Bob B. (Lynnfield, MA USA)
The highlight of our three week vacation in Spain
The Albayzin House was everything it claimed to be and so much more! My wife, two adult sons and a friend (5 of us) stayed here starting in mid-June and absolutely loved it. My wife and I had the top floor bedroom with a private balcony that was absolutely enchanting. The night time view of the Alhambra was something else. This place was the best and came fully equipped. It was easy to get around, by walking and also using the buses. We really enjoyed staying in this neighborhood and if we get the opportunity, would definitely return. You won’t be disappointed.
David (Ashland,Wisconsin, USA)
This is the place to stay!
Sara’s house is very comfortable and perfectly located. She’s not kidding about the “stunning Alhambra views,” day or night, and especially from the third floor verandah. Four of us stayed there together– two couples in our 50′s– for four nights, and we had lots of space. The kitchen is well enough equipped that we (well, our friends) were able to make a full delicious dinner one night from produce picked up at the market in Plaza Larga and the fish shop, bakery, and other little shops in the neighborhood. We had made reservations for the Nasrid Palaces at the Alhambra for 8:30 a.m., which, because of the time of year we were there, meant that we had to get to the Alhambra while it was still dark. We walked there, a straight shot ten minutes downhill to the Rio Darro, and then a magical, 20 minute walk up the Cuesta de los Chinos, with only the moonlight lighting the path and the Alhambra battlements above us.
We all felt that our stay in Granada would have been very different, and much less special, if we had not stayed in the Albayzin in general, and our little corner of it in particular. As others have said, driving in the Albayzin is not for the faint of heart, but we followed Sara’s directions and got to Calle San Luis without a hitch and then just left the car parked for most of the time we were in Granada. (We did take the car out one day to go to the coast at Nerja and missed a turn on our way back and ended up on the far side of the Plaza Larga, where we just left the car until we left the next day.) Bottom line: the driving issue should not keep anyone away, as long as you have a small enough car to fit through the streets and park. (We had a VW Passat which was fine.) I’d recommend the house to anyone at all except anyone who has trouble going up and down stairs– in which case staying anywhere in the hilly Albayzin would be problematic.
This house is a gem. The Albayzin neighborhood is like a wonderful dream, and this house lets you enjoy it fully. The terraces are comfortable and let you feel like you’re soaking in Granada even when enjoying quiet time at home. The views are great – from the upper terrace especially, absolutely stunning (the picture does not do it justice). The furnishings are very comfortable. There is actually a whole extra bedroom (a fourth) in the cave. We weren’t there in the heat of summer but I imagine the cave would be very welcome then, and probably cools the whole house. The whole house is a distinctive, delightful place to stay, and feels like the kind of place you could only have in Granada. Access with a car is possible, but it is as Sarah says – tricky. The streets of the Albayzin are not for the faint of heart (or large vehicles at all), and the barriers mean you can’t get in at all at certain times, so you have to keep that in mind. That said, you can drive and park much more easily in the neighborhood at the top of the street, and your car will only be a 5-10 minute walk away. On the whole, I would think carefully about whether you want a car at all in Granada – the entire city is walkable in 45 minutes from this house, there are frequent buses nearby, cabs are not expensive for getting in and out with luggage, and you can rent a car for a day trip or two if you want to (I recommend a trip to the Alpujarah).
Wonderful House in the Albaycin neighborhood of Granada
Several things make Sarah’s house a wonderful place to stay. The first is that the house itself is lovely, cozy, comfortable, and unique, with charming rooms and corners – upstairs and down – providing lots of privacy for everyone, even if your group is relatively large – as ours was, including three busy little children. Second are the wonderful, spacious balconies that we enjoyed so much – perfect for eating or relaxing outside, with views of the old Albaycin neighborhood and the Alhambra. The third is the location, quiet and peaceful, but just a short walk from the lively local market and shops, and within walking distance of the Alhambra.
In addition, the beds are comfortable; there are two bathrooms; the bookshelf is well-laden with helpful guide books; the kitchen is well-equipped. It is easy to find fresh produce, fish, groceries, and even an internet cafe, in the nearby market area. And if you are lying in bed, wondering whether to get up, sooner or later you’ll hear the bells ringing, to remind you of the hour. Sarah went out of her way to make us feel welcome, during our phone conversations before we came, when she greeted us at the house, and when we finally had to leave. Thank you, Sarah, for providing such a special house to stay at, while in Granada
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