The charm of the coast of Barcelona

From Montgat to Magrat de Mar, where the river La Tordera flows into the sea, runs the entire coast called Costa de Barcelona o the Maresme coast, one of the most well-known coasts in Catalonia for its spectacular beaches and the charm and essence of its small fishing villages. A traditional national tourist destination, it counts with the name of places that breath summer and that have become a reference for many families in Spain, such as Caldetas, Calella, Santa Susanna…

One of the best towns to find accommodation in Maresme region is Calella due to its magnificent urban beach, Port Bo. It is one of the most authentic of this coast, and it maintains the tradition of fishermen clouding the coast with small colourful boats. It stands out for its quiet atmosphere and for providing adequate services for tourists.

Esglesia Street is the busiest commercial street in Calella de Palafrugrell, an excellent place to experience the beauty of this traditional family holiday destination: souvenir shops, beach bars, restaurants, bars, children’s playgrounds.

Nearby is the lighthouse of San Sebastian, an area of cliffs and rocky coves where you can enjoy a romantic escapade away from it all, and with a charm that gives the town of Llafranc, one that still remains intact, away from mass tourism. Here you can see one of the best sunsets on the Maresme coast, and sample some of the tastiest seafood dishes of this region of Catalonia.

If we move onwards, we find several touristic villages where it is relatively easy to find a good accommodation at very low prices. Hotels in Santa Susanna, for example, offer full services, a privileged location facing some of the best beaches on the coast of Barcelona like the Llevant beach, Les Caletes beach and the beach of Les Dunes.

If instead of booking Santa Susanna you book a hotel in Lloret de Mar, you’ll enjoy the last village in the Maresme region, located right next to the river Tordera, that borders with the coast of Girona. Its great beach of 7 km in length is one of its main attractions, which has led it to be one of the most tourist destinations in the Maresme. However, Malgrat de Mar is much more than beach. It is worth visiting Monte Castell, from where you can see the whole town and its surroundings including, the church of St. Nicholas, also called the Cathedral of the Coast, due to its location and large size, bearing in mind that Malgrat is by no means one of the largest towns of the coast of Barcelona.


What does the ideal hotel room look like

Furniture from the 50’s, decoration inspired by the sea or a Norwegian forest, New York style, spaces with a Scandinavian essence… The decoration and design of the rooms of the hotels in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and other major cities and coastal centres of Spain can surprise even the most travelled. Gone are the days when all the hotel rooms were virtually the same: bed, bedside table, desk and bathroom (and not in all cases). Today, 3 and 4 star hotels in Spain, offer a differential touch, seek to create spaces with personality that provide a bonus to the clients experience. This generally translates into loyalty, while at the same time it models and strengthens the brand image of the hotel chain.

This renovation, remodelling and redecorating work to the rooms of the hotels has occurred mostly in large chains such as Barcelo, Melia and Iberostar and in small boutique hotels in Majorca, Levante, the Catalan coast and the charming cities such as Seville or Salamanca.

The ideal room, despite all the efforts of differentiation and equipment that have carried out the majority of the 3 stars establishments, is still the one that offers a space adapted to the capacity that is booked for, comfortable beds, soundproof walls, room with private bathroom, comfortable and versatile, simple but functional, and with modern amenities such as free WiFi.

Hoteles Petit Palace in Valencia

Hoteles Petit Palace in Valencia

The pillow menu, King Size mattresses or the hydro-massage in the rooms are a plus that allows the hotel to offer superior rooms at a higher price, and that for the moment, is working very well. Today’s travellers are willing to pay for that added value and extra quality, as long as it is indeed something else.

The rooms of city hotels in Madrid or Barcelona, for example, have a premise to meet, its location. After that, the other most valued feature by travellers who want to enjoy an urban accommodation, whether for pleasure or business, is how comfortable the furniture is, the condition it is in, and its functionality.

Having a TV in the room is considered an advantage, but only if the channels available are adequate and in the languages the usual guests speak. For example, a hotel in Majorca with Spa and golf, that does not include in their rooms a system with international channels, will certainly loose many points in the eyes of the guests. Something as simple as television or an apartment with a microwave can be the decisive element.

