La Fonda Barranco is hard to beat if you’re looking for stylish, characterful accommodation in the heart of old Jerez: its eight rooms and two penthouses – all bearing exquisite period touches such as exposed brickwork and Arabic arches – are packed into an old merchants’ house dating from 1865. Upon arrival, you’re offered a complimentary glass of wine, which you can sip on the roof terrace whilst gazing upon the spires of the cathedral. Breakfast is served in the beautiful Andalusian courtyard and all the main attractions are within a ten/fifteen-minute walk.
Another of Jerez’s best boutique accommodations is the 16-room Hotel Palacio Garvey, located just off one of the old town’s busiest streets. Housed in a mid-19th century palace that was once home to the Garvey family – a leading sherry and brandy dynasty – its rooms combine a stately, neoclassical style with modern facilities such as WiFi, flat screen TVs and en-suites with hydro-massage baths. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in a contemporary dining space and French, English, German and Spanish are spoken at reception.
The five-star Hotel Villa Jerez is set in a beautifully-restored old Manor House on the outskirts of the historical centre. Each of its 18 rooms is individually decorated in a classical style; all are luxurious and spacious, and some have balconies with views over the 4,000 square-metre (43,000 square-foot) gardens. The hotel’s superb facilities include a smart restaurant/bar, a saltwater swimming pool and free client parking (a rare thing in the old town). It’s also a great option if you’re attending the Feria del Caballo, situated as it is a five-miute walk from the González Hontoria fairground.
The Jerez branch of the five-hotel chain Itaca is housed in a gorgeous 19th century convent in the city centre. It justifies its four stars with 53 stylish and well-equipped bedrooms, ranging in size from standard doubles to suites; all come with private bathrooms featuring hydro-massage baths. The sherry tabancos and eateries of central Jerez are all within easy reach, but if you fancy staying in you can use the excellent in-house bar and restaurant. Breakfast is served in the convent’s former chapel and, unusually for a large Spanish hotel, pets are allowed.
The 59-room Jerez incarnation of Soho Boutique – another popular Spanish hotel chain – is housed in a striking yellow-and-red building that used to be a winery. As its name suggests, there is a well-equipped spa on site, where you can relax in the jacuzzis or receive massages and beauty treatments. There’s also a bar, cafeteria and customer parking and a varied buffet breakfast is served every morning. Clients praise the charming service, frequently describing it as the highlight of a stay here, and the historic centre is a 15-minute walk away.
Perhaps misleadingly named, the “Big House” is in fact a charming, 15-room boutique in the city centre. Light-hued colours on the walls and linen contrast elegantly with the dark wood of wardrobes and desks, giving you the feel of staying in an old Andalusian family house (indeed, the building dates from the 1920s). The rooms centre around a pretty internal courtyard where breakfast is served, and you can enjoy a chilled sherry and some wonderful views on the roof terrace. Monika, the proprietor, is always happy to help you plan your sightseeing.
You feel happier just strolling into the light-filled reception of Doña Blanca, a 3-star, 30-room hotel right next to Jerez’s lively fish market. Given just how central it is (Calle Lanceria, one of the old town’s pedestrian thoroughfares, is just around the corner), the spacious rooms represent superb value and are surprisingly quiet. They range in size from singles to triples and two of the double rooms have their own terraces; all have private bathrooms and free WiFi. There’s a pleasant lounge on the ground floor and the reception staff all speak English.