When I received an email from British Airways, ten minutes before leaving to catch the coach to the airport, that my flight home had been cancelled, my heart sunk. I was really looking forward to going back to London and was seriously bummed and annoyed that I unexpectedly had to stay another evening in Granada with no place to stay.
After an angry call with BA’s customer service, who assured me that I would reimbursed for any additional expenses incurred, I went on the hunt for a decent hotel to rest in until my 7am flight the next day. I ended up choosing Hotel Gar Anat, which was a mere 3 minutes away from the Spanish school I had been studying in.
When I arrived, I was informed that it was a literary hotel. What a happy coincidence! The receptionist also seemed pretty pleased when I told her that I was a literary blogger and was keen to point out that there were snacks served in library. Free snacks? Library? I had definitely come to the right place.
Granada is home to some stunning architecture that dates back to Southern Spain’s Moorish era and Gar-Anat shares some of that history. At first, it was the home of a wealthy Muslim family, however, after the expulsion of the Muslims and Jews from Spain, it was turned into a hospital by the Church. Centuries later, it was refashioned into the boutique hotel it is today. As you can see above, the renovated interior has preserved much of the original structure and style and the Moorish influence is clear. Stepping through the doors of this hotel is akin to stepping back in time to Southern Spain in the 15th century.
Each of its 15 bedrooms is named after a famous literary work or character including some by Federico Garcia Lorca, who was born just outside of Granada. I was assigned a room called “Nana”, not named after the famous French novel by Zola as I first thought, but an unpublished poem by Nobel Prize winner Juan Ramón Jimenez.
Drizzle, heavy clouds
drown the town.
The lanterns are sad and sleepy,
and the yellow moon walks,
between water and wind.
There it smells like a wet field.
rises, greenish, behind an old bell tower.
I must admit I am not entirely convinced by the English translation in this instance but I thought it was fascinating that this hotel had chosen an unpublished work by a prolific Spanish figure. True fans of Spanish literature will no doubt delight in the literary connections this hotel has and will revel in the secrets this hotel reveals.
There are several different floors of literary rooms, all of which are based in a square shape around the central courtyard, which you can look down upon. Each room is hidden behind a curtain so, as the hotel says, it’s like entering your own theatre stage when you open the door.
The rooms are comfortable and modern whilst still maintaining some Moorish features such as a beautiful wooden roof. There’s aircon (thank God!) and stylish ensuite bathrooms equipped with a heap of fluffy white towels and other bathroom amenities. My room also came with a small television, which you can watch from the comfort of your bed.
The best thing about Gar Anat hotel however, is undoubtedly the small library space in the main courtyard. This lovely space is open to all guests and you can pop in and make yourself a hot drink and grab a book off their shelves. There are plenty of magazines and comfy chairs to plonk yourself in and this is an amazing zen space for those who want to relax but also don’t want to remain cooped up in their hotel room.
Every day between 5 and 7pm there is a “merienda” in the library meaning that cakes and hot drinks are provided for free to all hotel guests. Obviously I took advantage of this, helping myself to many servings of their delicious coconut cake and a soothing camomile tea.
In this miniature library they stock copies of all the works that their hotel rooms are inspired by so if you’d like to delve deeper into the story of the room you’re staying in then all you need to do is ask reception for a point in the right direction. In addition, there are numerous fiction and non-fiction titles available to borrow in both English and Spanish. They do not have an extensive collection but as Gar Anat is a boutique hotel with only 15 rooms, there’s plenty for you to get stuck into.
Lastly, a full breakfast is available every morning in the hotel from 7am onwards for an additional €13 per person, per day. I’d like to give a big thank you to the hotel for preparing me a packed breakfast to take with me to the airport at 5am, and for arranging the taxi for me! The receptionist is on hand 24/7 to help you with any queries about the city or your stay.
Gar Anat Hotel Boutique
Calle Placeta Peregrinos, 1
18009 Granada, Spain
+34 958 22 55 28
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