Business rooms

Hotel Petit Palace Plaza Malaga

Hotel Petit Palace Plaza Malaga

The business side of the vast majority of these hotels in Barcelona, Valencia, Madrid, Seville and Bilbao means that the rooms also have an executive design to it. Today, a good 4 star hotel in the centre of Barcelona or Madrid can even offer a exercise bike in the room, a special minibar, Ipad with free WiFi access to the internet, and portable WiFi to take around the city, an option that was recently launched at a hotel in the centre of Malaga belonging to the Petit Palace hotel chain.

Most of the executive rooms have a special decoration, oriented to booking a workspace and provide a more sober space, simple and with exclusive services designed to ensure the best rest and comfort for those traveling for business reasons. It is usually a demanding and regular client, so the bar is set quite high for these rooms.

The location, in these cases, is also important, but it is not necessary that the hotel is in the centre or next to the main tourist points of interest of the city but rather close to communication accesses, such as train stations, metro, airport and motorways. Also, it is ideal that they are near the trade fairs, business parks and business and convention centres.

Family rooms 

The perfect room depends on the type of guests that is has to accommodate. Those traveling with children, for example, have no doubts: the best family hotels should have rooms for up to 4 people, or at least, communicating rooms. It is difficult, for example, that a couple with kids book a double hotel room in Majorca with a sofa bed for over a week. However, sometimes there is no choice because the current offer still includes quadruple rooms, which in reality are really little more than a room with a living room and sofa bed. The trend, however, is to give the user more suitable premises and tailored to their needs. That does not mean they are larger, but that they are optimised and are, above all, more comfortable for everyone.

One of the best models of family rooms are those of the hotels in the centre of Madrid and Barcelona managed by the urban hotel chain Petit Palace. They include, in the same space a double bed, bunk beds for kids, office desk with work area and computer, full bathroom with hydro-massage, built-in wardrobes, reading lamps, welcome gift for children, bathroom amenities…


Andalucia, an autumn that smells like summer

Andalucia, especially its coastal destinations such as Cadiz and Malaga, are the best reference to enjoy an autumn of golf breaks, well-being, gastronomy and culture. As one of the regions with the best climate all year round in Spain, it also offers a wide range of recreational activities along with all types of services, specialized and targeted to audiences of all ages, and with different travel motivations. So, booking an All Inclusive hotel in Torrox – Costa, can be a very good option to prolong the summer with the family during these first days of September, while the spa hotels in Marbella are ideal if you are looking to charge with extra energy before returning to the daily routines from work, your home and going back to school.

The Andalusian culture is a perfect companion to the landscape and climate benefits that this community has in southern Spain. Beyond flamenco music and singing, Malaga is one of the main cities that has very strong ties to Spain’s cinema industry, together with San Sebastian, and is also, home to Pablo Picasso’s museum. The best to quietly enjoy everything in the city is to choose a hotel in the centre of Malaga and organize a cultural break with family or friends. Malaga is also the perfect destination to take advantage of autumn’s nights with a drink in the open air at Larios Street.

Iberostar Malaga Playa

Iberostar Malaga Playa

To take advantage of the sun and the beach and enjoy a different view, with no crowds, and with spectacular locations where you can practice all kinds of outdoor sports, Andalucia has several possibilities, but without a doubt, one of the most valued are the holidays in Huelva. In this province, beach and nature are blended in a unique way, creating places such as the marshes of the Guadiana and its traditional culture can be felt in every corner of their beautiful villages, like Ayamonte, which is near the border with Portugal and the tourist destinations of Isla Canela and Isla Cristina.

Sports and relaxation are two of the main motivations that attract travellers who decide to spend a few days in this area of Costa de la Luz. Many are those who book golf hotels in Isla Canela, beachfront hotels for surfing and wellness resorts that are perfectly integrated into the landscape, and invite you to disconnect for the whole weekend, without to many troubles, and prices are actually very competitive.

In Cadiz, the main attraction is the pristine waters of its beaches, the unspoilt coastline and its excellent traditional cuisine. The so called Tacita de Plata is always a success if you plan an escapade with your partner or with a group of friends, as it offers the right amount of culture, entertainment and nightlife along with a unique heritage and eating options.

