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The port of Gijón isn’t the most obvious contender for a must-visit destination. Much had to be rebuilt after the Civil War, while industrial roots continue to define large swathes of the city. However, this Spanish city has also since reinvented itself with lively cafes, pedestrianised shopping streets and a crowd-drawing summer beach scene. Tempted? Book into one of the best places to stay with Culture Trip.
The stylish abba Playa Gijón sits on San Lorenzo Beach, close to the centre of Gijón. It’s four star, elegant and contemporary and offers spectacular beach and sea views. The 80 rooms are modern and light, decorated in shades of beige, white and green with artwork featuring ships and beach scenes. The hotel has three restaurants, including the 37th Gastro Pub, an English-style venue serving brunch and fine beach views.
Hotel Begoña Park sits just to the east of the centre of Gijón, close to Parque de El Rinconin and within walking distance of the end of San Lorenzo Beach. The house-like hotel is surrounded by greenery and flower gardens and offers a quiet respite from the city centre. It has a central courtyard surrounded by elegant pillars and balconies and cosy old-fashioned rooms filled with old lamps, vintage furniture and heavy drapes. There’s also a restaurant and lounge bar, breakfast room and free wifi throughout.
Hotel Hernán Cortés is a grand getaway in the centre of Gijón, and is surrounded by theatres and shops. It has an impressive pink and white facade, both historic and elegant. In the lobby, you’ll find lots of shiny marble and soft seating, while the spacious rooms are filled with polished wood furniture and white and green furnishings. The hotel is also home to one of the best restaurants in the city: As de Picas, known for traditional Asturian cuisine.
Spain’s Parador hotels, housed inside historic buildings such as former monasteries, palaces and castles, are a great option anywhere in the country, and Parador de Gijón is no different. This beautiful hotel is located inside an old mill in Isabel la Católica Park, surrounded by flower gardens, ponds and green spaces. Its 38 rooms are decorated in a regal, old-fashioned style with green soft furnishings and wooden four-posters. There’s also a restaurant, set in a lovely old dining room with wooden rafters on the ceiling.
The AC Hotel is located in a quiet residential area near the city centre. It’s also within easy reach of the Exhibition Centre and the train station. It offers 78 stylish and simple rooms decorated in black and white, along with a gym, Turkish bath and the AC Lounge restaurant, which serves traditional Asturian cuisine.
Hotel NH sits right next to San Lorenzo Beach and within 15 minutes’ walk of the historic centre of Gijón. The 64 rooms are modern and stylish, and many offer sea views. There’s also a rooftop swimming pool and a restaurant, Amares, serving cuisine inspired by the region.
The four-star Silken Ciudad is housed in a huge contemporary glass building on the edge of the city centre. It’s within walking distance of Playa de Poniente beach, the Aquarium and the Cerro de Santa Catalina hill. The rooms are businesslike and sophisticated, with polished wooden floors and black-and-white photos on the walls. The hotel also has two restaurants: the Gala, serving traditional Asturian cuisine, and a breakfast buffet room.
The modern four-star Principe de Asturias sits right in front of San Lorenzo Beach, offering some of the best views in the city from its restaurant and most of the rooms, the latter of which are light and bright, featuring lots of polished wood and white soft furnishings. Other hotel facilities include lounges, a restaurant and a roof terrace.
Located in the city centre, right on Plaza Mayor, Hotel Asturias was featured in the first Spanish film to win an Oscar, Empezar a Volver (1983). It now has two room types, classic and modern: the classics with old-fashioned lamps, vintage furniture and elegant headboards, and the moderns in a clean and contemporary style with muted tones. Some even have jacuzzis.
Located next to Isabel la Católica Park, the TRYP is a grand hotel dressed in marble, with contemporary chandeliers and modern, vibrant furnishings. It has spacious, stylish rooms in white and green with lots of polished wood. The day starts with an extensive breakfast buffet – think pastries and hot dishes, cheeses and cold meats – which should set you up for a day exploring the nearby attractions such as El Bibio Bullring and San Lorenzo Beach.
Leon Beckenham contributed additional reporting to this article.