Castilla Termal Balneario de Solares 4* is in Santander in the North of Spain, meaning to get there from London is simply a flight for one hour and 40 mins followed by a 10 minute transfer from the airport. When you arrive you’re enveloped into Spanish culture with traditional style throughout and lots of paintings in all the corridors of what the hotel used to look like.
The hotel is relatively small with 110 rooms that make for a really nice atmosphere. The rooms were all the same – really traditional with lots of patterns that somehow worked together and all together beautifully set out. Everything is wonderfully colourful in true Spanish style complete with florals and lots of antiques. It’s romantic in its appearance and I had a little Juliet balcony which looks outside as well, which really was the cherry on top that made it completely movie worthy.
The spa was amazing – it’s enormous and completely at odds with what you would expect in this traditional hotel. It is set over three floors and as you enter there’s a fountain which is supposed to contain medicinal, healing water. The ceilings are high and there’s a spectacular dome with paintings that bring an almost ecclesiastical vibe. On the ground floor you have all the facilities including a huge thermal pool with a contrast circuit of different saunas, Jacuzzis and jets. A guide recommends the best way to go around it and then there are loungers looking out onto the grounds which are ideal to relax in. It’s a really complete thermal experience.
On the top floor of the spa you have the treatment rooms and relaxation room with loungers looking onto the gardens and vegetable patch. I had a one hour full body massage which was amazing. It included hands and feet, a scalp massage and a facial. They have their own product line which is lovely, and they gave me a choice of three different oils to choose from. There’s a shop in the reception area as well so you can buy products afterwards.
There’s one restaurant and a bar, and the bar also does light bites and snacks throughout the day. Again the restaurant looks onto the garden. Breakfast was typically Spanish food (no baked beans here!) – so lots of hams and pastries, fruit, yoghurt and juices. Lunch is a la carte, as is dinner, and the menu changes seasonally so you know it’s all freshly prepared and uses the best ingredients. The menu is limited but it’s very high quality with lots of fish and local produce. The wine menu is phenomenal and they also produce their own wine which is worth a try. I don’t know a lot about wine so I asked them to recommend one and they paired it for me. It’s worth noting that in the restaurant the only alcohol they serve is win but the menu is about 30 pages long so there’s no shortage of choice, but in the bar there are other options.
The grounds are really charming. There’s a vegetable patch used by the restaurant and a massive outdoor pool with lots of sun loungers around it that are perfect for summer. Essentially, there’s lots of wonderful space to sit outside and enjoy the environment. The actual location of the hotel is set just off a high street in Solares which is very small, but it’s 20 minutes from Santander and the hotel can arrange a taxi for you. Alternatively, it’s a two minute walk from the train station, so while I was only there for a couple of days, if you’re there for longer I would definitely recommend taking some time to explore the city.
While I thoroughly enjoyed Castilla Termal Balneario de Solares as a solo getaway for a couple of days, there’s no denying that it is also very romantic. Either way, it’s perfect for anyone who wants a quiet getaway set as it is in such a peaceful location. It’s very much a place to mill about, enjoy the sunshine and read a good book with a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.