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Jaen: Parador Castillo de Sta. Catalina


Reviewed by: kathyk from MI, review #2544

When: Februrary 2009

One night, a dinner and a breakfast, all fit for a king (or a trio of yanquis) in one of the most dramatically located paradors of the chain.

70 euros for a twin with bath - the special winter rate!

This was supposed to be our big splurge but from the above price, you can see that we did not spend a lot, thanks to the Slow Travel alert of special rates that I read on the forum a few months back. The regular rate would be 160 euros.

Words fail here, so does the picture on the web. We had to make a long and steep drive up, with several hairpin turns, to reach the top of what was once a Moorish fortress. Stepping out onto our room balconies gave one vertigo at first. We had views far off to the South, across miles of olive orchards. From the public rooms on the other side we could look down over the town; the tight streets of the old part and the new construction that has taken place since I looked down there 30 years ago.

The rooms and baths were spacious and well-supplied, as in all paradors. The dining room where we ate dinner was baronial. Whatever we saved in the special room rate was used up in a great dinner. Breakfast, again an extra charge, was a magnificent buffet spread of egg dishes, cold cuts, caviar, cheeses, breads, yogurts, many fruits and juices along with free self serve champagne, or as it must be called outside of France, cava.

There is also the substantial remains of the real fortress to crawl around, climb up and explore. But that is all there is to do way up there. If there is one drawback, it is that there is no street life to enjoy. One thinks twice about driving down and back up that road at night. And that is why we found anther place to stay for our second night in Jaen.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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