Staying in the city of Cádiz is a good alternative if you are looking for hustle, art and cultural events in general. If what you want is to enjoy the beach and rest before going back to school, the best option would probably have to be a spa hotel in Chiclana or a golf hotel in Chiclana, as this town is one that has the best services for visitors and some of the most beautiful sceneries in the whole coast of Cádiz. For a romantic escapade, we recommend choosing a hotel in Calas de Conil, as here you can find the quieter beaches on the coast.

The new cooking courses at the Mencey’s Cookery Classroom

September begins with in full glory at Mencey’s Cookery Classroom, after a summer filled with news and special nights in this idyllic setting. The IBEROSTAR Grand Mencey Hotel is one of the most prestigious gastronomic hotels, with a long gastronomic tradition in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Her cooking classes, many of which are gourmet courses in Tenerife with internationally renowned chefs offer you the chance to become a real chef for a few hours.

On Thursday the 18th of September, the first cooking course of the season was held, and was centred around the “hot and cold around Appetizers served around the table“. This cooking course is designed to surprise family and friends in our homes, with some extremely creative appetitive and appetizers, very easy to prepare, and will definitely delight our guests. Some of the recipes that will be prepared include a Smith ham roll, Caesar salad snack, cauliflower pure with a crispy prawns and red fruits sauce.

Cooking lessons at Mencey's Cookery Classroom

The Cocktail Bar Iballa will continue to offer during the month of September the emblematic nights of the Mencey Lounge. The Mencey Lounge combines the best culinary proposals and the best live music, in a unique and incomparable space. Come and enjoy a perfect night at the Mencey!
On the Friday the 19th of September, the Mencey Lounge will offer a selection of gourmet tapas and pintxos, including mini Spanish avocado omelettes and tuna, fried morcillas with caramelized onions…


On Friday 26th of September, the nights of the Mencey Lounge will surprise you with a delicious sushi and a wide selection of hot and cold snacks. The selection of tapas will be paired with local and national wines, and of course, the delicious and exotic cocktails from our bar.

One final announcement to make, the following month of October there will be a special guest, Begoña Rodriguez, the winner of the TV show Top Chef 2013. Guests will be able to enjoy a degustation menu with many surprises…

Sports that you must try while in Fuerteventura

Fuerteventura is one of the favourite destinations for all those who practice water sports, like surfing or windsurfing. Its excellent winds and spectacular beaches that extend along miles of virtually unspoiled coastline, make this island a paradise to venture to learn or, for those who are already active fans, to escape to and enjoy the excitement of the ferocious Atlantic waves. In fact, it is in Fuerteventura where every summer the World Windsurfing and Kiteboarding Championship is celebrated.

If you have planned to travel to Fuerteventura this Autumn, and you are a windsurf enthusiast, book a hotel in Corralejo and challenge yourself to try the incredible waves created in this northern coast. The best beaches to practise windsurfing are Mats Blanca, El Burro, Piedra Playa and Butihondo, and close to them (or very close to) you find schools dedicated exclusively to this sport, with intensive courses for those spending a few days on the island.

Iberostar Playa Gaviotas Park

Iberostar Playa Gaviotas Park

Diving is another water sport that you can enjoy on Fuerteventura like in no other place. In this case, the best advice is that you choose a hotel in Playa de Jandia or a hotel near Matorral beach, as it is here, at the southern end of the island where you find the calmer waters, and the immersions allow greater visibility, as well as an additional level of safety.

For those that prefer ground sports, it is always a good alternative is to choose a hotel in Jandia and organise trekking, Nordic walking and hiking trips in the area surrounding the coast, where you can find stunning beaches like Cofete beach.

Parasailing, water skiing, climbing and canyoning, caving… Fuerteventura lends itself to almost any sporting whim that visitors have, and prices are quite affordable. Also, if you do not want or cannot move your sporting equipment, there is a good number of shops and nautical schools that rent out all necessary equipment without problems.

Jandia in September

Traveling to the Jandia peninsular in September is one of the best options if one wishes to enjoy all the charm of this area in the south of Fuerteventura without suffering the extreme heat and an excess of tourists, which is normal in the high season but without renouncing the great summer atmosphere in this holiday paradise.

Book a room by Jandia beach or choose a good family resort in Playa Gaviotas, it is more economical at this time at the end of the summer and the climate is still mild,  slightly windy but without causing discomfort and it is ideal for practicing sports such as surf and windsurf, the top activities on the island.  The hotels near to the beach of El Matorral and Costa Calma are amongst the best that can be found in the south of Fuerteventura and have the advantage of being very near to the delightful Morro Jable village, where concentrated are a large part of the cultural and gastronomic offer of this beautiful natural peninsular.

