The Hotel del Carmen opened its doors in October 2007, although it has changed hands since, and, as its name implies, it is situated on the edge of Valencia’s historical ‘Carmen’ quarter. It faces the old river bed of the Turia River, now a park, and stands in Calle Blanquerias, which takes its name from the tanners who used to occupy this street.
Tanners were never popular with their neighbours, because of the strong smells and pollution they caused, which is why their street is right on the edge of the city. The Hotel del Carmen however is becoming decidedly popular among visitors to Valencia who look for modernity with style, rather than a classical hotel or a super-modern but impersonal one.
The hotel’s slogan was originally ‘Beds and Style’ and they certainly take great care to offer stylish, colourful bedrooms (a different colour for each of its five floors) with a different, artistic photograph showing some aspect of the Carmen neighbourhood in each room.
Up on the roof, you won’t find the Drifters, but you will find some amazing views across the city and dream of Oxfordian spires. You’ll also find a heated Jacuzzi and a sauna, a nice touch of luxury before heading down to breakfast in the downstairs lounge area; or you can cross the street to one of Valencia’s most-liked restaurants, La Tacita de Plata, who take care of the kitchen for Hotel del Carmen and who also owned the immensely popular ‘Burdeos In Love’ restaurant, which used to be just around the corner from Finnegan’s Irish pub.
Hotel Del Carmen doesn’t really look like a hotel from the outside, in fact I walked past it twice before I realised what it was. Blending in is not just an accident here, it’s an attitude, and the friendliness of the English-speaking staff is noticeable from the moment you step up to Reception. None of that snooty “I’m going to spend a few minutes playing with some papers before I deign to notice you” here.
The Hotel del Carmen is in C/ Blanquerias 11