What do you do when the UK winter weather is getting you down? With us all being able to fly again, our reporter Martin Ducker, travels to Seville, Spain accompanied by his son Jay, for a little winter break.

“As a seasoned traveller, Jay had already visited this southern gem a few years ago and was impressed by a city full of history and culture.

I discovered after further research; Seville being described as the jewel of Andalusia. A vibrant city, with many tapas bars and other local attractions just waiting to be discovered. 

Two of the most famous attractions that lie in the heart of the old town are Seville’s cathedral, Santa Maria de la Sede, the largest Gothic cathedral in the world. And close by is the Real Alcázar, a beautiful Moorish palace that was also declared a World Heritage Site in 1987, both worth a visit.

During our stay, we wanted to position ourselves in the heart of the city. We were therefore lucky enough to have been invited to stay two nights at Hotel Casa 1800 on behalf of Bounce Magazine.

After a two-and half-hour flight, we arrived in glorious sunny Spain. Our taxi driver dropped us off in the old town. We immediately soaked up the vibrancy of the location, with its many bars, restaurants and a bountiful amount of orange trees scattered everywhere. 

Nestled deep in the heart of the Old Town, Hotel Casa 1800 is a small but eloquent 4-star hotel. It Offers 33 rooms divided into six different categories, including two duplex rooms, one a junior suite with a jacuzzi.

Upon entering the reception area, Marta, the hotels manageress, as well as Ana, another obliging staff member, warmly greeted us and made us feel welcome.

After an exchange of pleasantries and the usual check-in formalities, Marta guided us to our room. She offered to meet with us the following day to give us a guided tour and a lively discourse about the hotel. 

After a comfortable night’s sleep and a hearty breakfast, we met Marta for a coffee and a chat. We soon realised that Marta is a very spirited, professional woman, passionate about her hotel and her home city of Seville.

We discovered Marta had worked in many hotels around the world, including in our own home county town of Suffolk. We talked for a while about her experience living in Ipswich and how much she in enjoyed working there.

Marta then explained about the luxurious seventeenth century hotel. She added, the hotel, over the years, had been decorated with attention to detail and included handmade furniture made of hardwoods, crisp Cairo cotton sheets, wooden floors, marble bathrooms. 

The original house was built in 1864 following a traditional layout and had once been lived in by the town mayor. The studded solid wood doors once allowed entry to the place with a horse-drawn carriage, from which when on-foot could then access a central courtyard from all rooms.

Over the years, much effort has been made to preserve the original balconies, carpentry, shutters, coffered ceilings, domes, frescoes and walls, which date back to the 19th century.

The three-storey building is flooded with light from the central courtyard. It exhibits a fantastic chandelier, a centrepiece for the hotel. Each year, this magnificent chandelier is meticulously cleaned, piece by piece, by an elderly craftsman.

Several other aspects make this hotel exceptional, not forgetting the spectacular panoramic views of the city from the rooftop terrace.

Another added feature is also the rooftop swimming pool, which we made good use of during our stay to relax and chill-out. It’s an ideal amenity to have on those hot days and warm sunset evenings.

Many of the staff members have worked together at Hotel Casa 1800 for many years and you can notice it. The staff are not just a team, under Marta’s direction, it’s more than that. They’re a family. You can feel it and they endure to make you feel part of their family as well.

Every afternoon between 4-6pm there’s a complementary refreshment service, which includes a variety of teas or coffee and lots of pastries. This was a very welcome addition after a full day of sightseeing and walking.

Outside the hotel’s main entrance, it teems with life. The hustle and bustle from both tourists and locals alike, drinking, eating tapas, and socialising late into the evening. Despite all the activity, no disturbance is noticeable inside the hotel, due to the strengthened glazing on all windows.

Only a short walk away from Hotel Casa 1800, you will discover the prime shopping district, with all the regular stores. If you need to travel further afield, Seville has a modern tram system which operates throughout the city.

Another attraction in the local vicinity worth a visit is the Metropol Parasol, which locals call the Las Setas de Sevilla, which means “the mushrooms of Seville.” This is the largest wooden structure in the world and worth a look. You cancatch the sunset from the observation deck, a perfect way to end the day.

All-in-all, our trip to Spain was superb. There’s so much to see and do in Seville, it’s a wonderful city. However, the jewel, within the jewel is Hotel Casa 1800 – it’s the most perfect place to stay, and offers a high quality, friendly service, which leaves you wanting to return here time-and-time again.