hotels spain
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Types of hotels in Spain

Albergue As a hostel, but even more basic. You often with shared dormitories and you can find plenty of them along Spain's important pilgrimage routes, the Camino de Santiago.

Apartamento. This means apartments of course. Can be very nice for families with kids, with possibilities for cooking. Also see aparthotels.

Aparthotel. These are hotels offering principally self-catering accommodation, found mainly but not only in resorts.

Bed-and-Breakfast This term doesen't really exists in Spain. Similar to B&B might be pensiones or casas de huespedes or just private houses where the owners rent out a room or two. If you are looking for a nice family atmosphere, you can also look for a friendly hostal or casa de huespedes.

Camping The same as in English.

Casa de Huespedes This means a guest house, though in practice another term for pensión.

Casa Rural Usually a house or cottage in the country. People can also sometimes rent out their place in a town or even a city, and will call it casa rural. They can be of excellent value, especially if you are in a family or a group but keep in mind that they are often sparely fitted out and spartan.

Fonda. Like a pensión but probably also having a small restaurant or dining room.

Habitación. A private houseowner renting out rooms, like a bed-and-breakfast without the breakfast. In a few places, you will find it is your only alternative.

Hostal. Not to be confused with a hostel, though in today's spelling-oblivious world, most people do. A hostal is a small or smallish hotel with few or no facilities and services. Generally significantly cheaper than a hotel with the same star rating.

Hostal Residencia. The genteel sound of this deceives many into thinking it is swisher than an ordinary hostal, but it isn't. The word residencia means it has no restaurant or other eatery attached (residencial in Portuguese does not have this meaning).

Hotel. Likely to be slightly more expensive and more comfortable than a hostal with the same number of stars.

Parador. This is a Spanish state-owned luxury or near-luxury hotel, either purpose-built or a converted castle, mansion, monastery or similar. Paradores are far from cheap but are generally excellent value for money. They are intended for people touring the country by car - the maximum stay used to be three nights, though I do not believe this still applies - but plan, and book, ahead.

Pensión (Portuguese - pensão, but note that a pensão can be quite large, luxurious and expensive). Small establishments offering rooms for the night and little else, pensiones are your staple budget accommodation.

Posada. An old-fashioned word for inn. It does not really mean anything nowadays, except to sound olde worlde; a place calling itself a posada is likely to be a hotel or hostal with pretensions - it may be nice, but they will charge you for it.

Pousada. The Portuguese equivalent of the Spanish paradores, all the same comments being applicable. However, note that a pousada de Juventude is a youth hostel.