Inhabited since Roman times and rising to prominence in the early Middle Ages, León is a hidden Spanish gem, festooned with stunning architecture and surrounded by amazing natural scenery. Come for the laid back charm, the excellent gastronomy, and to see the Pulchra Leonina, which has been referred to as the Sistine Chapel of Spain.
A key staging post on the Camino de Santiago, León has been catering to tourists for centuries, and today offers a broad range of hotels to suit all tastes and budgets. Popular all year round on account of the nearby winter restort of San Isidro, it nevertheless seldom gets overrun by tourists keeping prices relatively low, and making it a great spontaneous getaway destination.
Hospedería Monástica Pax
Located in an ancient monastery, the Hospedería Monástica nevertheless boasts bright, modern rooms, kept comfortable and fresh with all the latest conveniences, including sound proofing, minibars and flat screen TVs. Add to that that the monastery is still active, albeit in a different part of the building, a stay here is characterised by a wonderful blending of history and the present day. It’s also very well located for León centre.
The Palacete Colonial
For those searching a breath of traditional Spanish elegance. The Palacete Colonial offers large, classically decorated rooms housed in a beautiful 19th Century building close to the centre of town. Uncommonly comfortable, rooms are air-conditioned, and flat-screen TVs, kettles, and minibars come as standard. Pay a little extra for a terrace.
A hotel for young professionals. The Camarote boasts meticulously designed modern interior in a beautiful old building. On top of its superb, well-accomodated rooms, there’s a beautiful roof top terrace and bar with stunning views out across the city – looking directly out toward the Gothic splendour of León Cathedral, which is barely a hundred metres from the hotel front door.
Just because you’re on a budget that doesn’t mean you need to compromise on quality. 13 suites has some of the trendiest interiors of any hotel in the city, with plenty of tastefully exposed beams, hard wood floors, and iron detailing. Comfy, air conditioned, and well-placed in the centre of town, it’s one of the best bargains on offer here, so make sure to book ahead, in case its rooms (there are 13 of them, obviously) get snapped up before you arrive.
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Hotel Real Colegiata San Isidoro
If luxury is what you’re looking for then look no further. The Hotel Real Colegiata San Isidoro occupies part of León’s beautiful 11th century San Isidoro Colegiate complex – also home to a basilica, cloister, and museum. Ancient stone walls keep the Spanish heat at bay, and the sleek modern interiors perfectly cool. The staff are attentive, the modern conveniences are of course all in order, and the food, in particular, is worth dropping in on all on its own.