A grand royal residence with the artwork to match
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History & culture
The Palacio Guendulian is one of the most prominent buildings in Pamplona, found in the centre of its old town on the Calle de San Antón. As such, it’s just a short walk away from the pretty Plaza del Castillo, the 12th century Iglesia San Nicolás and the city’s myriad monuments. However, the town is perhaps best down for its San Fermín – the festival of the bull. Each year, on the 6 July, the whole city gives over to a week of festivities centring around the encierro, the running of the bulls.
Built in the 18th century by D. Sebastian de Eslava, viceroy of New Granada, the palace served as a royal residence for some 200 years – its esteemed guests include Spain’s Queen Isabel II. The rooms, then, are suitably made up, with classic, floral furnishing, great dark wood headboards and moulded wall panelling. And, with just 23 rooms, you can be sure of an intimate experience. There’s also the opportunity to stay in one of two suites, featuring separate living rooms, espresso coffee machines and luxury bathroom amenities.
Found on the palace’s main floor, the hotel’s gourmet restaurant is reached by a grand main staircase. It’s a truly indulgent experience, too, having featured in the Michelin guide for four years running. Tasters were undoubtedly impressed with the likes of its scallop and shrimp salad starters, slow-roasted lamb shoulder and puff pastry apple tarts. If this all sounds inspiring, perhaps book onto a tasting menu for two. Offering exceptional value, it’s surprisingly well priced and comes with a bottle of the superb vine chivite.
In a nod to the hotel’s rich past, the palace features an original collection of horse-drawn carriages that dates back to the 1700s. There’s even an art gallery that features work by Luis Paret that commemorated the introduction of running water to the city. There’s also a delightful bar-cum-lounge. Featuring an extensive drinks menu, the summer terrace is particularly inviting.
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