No question about it, this is the swankiest address in town. Hotel Alfonso XIII is a palace built for King Alfonso XIII of Spain to host important guests when Seville hosted its great exhibition in 1929. The architecture is typical of the Mudéjar style that was popular at the time, taking its queues from the exuberant, colorful decoration of the period when Seville was ruled by the Moors. The hotel is opulent and romantic, with exotic carved ceilings, beautiful geometrically tiled walls, vast staircases, and marble pillars. The rooms used to feel a bit tired, but the whole place was renovated by the current owner Starwood in 2012, and they are now exceptionally lavish, featuring vast beds with suede headboards, modern grays and browns on the walls, and thick monochrome carpets.
Service, which was a bit aloof, has also picked up a couple of notches and is decent. My favorite part of the hotel is the American Bar, which has an Art Deco vibe to it, with shimmering gold and glass cabinets and bright blue walls. They serve a particularly good gin and tonic here. There's also a good-sized outdoor swimming pool and tennis courts. I still prefer the smaller, more intimate boutique places tucked away in the historic center, such as the Corral del Rey, Casa 1800, or Casas del Rey de Baeza—I think they are more atmospheric and a better value for money. Similarly, if you want a spa, you'll be disappointed here and should consider the Gran Meliá Colón. But if you want the full five-star experience, this is the place to head for. You certainly won't be disappointed.