26 Replies Latest reply: Apr 5, 2013 9:27 AM by GemPrincess RSS

Valladolid, Spain or Somewhere Nearby?

newhiltonmembr Platinum 3 Reviews
Currently Being Moderated

This year's vacation will be Northwestern Spain, arriving and departing from Madrid's airport, Barajas.

 

i've been to Madrid before and will spend my last night there prior to my flight home.

 

I'm looking for somewhere to spend my first and maybe second night to get over jet lag before renting a car and moving on.... thinking of taking a bus from the airport and spending this time in Valladolid.  Anyone been there?  Recommend it?

 

I've already spent time in Segovia, Avila and Salamanca and a few hours in Zamora...so looking for somewhere new.

 

My next stop would be in Leon for 2-3 nights.

 

So, what do you think of Valladolid?  Any other suggestions?

 

Thanks very much!

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Location Brand Hotel
Valladolid, Spain
  • Re: Valladolid, Spain or Somewhere Nearby?
    jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    newhiltonmembr,

     

    Having never been to Spain, could you send a direct message to arkwright, who has vast knowledge of Spain.

     

    He is a consumate traveler and really knows Spain.

     

    Likewise, Gem Princes, is so good with information on Spain.

     

    Good luck!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Valladolid, Spain or Somewhere Nearby?
    newhiltonmembr Platinum 3 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Valladolid, Spain or Somewhere Nearby?
    GemPrincess Alumni Steward Platinum 17 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    newhiltonmembr

     

    Have always wanted to travel to Northwestern Spain, but somehow I always end up in Barcelona (cruises, conferences) or the south (compromises with traveling companions).

     

    It has been awhile since I have traveled to Madrid, and it was before there were any Marriotts there.  I do remember that I used Frommer's to pick my hotel (and will check and see if I have any info on the hotel as it was very nice), and my American Express to upgrade to a suite.  Going through Frommers, I do see that they are recommending two of the Marriott properties as bests in 2 different categories.

     

    The AC Santo Mauro is listed as best in the Romantic Getaway category, and described as follows:,

     

    " ...opened in 1991 in a villa designed by a French architect and built in 1894 for the duke of Santo Mauro. As a sign of the times, more recent visitors have included Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. The lavish property has an ageless grace, although it has been brought up to state-of-the-art condition. In good weather, guests retreat to a beautiful garden pavilion and enjoy many facilities such as a gym and indoor pool. It's resortlike in nature, although situated in Madrid. If you can afford it, go for one of the suites with a fireplace.  (http://www.frommers.com/destinations/madrid/0056020002.html#ixzz2ODWVgpCo)

     

    They are also recommending the Ritz as the Best Historic Hotel, and described it as follows,

     

    " Inaugurated by Alfonso XIII in 1910...the gathering place of Madrid society, is still the capital's leading luxury choice. This Edwardian hotel is mellower than ever before, the old haughtiness of former management gone with the wind -- it long ago rescinded its policy of not allowing movie stars as guests. Note: In summer, a tie is no longer obligatory and dress tends to be more informal (though the hotel still draws the line at shorts). The rich and famous continue to parade through its portals; today in the lobby you're likely to encounter nearly anyone, from the secretary-general of NATO to Paloma Picasso.(http://www.frommers.com/destinations/madrid/0056020002.html#ixzz2ODXAojy5)

     

    When we arrived at the Madrid airport, it was very quick going through customs.  I had arranged a car to take us to the hotel, not wanting to waste time in a taxi queue, but our room wasn't ready, so we left our bags in hotel lockup, and were off to the Prado.  Hopefully the Prado has changed its policies, but they did not want to let me carrry my cameras, even if I didn't use them, and I didn't want to leave them in their coat check room, so finally after much discussion, they did let me carry them in my purse as long as I left all film behind with them. The hotel was conveniently located, and we were able to walk to the Prado, and the train station, as I bought high speed train tickets the day before we left for Malaga, after spending a couple of days of touring Madrid. This is when I learned to pack light, as I was use to my large roller bag and being away from home in the US traveling for work for weeks or months on end.  When I got to Madrid, everthing was fine, including the train station which had this very interesting moving sidewalk that even moved upwards at a slight incline instead of escalators.  When we arrived at the last station, a small town just past Malaga, we were three levels below ground with only a staircase to go up.  It took 2 of us to drag the suitcase up those stairs.  My last trip with a large roller bag.  We took a cab to the Marriott Vacation Property near Marbella, and did day tripping with the tour service Marriott had engaged to Sevilla, Jerez, Gibralter & Morocco as none of us wanted to drive.

