Arrival/Check-in: Our arrival was delayed by the limo driver, who mistook the Meliá Valencia for the older Meliá Valencia Palace, a few blocks away on Paseo de la Alameda. But the staff at the Palace quickly called to confirm that our reservations were for the newer sister property, and at last we rolled our luggage into the right hotel. The staff there was apologetic, although it was clearly not their fault that the two hotel names were so confusingly similar. We were checked in quickly and on our way to our Meliá Supreme Room. (28/30)
Guest Quarters: I was in love with my hotel room the minute I entered. Before I even noticed the décor, I looked straight out eye-to-eye with Santiago Calatrava’s stunning new Agora, the latest addition to his landmark architectural complex of the Ciudad de las Artes y de las Ciencias — City of Arts and Sciences. I could see it from any point in the room. When I finally noticed the room itself, I realized that it echoed the same clean lines and white drama of the scene out the window, with American walnut floors and furniture adding elegant notes to the white-and-ochre palette. Even the bathroom had a view of the Agora through a solid wall of glass (with an optional privacy shade) that separated the tub and sink from the bedroom; the toilet was in a separate room. All this glass made the large room seem even more spacious. The king-sized bed was clothed in feather-soft linens and a down comforter, with a selection of pillows. Bedside tables at each side had good reading lamps that were fully adjustable. A table, two chairs, a sofa and an armchair completed the furnishings. Although I chose to leave them open so I could soak up the view of the Agora lighted at night, the room was equipped with black-out curtains that operated automatically (and without an engineering degree). The satellite TV had dozens of channels in more languages than I could understand; WiFi access was free, and the safe was big enough to hold my laptop. (29/30)
Services/Amenities: The hotel’s public areas fill the street level, where there are comfortable chairs and an alcove filled with information about the city. Plasma screens throughout the hotel highlight Valencia’s cultural attractions, local events, weather and other useful information for guests. Breakfast in the bright restaurant was copious, with delicious Iberian ham and other cured meats, smoked salmon, cheeses, fresh fruit, a selection of breads and cakes and several choices of hot entrée. I was so busy the whole time I was in Valencia that I didn’t have time to more than look at the well-equipped gym and the spa, which has an exercise pool, Jacuzzi, cold water pool, Finnish sauna, Turkish bath, bi-thermal and several other showers and complimentary juice bar. (39/40)
The Experience: The English-speaking reception desk staff was helpful in making phone calls for us when our language skills weren’t up to the task. The hotel is well located in the heart of the new business district, a few steps from Valencia’s new museum/arts complex, about a mile from the port used for the America’s Cup.
Meliá Valencia Hotel
Valencia 46023, Spain
tel 34 96 335 03 80
After driving through the arts and entertainment district of Delray Beach, I was expecting the lively and vibrant energy to follow me to my doorstep at Crane’s Beach House that evening. I was pleasantly surprised when the spirited rumble of a night downtown halted right at the front gate. As I walked the pathway to the front office for check-in, I was welcomed by a quiet rustle of the greenery and flowers that guided my walk, strung with lights and colorful, tropical décor. At check-in I was provided with a complimentary parking pass; although I would only be there for one night, I much appreciated this unexpected perk. I received my room information, including a pass code that would open my door. Keyless entry was a nice touch.
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