My relationship with the Spanish State run Hotel chain ‘The Paradores’ is bitter sweet. If you have never stayed in one you are


missing a treat. They are nearly always in historical buildings full of history and character. The rooms are comfortable, bathrooms superb — but the food is disastrous. Except, thsat is, their breakfasts. A vast array of fruit, cheeses, cold meats, cereal, eggs, bacon sausages y mucho mas! When working for my colleague’s company Classic Euro Sport, I was responsible for booking accommodation and vittles for up to 80 guests and of course 40 classic cars, when we did a ‘run’ through Spain. The Paradores were ideal, they nearly all had secure parking for the cars and sufficient rooms for all concerned. On occasions we did use them for food but it was never successful. On one occasion, having notified the General Manager that we would be arriving from 2.00 and would need plenty of bar staff and a running buffet,

                    HISTORIC CARMONA

I arrives first as per norm to find the place totally unprepared. Despite conversations with the GM he was unable to rectify the situation. I was furious and phoned the Head Office and spoke to the President’s secretary and within half an hour, he had phoned me — in the Manager’s office — and gave me his sincere apologies — then fired the GM! A bit drastic, but he did deserve some retribution for his incompetence.

However, despite being housed in old buildings the company’s outlook on the world is certainly not based in the past. It has been announced that all 97 of its establishments will use only electricity from renewable sources from the start of the  new year. . “Paradores is a company that supports sustainable tourism in every

               ON THE COAST AT BAYON

sense of the word,” said its chair, Óscar López Águeda. “What’s more, as a public company, we also want to set an example when it comes to investments that encourage energy saving and responsible consumption.”

The deal, signed with the Spanish utility giant Endesa, will ensure that all the electricity used in Paradores will come from green sources from Tuesday, ist of January. However, the company said it has no plans as yet to stop using natural gas.

Paradores, which was founded in 1928, has more than 4,000 staff and 10,000 rooms. The company said that it was in their interest to protect the environment because many of its hotels are close to national parks and biosphere reserves.”We have a lot of environmental projects, both when it comes to enjoying and looking

ARGOMANIZ (site of the GM’s demise)

after our surroundings and to restoring flora and fauna and eliminating plastics,” said López.

Well done!! Now find a Group Director of Food and Beverage to improve food and restaurant service.




A selection of some of the beautiful Paradores in which I have stayed.