     

    On the way back, we also stayed a couple days to take some time to see Toledo.  I would highly recommend a day trip to Toledo from Madrid.  We absolutely loved the city.  The only problem we had was that I had bought tickets for the English speaking tour, as I was traveling with someone that understood no Spanish.  Unfortunately, they had no other customers for English Speaking and put us in the Spanish speaking tour group, which for me was okay, but not for the person I was traveling with.  I spent most of my time translating.  And for the lunch, most of the guests were seated at these large tables, but since we were near the back we were put at a table for 4 with an older couple who spoke no English, so I struggled, switching back and forth between Spanish with them, and English with my traveling companion.

     

    A very similiar thing happend on our tours in the south.  They were sold as English speaking, but we were often with multi-lingual groups, and a guide who went through the tour in multiple languages.  If there were only 2 or 3 languages, and ones I knew and enjoyed practicing, it worked okay.  But sometimes there were up to 5-7 language groups together, which gave very little time to really ask questions.  So if you plan on any organized tours, be sure to find out the specifics about this in advance.  Usually I create a document with excerpts from my guide books, web research, that I can carry with me to read up on before I go, and after I leave but sometimes I also need it when on site depending on the quality of the guide services.

     

    And on that note, we ran into a similiar experience in Granada when touring Alhambra. The bus tour took us there from the ship, but then you get a local guide assigned to go through Alhambra.  Our guide was fantastic, and he did speak several languages. Unfortunately we had people from the ship that signed up for english speaking tour, as it was the only tour, but then tried to hijack the guide into other languages, again for me not a problem as I understand French and Spanish so can listen in French and read in Spanish, but for my traveling companion, a real problem, so I end up translating.  There are many Arabic inscriptions in Alhambra, and luckily our guide was also able to translate those.

     

    While in Madrid, I also wanted to try the local food specialties

    • Suckling Pig at Sobrino de Botín which has quite a history, as it was established in 1725 by James Botin, inherited by his nephew, hence the name Sobrino de Botín.  It is the oldest restaurant per Guinness Book of Records. Francisco de Goya worked there as a waiter.  It is also mentioned in the book Fortunata y Jacinta by Benito Perez Galdos (published 1886-1887).  Ernest Hemingway also mentions it in his book, The Sun Also Rises.  So, of course, I had to go and try the speciality, cochinillo asado (roast suckling pig) which was truly fabulous!  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sobrino_de_Bot%C3%ADn
    • Go to a Chocolaterías for Churros y Chocolate or Chocolate con Churros - which is a spanish doughnut, sort of like a crueller but denser which is served with hot chocolate.  They are especially popular for breakfast or in the afternoon at tea time.  I think I stopped at every local shop I could to try the different types. It was also fun to watch people gather in the afternnoon for the Churros y Chocolate, kids on the way home from school, young women and housewives, etc.
    • Squid sandwich in Plaza Mayor...a great place to people watch along with a beer (yes, they tend to drink beer with this sandwich has its really bar food).
    • Madrid Stew at La Bola, a family tavern since 1870, which is usually cooked in three containers called, vuelcos.  The 1st vulco has the soup from cooking all the ingredients, the 2nd has the chickpeas and vegetables, and the 3rd the meat, and it is usually eaten in this order, though they may be combined into 2 vuelcos, one for the soup, and one for the chickpeas, vegetabbles and meat.
    • Basque food unless you want to wait till you go north.

