My last post mentioned the importance of staying in a good place. That lesson was reemphasized a few days later while we were in Granda.

We arrived without a reservation and eventually opted to stay at Hostal Austria. (Note: a “hostal” in Spain is not the same thing as a “hostel.” It’s more of a small hotel.)

We chose Hostal Austria for its price and location — indeed the cleanliness was somewhat below American hotel standards, though not in a way that was a problem for us — but it quickly proved to be much more than a cheap bed.

Like most people, we went to Granada mostly to see the Alhambra, which is a large Moorish palace and castle. Unfortunately, visitors need to reserve tickets to the Alhambra days, or ideally weeks, in advance.

The first thing we did when we arrived in Granada was go to the Alhambra bookstore and try to find some way to get tickets. The people there were nice, but basically told us it was impossible.

However, they apparently didn’t know the good people at Hostal Austria. When we eventually got there, the guy at reception spent 20 minutes trying to figure out some way to get us tickets. After a while, he also concluded that we couldn’t get in. So we went up to our room, dejected.

But when we came down later, he had miraculously found a solution. Apparently in the time since we had last spoken he had figured out a way to buy cancelled tickets and found some time slots for us. So we got our tickets, saw the Alhambra and everything worked out.

But Hostal Austria really should be commended. The guy spent quite a bit of time searching for our tickets and even figured out a new (to him and us) way to get them. I’m not sure that most hotels would go through that much trouble (especially chains or those places in the price range we often look in).


Written by Jim Dalrymple II

Urbanism and travel writer. Also a journalist covering the news.

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