Seville, Spain – Reported by Coleman Bentley for Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine
Coursing with 500 years of Andalucian history—the steps of long-forgotten flamenco dancers and clops of fighting bulls still echoing through its halls—HBA London’s bespoke specialists, The Gallery, had history to preserve when they took on the renovation of Seville’s historic Hotel Alfonso XIII.
Entering the cavernous reception space one is greeted by marble floors beneath and opulent frescos above; original flourishes untouched by The Gallery, who put their interior-design prowess aside for the sake of authenticity. The furniture was reupholstered and rearranged, but its placement dictated by the location of original electrical sockets that The Gallery let remain in their original form.
Winding deeper into the hotel, The Gallery corralled the lingering spirit of the Moorish empire in the Bodega Alfonso, a dining space featuring a regal red and gold color palette and a bar built with weather oak planks and fastened together by iron rivets. Conversely The Gallery, when given total creative control of the Taifas Restaurant and Bar renovation located in a building independent of the main hotel, outfitted the space with an airy red and white color scheme, hand-painted tile, and low seating that seamlessly integrated the indoor and outdoor dining areas. A time machine that just so happens to serve gourmet meals, some might say.
A hotel is only as good as good as its guestrooms, of course, and unsurprisingly the authentic Moorish flair present throughout the rest of the Hotel Alfonso XIII informs the design of its varied residences as well. There are the Andalucian and Castilian guest rooms, which capture the beauty of women and the power of men, respectively, but it is the Royal Suite that truly encapsulates both the hotel’s future and past. Envisioned by The Gallery as the residence where King Alfonso XIII himself would have stayed, the suite is adorned with portraits and artifacts from his world travels, all curated by the hotel’s exclusive collection. Modern furnishings such as leather-ensconced TV cabinets and a bold four-poster bed add contemporary muscle to the room, while still allowing the space’s regal atmosphere to reign.
Perfect for those who want the comforts of the modern world while being transported from it, the Hotel Alfonso XIII, with the help The Gallery, has become a destination for yet another generation of traveler.