     

    Oh, I have to stop writing about the food, cause I am just getting hungry thinking about it.

     

    Other things to do:

    • Prado Museum
    • Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza,
    • Palacio Royal
    • Parque delRetiro
    • Puerto Del Sol mentioned in Michener's book on Spain

     

    There is so much wonderful information online, that if you have a smartphone or notebook, just skip the hardcopy and look it all up online.

    http://travel.usnews.com/Madrid_Spain/Things_To_Do/

    http://www.frommers.com/destinations/madrid/0056010001.html

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Valladolid, Spain or Somewhere Nearby?
    GemPrincess Alumni Steward Platinum 17 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    More Madrid links on MI

     

    A Sense of Spain

    A Sense of Spain - 1

    A Sense of Spain - 2: Madrid

    A Sense of Spain - 3: Valencia

    Never Been to Spain...

    Going on my first trip to Span  Barcelona then Madrid.  Suggestions as to accommodations

    Madrid

    Madrid, Spain

    Madrid, Spain - AC Recoletos

    Spain - where to stay

    Marriott in Spain

    Marriott Playa Andaluza - Spain

    Andalusia, Spain

    Valladolid, Spain or Somewhere Nearby?

    Penha Longa, Sintra - a truly magnificent hotel and team.

    AC Hotels - Spain

    AC Aitana- Stay away

    aphunter

    Do we get room recognition at AC hotels even though we don,t get points until the end of 2011?

    AC Hotels - join Marriott Rewards?

    My husband and I are planning a trip to Spain next year.  Any suggestions on the best hotels in Barcelona and Madrid accepting rewards points?

    Destination Suggestions for the NEWBIE Travelers ; Somewhere Exotic!

    where can I make a recommendation for a Marriott Location

    Spain - AC Hotels Deal

     

    Hotel Ritz Madrid                                        http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/madrt

    AC Santo Mauro, Autograph Collection         http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/madma

    AC Hotel Aitana                                          http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/madai

    AC Hotel Aravaca                                        http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/madac

    AC Hotel Arganda                                        http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/madar

    AC Hotel Atocha                                         http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/madat

    AC Hotel Avenida de America                      http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/madav

    AC Hotel Carlton Madrid                              http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/madca

    AC Hotel Coslada Aeropuerto                       http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/madco

    AC Hotel Cuzco                                           http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/madcu

    AC Hotel La Finca                                       http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/madfi

    AC Hotel Los Vascos                                  http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/madva

    AC Hotel Madrid Feria                                 http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/madfe

    AC Hotel Monte Real                                   http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/madmr

    AC Hotel Recoletos                                     http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/madrc

    AC Hotel Rivas Vaciamadrid                         http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/madri

    AC Hotel San Sebastian de los Reyes          http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/madse

    AC Palacio Del Retiro, Autograph Collection  http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/madre

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Valladolid, Spain or Somewhere Nearby?
      newhiltonmembr Platinum 3 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      WOW, Gem!  What a treasure trove of information!  Thanks so very much for all of your time and hard work on these replies!!!

       

      I have been to both central and southern Spain on two prior trips.  Last year was Toledo, Consuegra, Avila, Salamanca, Zamora, La Granja, Segovia, El Escorial and Valley of the Fallen before spending 5 days in Madrid.  Quite a few years ago, we did Andalucia for about 2 1/2 weeks.  Loved both trips!!!!

       

      This year, I'm planning NW Spain.  I'm looking for recommendations as to spending my first night or two in Valladolid or somewhere nearby to recouperate  from jet lag before renting a car and continuing on with my trip.

       

      My only time in Madrid on this trip will be my final night so I can be close to the airport.  I've stayed in the AC Recoletos so think I will stay there again... Pretty good location for walking or bus to pedestrian area.  And some good restaurants very nearby.

       

      Have you been to Valladolid?

       

      THanks so very much for all of your info!!!

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Valladolid, Spain or Somewhere Nearby?
    newhiltonmembr Platinum 3 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Has anyone been to Valladolid?

     

    arkwright  ?

