The history of the Alhambra Palace Hotel through its protagonists

The exclusive five-star hotel conducts a video campaign that unveils the most special and unique moments since its inception in 1910

The 108 years of the Hotel Alhambra Palace are full of memories that are part of the culture and history of Spain. His important presence in the Civil War as a field hospital, the stay of the writer Federico García Lorca and the artist Manuel de Falla with its great cultural component or the relevance of its ‘teatrillo’ as a meeting point of Granada society and value of styles as ingrained as flamenco, are some examples of the intense life of the emblematic hotel. Therefore, the team of five stars starts a campaign of videos on their social networks where, through the knowledge and experiences of its protagonists, you can decipher the most special details of all the stages of your career.


Touring its halls, tasting its gastronomy or walking around. Any of the experiences that make up the Alhambra Palace Hotel acquires a unique cultural component. Stays that the traveler shares with history, with the past of the five oldest stars of Spain. The new initiative of the establishment launches the publication of a series of videos that are divided into the most epic chapters of its journey. In them, the Commercial and Marketing Director, Ignacio Durán together with the Hotel Director, Marianella Bertini and the rest of the team reveal from the secrets of its construction to the exclusivity offered to the guest today.

From 1910 to 2018

The Alhambra of Granada was already in 1910 a monument recognized both nationally and internationally. This fact was the consequence of the promotional campaigns carried out by such illustrious figures as Alexandre Dumas, Wasinghton Irving or Claude Debussy at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, to which Torres Balbás’s restoration processes were added. With a great business vision, the Duke San Pedro de Galatino was aware of the need for the palace to require a luxury hotel to accommodate the clients of the romantic tourism of the time and the first ones of international character.

The Alhambra Palace Hotel becomes one of the first Palace Hotel in Europe, as well as being a historicist building that recreates other ancient constructions of Spain such as the Muralla de Ávila or the Torre del Oro of Seville. Its development lasts for three years and contains novel techniques such as the development of the first iron structure that is made in Andalusia. Its interior reflects an exercise in Alhambraism, the Baroque style that characterizes the Nasrid palace itself. Being a faithful reflection of it, it is also worth noting that Torres Balbás carried out some previous experiments at the hotel before introducing them to the Alhambra in Granada itself.

This is how the Alhambra Palace Hotel begins to live and feel. Its first years have the most popular social, cultural and recreational center of the city: its casino. Active from 1910 to 1923, it was located on the entire ground floor of the establishment. Where now are the Arab Room and the Hall of the Catholic Kings, before enjoyed the immense game rooms. One of the great successes of accommodation that puts an end to the dictatorship, when Primo de Rivera, who after some altercations in a casino in Madrid, promotes the prohibition of gambling being considered persona non grata in the establishment.

The Civil War is presented as one of the most unique chapters of the five-star route. After the death of Duke San Pedro de Galatino in 1936, the Duchess handed over the hotel to the Military Forces and became a field hospital directly. Time during which the establishment was marked by three large red crosses on its roofs, its elegant corridors became hospital rooms dedicated to the victims and its theater becomes a chapel. Unintentionally, the duchess’s decision made her survival possible.

The years go by, and with them the Alhambra Palace Hotel continues to be filled with unforgettable moments that mark its history. Undoubtedly, its connection with the world of cinema, especially Hollywood cinema, acquires a special relevance from the beginning. Among his many anecdotes and characters, Orson Wells stands out. The director, during the filming of the exteriors of his film ‘Don Quixote’, moved to Granada and established his production office in the ‘teatrillo’ of the hotel for 15 days. Also the Spanish cinema has had an important presence, in addition the hotel has been part of the stage of some films as, for example, ‘Days Counting’ or ‘Everything is possible in Granada’.

One of the undoubted protagonists of all stages has been the ‘theater of the Palace’. A fundamental part of the local and cultural history of Granada and one of the major emblems of the Alhambra Palace Hotel. Currently, it is the scene of the International Festival of Music and Dance, the last edition of the International Tango Festival, music, poetry or conference activities.

In 1922, the Cante Jondo Contest was held, one of its most symbolic episodes. The presentation of the same, was performed by Federico García Lorca, Manuel de Falla and Ángel Barrios in the ‘teatrillo’. In it, Lorca recited for the first time the ‘Baladilla de los Tres Ríos’ with the presence on the piano of Manuel de Falla, a poem that belongs to his book ‘Poema del cante jondo’. This anecdote has a sentimental and poetic component, as well as historical, very important. An original theater, where the spectators find intimacy and glamor at the same time, which makes it a unique and unrepeatable place in the whole city.

The innumerable memories of the Alhambra Palace Hotel are the legacy of its 108 years of life. Its strategic location has made this a fundamental part of the city of Granada, which has accompanied in its evolution over the years. Nowadays, the establishment, which has become the oldest five-star hotel in Spain, is made up of a large family, which offers an excellent service and which shows the pride of belonging to this incredible and emblematic hotel from generation to generation.

Its excellent cuisine, which adapts both to international and national tourism, its events created in an environment difficult to match or its rooms designed to fantasize with the Alhambra, arouse passions to those who live them. Identity signs guided by the slogan ‘Dreaming of the Alhambra Palace Hotel’, which makes it a mandatory stop when visiting the city of Granada.