Parador de Mérida Information

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Parador de Mérida

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Facilities

  • Twin rooms (70)
  • Double rooms (9)
  • Room with living room (3)
  • Capacity (164)
  • Conference room
  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Telephone
  • Central heating
  • Air conditioning
  • TV
  • Canal plus
  • Satellite
  • Deposit box
  • Ambiance music
  • Minibar
  • Gift Shop
  • Lift
  • Garage (charged)
  • Parking
  • Credit cards
  • Currency exchange
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Sauna
  • Swimming pool
  • Golf (8km)
  • Airport (55km)
  • Station (500km)

 Parador de Mérida - 18th century convent (4*)

The Parador

The Parador de Mérida is an 18th century converted convent and offers guests an insight to Mérida’s rich and celebrated history. Built upon the original Roman forum and temple remains, this white walled, simple building has served a lifetime of purposes including a home for the poor, a hospital, an asylum and even a prison.  Set in the town which was borne of the same sentiment, the Parador de Mérida is the ideal base to explore the Spanish Rome of days gone by. The Parador is home to relics and remains from the buildings history and indeed from the history of Mérida itself. 

Mérida is proudest of its history as an important Roman town having flourished under Roman occupation. This influence is felt strongly throughout the town, and Mérida’s Parador features many artefacts from the period, such as Roman columns and sculptures, adding a cultural element to any stay at this Parador.

Since the Parador of Mérida joined the group in 1933 it has welcomed a wealth of visitors including film stars, opera singers, politicians and even royalty.  It has been a popular choice for the King and Queen of Spain, and also the King’s father, who have all stayed in this beautiful building on many occasions.

From its most recent use as a convent, the Parador features authentic remnants such as gates to the crypt with high vaulted ceilings, where guests can relax and reflect. The rooms of the Parador are in very much in keeping with the theme of the convent with subtle and simple décor; archways, columns and vaulted ceilings.  The exquisite internal courtyard offers a peaceful place to sit and unwind whilst admiring the gardens which, contrary to the Roman influences of the area, were designed in typical Moorish style.

The Parador de Mérida has benefitted from a few contemporary additions such as an outdoor swimming pool, sauna and a gym. Its location in southern Extremadura means that this Parador benefits from a warmer climate all year round and there is a golf course just 8km away.

Specialities at the restaurant include Gazpacho (chilled vegetable soup), Calderata Extremeña (lamb stewed with vegetables and wine) and Técula Mécula (a dessert made with almonds and egg yolks).

Keytel tip

- Request a room with garden views for an extra special stay.

 

Local area

The Parador de Mérida offers an ideal base from which to explore this charming, historical town. Mérida takes immense pride in its Roman history, and is home to the largest collection of Roman remains in the whole of Spain, earning it its UNESCO World Heritage Status.

The town was founded by Emperor Augustus in 25BC as Emerita Augusta (the origin of the modern name) and became the capital of the Roman province of Lusitania. The site was considered a strategic base by the Romans when constructing the road between the Atlantic Ocean and the Cantabrian Sea, now known as the Via de la Plata (the ‘Silver Route’).

The three most prominent Roman sites of the town are the Los Milagros Aqueduct, the Roman Circus and the Amphitheatre, and these are some of the best conserved in Europe. In fact, the amphitheatre is still used by locals today to hold mock Gladiator fights, and each July the town stages Greek and Roman dramas.

Other impressive Roman remains in the town include the triumphal arch, the Temple of Diana (whose granite columns still stand strong), and two Roman bridges, one of which has been pedestrianised and is the perfect place to enjoy a beautiful sunset.

Mérida is also a good base from which to visit nearby Spanish towns such as Cáceres and Trujillo, both of which are within an hour’s drive of Merida. 

Click here for Lorna Robert's expert view on this Parador as she journeys through Extremadura.

 

Parking

This Parador has a garage which has a charge, payable locally.

Restaurant meal times & typical dishes

Breakfast is served from 7.30 to 11.00 and dinner from 20.30 to 23.00.

It may be possible to arrive up to 22.30 and still enjoy a meal.

Specialities at the restaurant include Gazpacho (chilled vegetable soup), Calderata Extremeña (lamb stewed with vegetables and wine) and Técula Mécula (a dessert made with almonds and egg yolks).

Swimming Pool

The Parador’s outdoor swimming pool is due to open from 1st May 2016 until end-October 2016.
Please note the opening and closing dates will depend on the weather and availability of lifeguards.

