Recommended place to stay:
Hotel Casa del Marques
Santillana del Mar, Cantabria, Spain|www.hotelcasadelmarques.com|
Official star rating:
The Marques de Santillana, Inigo Lopez de Mendoza, was a famous 15th-century warrior and courtly poet. His house – now a five star boutique hotel – is as deliciously atmospheric as Santillana itself and a real treat for history lovers.
There’s no end of original features –old beams, stone floors and walls and period antiques, and a staircase carved out of a single tree trunk. The covered terrace by the bar (with an impressive collection of gin) is beautifully illuminated at night.
There’s parking (important in Santillana), a good buffet breakfast and very helpful, English-speaking staff.
The Cave of Altamira and the sandy Playa de la Concha in the town of Suances, are both a 5-minute drive away.
The hotel is in the historic village centre, near the Romanesque Colegiata, shops, bars and restaurants. It can get very busy, especially in the summer when coachloads of day-trippers appear, but at night it’s generally very quiet.
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