Just a few kilometres out of Toledo is this hotel on a wooded hilltop overlooking the city. The views are magnificent - and cost half the price of the Parador further around the hill. La Almazara is a simple, rustic place, built as a country residence in the 16thC. A gravel courtyard is surrounded on three sides by a solid ivy-clad building.
This is not the sort of place you would want to lounge around in all day, and it does not have a restaurant, but it is the perfect haven after a hot day's sightseeing in much-visited Toledo. 'Absolute peace' writes a contented American visitor. 'The place is charming, the staff are charming, even the cats are charming.' The atmosphere is very laid back.
The huge sitting room looks lived in - comfy sofas around a log fire, piles of magazines and books scattered on tables, and a TV in one corner. Breakfast is served in a delightful arched room that leads on to a small (and rather overgrown) terrace. All the bedrooms are simple, cool and spacious (extra beds can be installed), and are brightened up by locally-made curtains and bedspreads. Bedrooms 1 to 9 all have balconies overlooking Toledo.