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Forming part of the municipality of Pajara, is one of the most spectacular natural areas in Fuerteventura – until recently with the category of Jandia National Park – and it is an ideal destination for hiking and September is one of the best months, with very agreeable temperatures, the hours of sunshine continue until late in the afternoon and the routes are less populated.

During September in this area, are celebrated the “Octopus fiestas” at nearby Puertito de la Cruz, which also includes a traditional race between the lighthouses of the Punta de Jandia.  Athletes both professional and amateurs attend from all over the island and every year there are more foreigners participating.  Gastronomy, sport and diversion for all ages, the highlights of summer.

If you are travelling with the family and book a children’s hotel in Jandia, rent a car and visit some of the theme parks available, such as the Oasis Park La Lajita or the Acua Water Park and some of the interior villages where the kids can enjoy the authentic Canarian atmosphere.


La Gran Vía: a must-visit

La Gran Vía is synonymous with charm, tradition and modernity.    The perfect place for gazing at the multiplicity of its architecture, for knowing, tasting the cuisine of Madrid, enjoying the best theatres and shopping.  If you go to Madrid, do not miss La Gran Vía.

Its construction started in 1910 with the purpose of connecting the Northwest part of the city with the centre.  It has become one of the most emblematic streets in the Spanish capital because of its variety in the offer of cinemas, theatres, bars, restaurants and fashion stores.


La Gran Vía - Madrid

Walking thought this street is one of the most fascinating experiences for any traveller, thousands of alternatives and places to stay.  Shops and hotels still preserving its old architecture despite more than 100 years of existence of this street and its buildings, as in the case of Gran Vía Suites Apartments, a hotel in Gran Vía situated in a historical building that, nevertheless, hides a really modern space.

Gastronomy, nightlife and accommodations for all tastes, emblematic buildings, luxury shops, art and history.   We could say that visiting and staying in the centre of Madrid is a must, a world we need to know.

Links of interest:

Things to do in La Gran Vía

Accommodation close to La Gran Vía

Avenida 19, a classic accommodation in Bogota

The Dann Avenida 19 Hotel is one of those accommodations which mark the history of a city. With more than 40 years of history, this hotel in the centre of Bogotá is a reference business accommodation in Colombia. Now, in the XXIst century, this accommodation has adapted to its time, offering a wide range of services and attentions, a unique personal attention and quality facilities.

Its location –it is a hotel on Avenida 19 Avenue– makes it ideal for all type of leisure, relax or business plans within a 20 minute walking radius: shopping centres, gourmet restaurants, green and leisure areas, some of the government buildings, luxury boutiques and shops, tourist attractions like the Bolívar square (also known as the Doves square)…

The locals are used to this type of accommodation while tourists normally find them surprising compared to the accommodations we get at those prices in the European capitals, as they offer more complete and better packages.

Classic style.


One of the hallmarks of this hotel in the centre of Bogotá is its decoration and classic architecture, which creates a select retro and comfortable atmosphere. This design, combined with last generation services and technology designed for our business travellers offers a great functionality and comfort.

The rooms of this hotel in the centre of Bogota­  -both the standard rooms and the suites- are spacious accommodations, some of them with 3 beds, and a large window with natural light, views to the area of Montserrate mountains or to the International centre, desk, night table, telephone and free wifi. All of them have carpet, typical of the hotels of Colombia, influenced by the large hotel chains of the United States, although the most modern accommodations prefer the wooden flooring or the design ceramic tiles.

Business services

Another one of the hallmarks of this hotel located 800 metres away from La Candelaria historic centre is its wide range of services for executives. Its 6 meeting rooms are complemented with free internet access in the entire building, transfers to the airport (with extra charge), free parking in the hotel for clients, restaurant with executive menus…

Besides, the services of the Avenida 19 Hotel include Room Service from 6 am to 10 pm, with a personal attention for every guest.

The best:

The location, within a 30 minute drive to the airport and within a 10 minute drive to Bolivar square. Central and comfortable hotel at good prices.

The worst:

It needs a refurbishing of its furniture, which will give it a modern touch without giving up the classic design of the building.