     

    Thanks!

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Valladolid, Spain or Somewhere Nearby?
      Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      I was there in the Franco period, 1970, and it was an amazing place.

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Valladolid, Spain or Somewhere Nearby?
      arkwright Platinum 2 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Newhiltonmember,

       

      I've been there a couple of times - but not for seven years. It has a rich heritage, some of which is retained in the Old Town. Christopher Columbus died there, if I remember aright (just :-))

       

      A

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

    • Re: Valladolid, Spain or Somewhere Nearby?
      newhiltonmembr Platinum 3 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Thanks very much, Anadyr and Arkwright!

       

      Going to include 2 nights there on my itinerary!

      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: Valladolid, Spain or Somewhere Nearby?
        arkwright Platinum 2 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        Have a very good time there - and in Galicia too.

         

        A

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

      • Re: Valladolid, Spain or Somewhere Nearby?
        newhiltonmembr Platinum 3 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        Thank you both!

         

        Any thoughts of spending 3-4 nights in Gijon, Oviedo, or Aviles?  Haven't decided which would be the best.  Or maybe 2 nights in 2 of them?

        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

        • Re: Valladolid, Spain or Somewhere Nearby?
          arkwright Platinum 2 Reviews
          Currently Being Moderated

          Newhiltonmember,

           

          We are now at the farthest recesses of my memory!

           

          I've been to Oviedo, and would imagine that you'd enjoy a couple of nights there. It has quite a rich cultural heritage. What I remembered most clearly though - about Asturias in general - are firstly the regional cheeses, cabrales in particular, and the sidra - which is worth exploring, even if you don't drink! A real expert pours it from way above his/her head - to aid carbonation, I seem to recall - and it has to be consumed quite quickly.

           

          Aviles was, I think, the centre of Spain's steel industry, and so mightn't be too scenic. I confess never to have been to Gijon.

           

          If I didn't make this point in an earlier e-mail, I'd make sure you leave enough time to take in the Galician coastal region.

           

          Best,

           

          A

          (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

          • Re: Valladolid, Spain or Somewhere Nearby?
            newhiltonmembr Platinum 3 Reviews
            Currently Being Moderated

            Thanks so much for the great info, Arkwright!  Very sorry for my delay in replying.

             

            I had read that Aviles was industrialized during the Franco era.  I also read that it has one of the best preserved medieval centers in all of Spain and one of the best harbours on the Cantabrian coast.  Maybe I will stop there for a few hours instead of staying for a few nights.  Now thinking that I may make Oviedo a 4 night stay and day trip to Gijon.

             

            On the Galacian coast, where would you recommend?  I'm thinking of 3-4 nights in Santiago de Compostela.  I've been looking at Pontevedra but haven't checked whether that is a realistic daytrip from SdC yet.  Or possibly A Coruna (for an overnight) which I'm having doubts about since the pictures I've seen look like a bunch of high rise apartments right on the beach, not the quaint seaside villages that I associate with that area (this is my mind, not necessarily a reality!  LOL!!!)

             

            Do you have any suggestions of Galacian coastal towns, please?

             

            Willl have to post my initial itinerary so I can get your valuable feedback. Will try to do that soon.... we all have to make our hotel reservations by May 15, correct?

             

            Thanks very much!

            (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

            • Re: Valladolid, Spain or Somewhere Nearby?
              arkwright Platinum 2 Reviews
              Currently Being Moderated

              Newhiltonmember,

               

              Just a few notes to send you on your way - to what, I'm sure, will be a memorable and very enjoyable vacation:

               

              1. Yes, of course you must visit Santiago, but do be prepared for a very, very busy location. Wherever possible, make advance bookings - i.e. for hotels and particular restaurants you might want to use.

               

              2. Likewise, traffic on the coastal Rias Baixas roads also tends to be heavy.

               

              3. Over the last decade there has been significant investment in motorways,  but these will normally involve a toll charge. The "locals" hate this and tend to revert to smaller roads which, predictably, causes further congestion.