How to get there

The Parador is located in the centre of the town. Mérida is 60 km from Badajoz and 350 km from Madrid along the main N-V road, and 70 km from Cáceres and 200 km from Sevilla on the N-630.

Nearby Hotels

Zafra - 60km
Carceres - 70km
Trujillo - 90km
Guadalupe - 125km
Sevilla Airport - 220km

Region & Cuisine

EXTREMADURA


Consisting of just two provinces (Cáceres and Badajoz) of roughly equal size, the Autonomous Community of Extremadura is the fifth largest in Spain but probably one of the least known. It is also one of the least populated, with just 27 inhabitants per square kilometre compared with the national average of 75.

Geographically, Extremadura borders the regions of Castilla y León to the north, Castilla La Mancha to the east and Andalusia to the south, with Portugal forming the border to the west. Extremadura has no coastline but two major rivers cross the region from east to west: the River Guadiana, which runs south through Portugal to reach the coast on the easternmost Algarve, and the River Tajo (Tagus in English) which flows west to reach the Atlantic in Lisbon. The climate of Extremadura is similar to that of northern Andalusia – winters are relatively mild and summers can be, and often are, very hot.

Essentially a rural region, Extremadura has a variety of landscapes.  In many places mountainous and with an abundance of water, the region’s many nature reserves are a haven for an exceptional variety of wildlife. In particular, above Monfragüe Nature Park (one of the largest of these reserves, between Trujillo and Plasencia) the sky is dotted with tawny vultures, black storks, golden eagles, peregrine falcons and Egyptian vultures.  At ground level foxes, wildcats, badgers and especially lynx inhabit the region’s many forests.  And everywhere there are storks with their nests on houses, churches, belfries, rooftops, traffic lights, radio masts...

Known as the land of the Conquistadores, Extremadura provided a significant number of the noblemen, friars and adventurers who – following the return of Columbus from his voyages of discovery – embarked upon the colonisation of the Americas. Statues of many of these ‘worthies’, including Francisco Pizarro and Hernán Cortes, can be found throughout the region.

The principal cities of Extremadura are Badajoz, Cáceres, Plasencia and Mérida – all steeped in history with perhaps Badajoz, due no doubt to its proximity to the Portuguese border, developing more than the others into a modern commercial metropolis.  Cáceres, a university city, is well worth visiting, its historic quarter having been bestowed with the title of World Heritage City and considered the third monumental ensemble in Europe.  Plasencia, founded in the 12th century by king Alfonso VIII, boasts an important artistic heritage which has merited its declaration as an Ensemble of Historical and Cultural Interest.

Special mention, however, must be made of Mérida, the capital city of Extremadura. Mérida was also the capital of the Roman province of Lusitania, and an important centre during the spread of Christianity.  Founded in the year 25 BC the city retains many remarkably well preserved examples of Roman architecture including the Roman Theatre, the huge Amphitheatre, the Arch of Trajan (a triumphal arch dedicated to the Emperor Trajan) and the Roman Bridge, one of the largest of its kind with 60 arches and over 800 metres in length.  The monuments of Mérida were designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1993.

The cuisine of Extremadura is typified by centuries old recipes, such as the varieties of lamb dishes adapted from the Moors, and by making use of the excellent agricultural produce available throughout the region in many versions of soups and stews.  Also particularly good are the cured meats from the areas using the name ‘Dehesa Extremeña’, and freshwater fish (trout, tench) from the rivers. The region produces several excellent cheeses from ewe’s milk and goat’s milk, a notable and delicious example being ‘Casar de Cáceres’. Both Islamic and monastic influences are discernable in the region’s wide range of desserts and other sweet treats.  Extremadura produces both red and white wines, and a sparkling ‘cava’, and for the more adventurous two liqueurs of note – one made from cherries and the other from acorns. Should anyone really want to know, the latter is produced in the hills of La Vera in the north-east of the region.

Please be aware of the following:

  • 'Special Offers' are subject to the availability of a number of rooms per night and/or a specific meal basis.
  • Age restrictions apply to the 'Golden Days' Offer (for those aged 55 and over) and the 'Young Persons' Offer (for those aged between 18 and 30). All reservations made using these tariffs are checked upon your arrival at the Parador(s) booked to ensure that at least one person in a room qualifies for the restricted tariff. In the case that you do not qualify for the restricted tariff, the Parador will apply the standard rate without exception and you will be required to pay a supplement locally. However only one person (per room) needs to qualify for either of these two reductions.