To travel to a big city and make the most of your stay there is only one option: choose a good accommodation in the city centre. This may prevent the traveller from visiting certain places on the outskirts that are worth visiting, but this is a small drawback from all the advantages from a hotel in the centre of a large city. Time, comfort, relaxation and versatility summarize the list of pros, against a few cons that, urban travellers are willing to pass on.
1. The best atmosphere
When travelling to a city, one looks to immerse in its atmosphere, in its essence, something that you obtain if you have the comfort of staying a few streets away from the best cafeterias, bars, restaurants, theatres, cinemas… Booking a hotel in the area of Barajas in Madrid is great if you’re on a business trip and you need a good connection to the airport and the IFEMA, but that means having to go by metro or bus to the centre and adapt to its schedules.
2. A competitive price
Many will certainly think it’s more of a disadvantage than a bonus. We think otherwise. A hotel next to El Retiro or on the Plaza Major in Madrid is likely to have a higher rate than a hotel in the area of Arturo Soria, but it is also true that you often end up paying that difference in transportation to and from the hotel.
3. Flexible accommodation arrangements
In general, urban hotels in cities like Barcelona, Rome or Paris offer half board or self catering and breakfast, that can be configured as the ideal compliment to get the most out of your holidays. The obligation to eat at the hotel can be a great option for a relaxing escapade to the beach, with the hotel steps away from the beach, but in the city, where one is moving constantly, is usually not the best option.
However, in some smaller cities, there are hotel chains that are implementing the All Inclusive service with some success, as the distances are manageable enough to be travel from one place to another and arriving to the hotel is easy. A good example is the hotel Barcelo Hotels has in the centre of Caceres, a complete urban hotel, but with an innovative concept, the Urban All Inclusive.
4. Design and Avant Garde
Although, there are hotels on the outskirts that can surprise for its unique and elegant design, the trend is that the most charming hotels in Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia are precisely in the heart of the city. They are usually boutique hotels, with few rooms, in buildings with a history and architectural value that add a plus to the destination. A clear example is the Petit Palace Museum Barcelona, located in the historical modernists building of Garrriga Nogues.
But, besides the design, services, more limited than in a resort, tend to be more innovative and adapted to the character of the urban traveller: it is very common nowadays, to find hotels with free wifi in the centre of Valencia, Madrid or Barcelona, hotels with in-room computers and support for smartphones, designer bathrooms with special showers or Jacuzzi…
5. Gastronomic highlights
If there are hotels that take special care for the gastronomic offer, those are the boutique hotels of the cities. For them, their service is something more than providing breakfast, lunch and dinner to guests, for them is competing against the best restaurants in the city. So, it is common to find gourmet hotels like the Hotel Mencey in the centre of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, and not on the beach front of paradisiac beach.
The hotels in the city centres’, often have gourmet restaurants, some of which have even become meeting points of their cities. This is the case of the Iberostar Grand Hotel Budapest, a hotel in the heart of the city with a Spanish restaurant that has been named as one of the main gastronomic spots of the Hungarian capital. The restaurant La Plaza, is an international landmark for Spanish cuisine.