               

              4. A little coastal village I'd mention is Muros, not too far from Santiago, via Noja. When I visited last, it seemed to be little changed from when I first stayed that - 30 + years ago!

               

              All best wishes,

               

              A

              (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

              • Re: Valladolid, Spain or Somewhere Nearby?
                newhiltonmembr Platinum 3 Reviews
                Currently Being Moderated

                Hi Arkwright,

                 

                Thank you for all of your helpful advice!

                 

                My initial itinerary is shaping up as:

                 

                Fly JFK to MAD

                Bus to Valladolid - 2 nights

                Rent car, drive to Leon - 2 nights

                Stops at Asturga and O Cebreiro before Lugo - 1 night

                Santiago - 3 or 4 nights w day trip to Gallician coast

                Oviedo - 4 nights w day trips/visits to Aviles, Gijon, Santa Maria de Lena,

                Our Lady of Covadonga and Altamira caves (at some point as day trip or on way to) Santillana de Mar -2 nights

                Stop in Bilboa [Guggenheim and a look around, will have more time to explore on next trip]

                Burgos - 2 nights

                Madrid - 1 night

                Fly MAD - JFK

                 

                What do you think?  I'm not a huge fan of 1 or 2 night stays but it is what it is, unfortunately.

                 

                Thanks again!

                 

                Kind Regards,

                NHM

                (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

                • Re: Valladolid, Spain or Somewhere Nearby?
                  GemPrincess Alumni Steward Platinum 17 Reviews
                  Currently Being Moderated

                  NHM

                   

                  Glad you have worked it all out for the rest of us!

                   

                  Sounds like a great trip!

                  (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

                  • Re: Valladolid, Spain or Somewhere Nearby?
                    newhiltonmembr Platinum 3 Reviews
                    Currently Being Moderated

                    Thanks, Gemprincess!

                     

                    Unfortunately, the more I research the more I find that I want to see!  Boy, wouldn't it be nice to have unlimited time!  I need to retire so I can just travel! 

                    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

                    • Re: Valladolid, Spain or Somewhere Nearby?
                      GemPrincess Alumni Steward Platinum 17 Reviews
                      Currently Being Moderated

                      You and me both.

                       

                      After reading Michener's Spain, I tried to see as much as I could, but its always a day or two here and there, maybe a week. I would just like to go live for awhile, travel around, work on my Spanish.

                      (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

                      • Re: Valladolid, Spain or Somewhere Nearby?
                        GemPrincess Alumni Steward Platinum 17 Reviews
                        Currently Being Moderated

                        Oh, and on the train from Madrid to Malaga, I did meet Michener's next door neighbors from Buck's county PA.

                         

                        Talk about conincidences.  I was just telling my brother about the book, and they over heard me, and introduced themselves.  They have retired to Spain, so they were obviously much younger than Michener when they were his neighbors.

                        (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

                        • Re: Valladolid, Spain or Somewhere Nearby?
                          newhiltonmembr Platinum 3 Reviews
                          Currently Being Moderated

                          Small world, GemPrincess... I grew up in Mercerville, NJ.  Not very far from Bucks County.

                           

                          How very cool for you!  I bet they had some good stories.

                          (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

                          • Re: Valladolid, Spain or Somewhere Nearby?
                            GemPrincess Alumni Steward Platinum 17 Reviews
                            Currently Being Moderated

                            and not far from Princeton either

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                            • Re: Valladolid, Spain or Somewhere Nearby?
                              newhiltonmembr Platinum 3 Reviews
                              Currently Being Moderated

                              Yep... drove up Rt. 1 to get on the turnpike last Sunday.   Thought that Macy's at Quakerbridge would be open so I could exchange something.  I never knew they closed on Easter. Of course, I'd never tried to shop on Easter before!

                              (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

  • Re: Valladolid, Spain or Somewhere Nearby?
    Alumni Steward Platinum 8 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    (For each location tag, you will be guided through a 3-step process to add (1) a city and a state or a city and a country, (2) a Marriott brand, and (3) a Marriott hotel.)

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