira Caves with their prehistoric cave paintings.
The Parador de Santillana Gil Blas has 28 bedrooms, like its sister Parador, making it one of the smallest and prettiest Paradors in the network. Guests often tell us that there is little to separate the 2 properties in their appeal (except for the location of the bar and restaurant in this Parador and the difference in price between the two properties of about 10%). Bedrooms generally overlook the square and gardens, with large windows, wooden furnishings and rustic décor throughout.
The facilities available at the Parador de Santillana Gil Blas include gardens, a bar and restaurant where you may sample traditional Cantabrian dishes, featuring both fish and meat, as well as varies beans and a wide range of vegetables. . Local dishes include Ensalada Cántabra (green leaf salad with tuna and anchovies), Cocido montañes (bean stew with potato, red cabbage and pork) and Sorropotún (cod and potato stew).
There is garage parking available here. The Parador is accessed through the entrance to the old town, which involves passing through security bollards which will be raised immediately when you identify yourselves as guests of the Parador.
The Parador de Santillana Gil Blas has, in its previous function, provided accommodation for King Alfonso XIII who went on to instigate the founding of the original network of Paradores, and since its conversion in 1944, has attracted the likes of Charles de Gaulle and more recently the Emperor of Japan.
- This is a town to enjoy on foot. It is worth savouring the architecture and atmosphere from one of the terraces in the evening before or after dinner.