Eurostars Gran Vía Granada (formerly Hotel Fontecruz Granada) (Lodging)
Address & Website: Gran Via de Colon 20, 18002 Granada; www.eurostarshotels.co.uk/eurostars-gran-via.html
Location: The hotel had a central location in the city. We were driving, and the closest, easiest parking location is definitely the San Augustin Car Park (open 24/7, 1 hr 2€, 24 hrs 25€) on C/ Álvaro de Bazán, 12, 18001 Granada. It was about a block from the hotel. The Cathedral was practically across the street from the hotel (has the tombs of Ferdinand and Isabella), and the mini-bus stop for up to the Alhambra and the San Nicolas Viewpoint (great right before sunset for beautiful views of the Alhambra) was only a few blocks away at Plaza Isabel la Catolica.
Overall: The hotel is part of a small chain of boutique hotels in Spain. When you walk into the hotel, the lobby floor is glass, and below it, you can see the remains of ruins which is neat and definitely unique. The door says that the hotel is a 5 star. I don’t think that I would say that… but for what we paid (did an online pre-paid rate, SO reasonable), it was definitely nice.
Hotel Staff: The person working the desk was friendly. We didn’t have a lot of interraction with the staff other than that, though.
Room: The room was clean and comfortable. The bathroom had sort of an odd layout, though (nothing wrong with it, just odd). The sink was open to the room, and then there was a stall for the toilet, a stall for the shower, and then a bathtub with a shower over it, as well, all in a row (see picture). That being said, I’m so glad I decided to shower in the stall and not the tub. The shower was one of those rain showers with the huge heads, and it was probably the best shower I had on my trip.
Kabab King (Restaurant- Quick Bite)
Address & Website: Calle Reyes Católicos, 46, 18010 Granada, http://kebabgranada.es/
Location: Right off of Plaza Nueva. From in front of the Fontecruz Hotel (with the hotel at your back), turn left on C/ Álvaro de Bazán, then make a left on Catolicos, and it’s a block or two up.
Overall: This was a great place to get a quick, cheap lunch. They had gyro meat and falafel. I had the falafel pita, and my husband had the gyro, both very good. We got them in pitas, and you could pick all of the vetables and sauces to go in it (adding the corn ended up being a tasty idea). It was quick, tasty, filling, and you couldn’t beat the price. They also had a few hightop tables outside and inside to sit at which gave us a little break from walking around while we ate.
Atmosphere: It’s a basic “quick meal” place. Kind of like fast food, but with higher quality and more veggies. It was fine for a quick bite to eat, though.
Buying Cookies from the Cloistered Nuns (Cultural Experience)
Address: Monasterio de San Bernardo, Calle Gloria, 2, 18010 Granada
Location: A 6 minute walk up along the river from Plaza Nueva. Follow Plaza Sta Ana which curves into Carrera del Daro. Turn left onto Calle de Gloria, and the entrance is a very short ways up on your right (when we were there, there was a small sign).
Overall: One experiece I highly recommend is buying cookies from the cloistered nun in the Monasterio de San Bernardo. It was a fun experience, and a great (and tasty) way to support the convents which are dying out in Spain. Head inside (I was a little bit intimidated) where there is an intercom ahead on your left and a lazy-susan ahead on your right. There is a sign with instructions that tells you what to say when you push the button (basically that you would like to buy some sweets in Spanish). Sometimes, they will ask you then what you would like (the cookies are sold by weight), so be prepared. Your options and prices are posted to the right on the swinging door next to the lazy-susan. Then a nun will come to the lazy-susan–it make take a few minutes (they stand behind it to avoid being seen because cloistered nuns don’t go out in public), and if someone hasn’t already asked, she’ll ask what you would like. Then, you place the money on the lazy-susan and she will put your cookies on the other side of it. You turn it to give her the money and you get the cookies. She will provide any change via the lazy-susan, as well. There were a variety of delicious cookies in our box. They had butter cookies, cookies with nuts, jellied ones coated with coconut… overall, a good variety to try.
Additional Info: Tripadvisor has a page with all of the convents that sell sweets in Granada, what they sell, and their contact information here: www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g187441-c105096/Granada:Spain:Convent.Sweets.Dulces..html