Hotels round the world - Parador/Alarcón

Aficionados of Paradores and castles might be surprized by the "reg/bof" classification given to this Parador in Alarcón. But professional travellers might think differently.
True, this Parador has undergone recently a total refurshing and the rooms are stylish. But unless you are given the room up in the dungeon which is unique, take the following main comments into consideration:
- Forget about working in the room: no more than a 50cm x 50cm surface will be available after removing hotel papers from what is left clear on a piece of furniture in a corner.
- The bathroom is in the room, yes, the bathroom is in the room, i.e. there is no separation (but the toilet is separated). Thus, if you enjoy steaming bathes or showers, be prepared to spend a night in a humid atmosphere (especially in winter when you will not open the small window as nights are really cold on the Castilla/Mancha plateau).
- A real concern is noise. Right, we are in Spain, but read on: noise comes from the patio where are opening most of the rooms; noise comes from the maid knocking on all doors after 20:00 and shouting she wants to prepare the beds (and from guests shouting back they don't understand or that's ok as is); noise comes from the a/c and from the toilets' ventilation (switched on with the light, and that the people next door will forget to switch off); noise comes from other overnighters slamming the (nice) heavy doors; etc. Someone uncaring can really spoil your rest.
- Take also into account that this Parador has a practice of easy money-making that was legal in other times in Spain: the charge includes the breakfast whether you wish to have it or not. And it will not be available before 08:00, which is quite late if you are an early riser or have to attend an early meeting somewhere (remember Alarcón is in the middle of nowhere).
(30 November 2005)

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