There is no place to experience a Spanish Feria quite like the Moorish city of Sevilla, the capital of southern Spain’s Andalusia region, and the birthplace of flamenco. The next Feria takes place from May 7 to 12, 2019.
Book a Stay at the Luxurious Melia Sevilla
Melia Sevilla hotel is located in the perfect spot, right next to the lush Maria Luisa Park and the stunning Plaza de España. Stepping through the glass doors of the Melia Sevilla hotel, a warm, inviting open contemporary space awaits. Floors are made of white marble, ceilings are high and the lounge is inviting, leading up to a cozy bar area, which is cleverly separated by an ultra modern metal and wood divider, interspaced by mirrors to give the lobby a feeling of light and space.
There is something about the brightness of the space that makes it a comfy choice for anyone, whether you are a solo female traveler, a family of five, or a couple. It’s a great place to relax after checking in. The property has been recently renovated, and has that squeaky clean modern vibe.
The hotel room is a standard double room with a moderate size. The space was surprisingly bright and spacious, the double beds were large enough for adults. My colleague and I both felt we could carve out our personal space.
What to Wear at the Melia Sevilla hotel: SEVILLA CHIC
Visiting Sevilla during Feria week is not a joking matter in the style stakes. It’s impressive how much meticulous care women in Sevilla give to their outward appearance, and can easily rival any stylish woman from Milan or Paris. This is not a city for flip flops and shorts.
The Must-See Plaza de España
After a quick shower and nice nap on Melia Sevilla hotel’s gorgeous and soft white sheets, I head out to the beautiful setting of the Plaza de Espana. I am accompanied by my larger-than-life colleague who joined me on this trip.
Although only built in the late 1920s as a result of the Neo-Mudéjar Moorish architecture revival, the ornately hand-painted ceramic-lined alcoves of blue and white, and wide transports you back in time. The tiled Provincial Alcoves along the walls depicts each Andalusian city from Cordoba to Granada. It’s easy to imagine a time when horse drawn carriages trotted around the huge semi-circle of the plaza, and during the Feria week, you get a chance to see that. It is no surprise that it has been used as a filming location a number of times, including scenes for the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia, Star Wars and in the 2012 film The Dictator.
Exploring a tapas bar
We received some great suggestions on places to eat from the hotel but and settled for Ovejas Negras, an impossibly hip bar/restaurant, with cool music, people and fantastic tapas. If you’re looking for a modern twist on tapas, this is the right place. I particularly loved how they served their patatas bravas with delicious salsa and chili. The food was so good that we were back the next day.
Calle Hernando Colón, 8, 41004 Sevilla, Spain
An Evening at a true Spanish Feria
We head off to the Melia Hotel’s International Caseta and Melia hotel provides a bus for guests which we missed because I couldn’t decide what to wear, so we joined a long taxi queue of fellow Feria go-wers. Once out in the open, I felt slightly under-dressed for the occasion. My colleague wore a simple, elegant black dress, which was a smart move, while I wore a floral skirt, burgundy top, and a long sleeve Spring coat, which really came in handy later on because temperatures dropped once the sun had set, and even the coat didn’t feel warm enough. On the other hand, the women of Sevilla looked ravishing in exquisitely beautiful Spring gowns and elaborate shawls make up applied to perfection. A few women we encountered at the taxi stand however didn’t get the memo. They were dressed in the full Feria regalia and looked embarrassed with arms-crossed. In Sevilla, most women reserve the full look for the following day. Most men wore elegant tailored suits.
We join a few friends in the gorgeous Melia Sevilla caseta for an evening of traditional seafood tapas, flamenco music, and fino – a drink that tasted like petrol to me or rather, several hangovers waiting to happen. It’s the sort of drink I would have had in my freshman year – cheap and cheerful with consequences. People in Sevilla seem to love it though, but I would have been thankful for a beer (and I don’t like beer).
Breakfast at the Melia Sevilla – Story of a red velvet cake
Breakfast was fantastic. We were granted access to the Club level breakfast area, and just the day before I had taken a quick peek into the gorgeous glass room and noticed a delicious looking red velvet cake with butter icing sitting on display and waiting to be eaten. Since we had no time, I decided to wait until the next day to have a slice, naturally a big mistake. In the best Spanish I could muster, I discreetly asked if there was any left from the day before. The lady I asked was sweetly pedantic in her need to offer the best service but she couldn’t understand me and I had no idea what red velvet cake was in Spanish, all I could muster was “rojo” for red and “blanco” for white, so she went to ask her supervisor who tried to figure out what cake I meant. At this point, I had to beg them not to worry about it but they very kindly insisted. After we had tucked into freshly-made pastries, tortillas, eggs, sauteed mushrooms and cherry tomatoes, the lady triumphantly laid a plate of two huge slices of cake on our table – one a cheese cake, the other a carrot cake. They were both red and white. My colleague and I burst out laughing. This really made our morning.
A Visit to the Cathedral and Castle
Among the major landmarks include the ornate Alcázar castle complex, built during the Moorish Almohad dynasty, and the Gothic Seville Cathedral where Christopher Columbus is buried. The castle is very romantic and is apparently still being used as a residence or the Spanish royal family. To skip the queues like we did, check with your hotel in advance and ask for a private visit.
Off to the flamenco museum
Sevilla is famous for flamenco dancing, particularly in its Triana neighborhood. We were very lucky to be hosted by Carlos the director of the flamenco museum. He explained to us the history of flamenco which derives its origins from Indian (hand movements), Arabic (songs), and French culture (feet movements). However, that depth of feeling that differentiates each flamenco dance, from happiness to melancholy and sorrow, is one that lives deep in the soul of Andalusia.
Tickets are available through their website: http://www.museodelbaileflamenco.com
Dinner at Restaurant La Gallina Bianca
There is nothing like great Italian food in Spain, is there? After the stunning flamenco show, we ended up finding this little gem, The chef is young and experiments with fresh organic ingredients. I had pasta stuffed with dates and walnuts and served with a Gorgonzola cheese sauce. Definitely going back.
Hasta luego Melia Sevilla, My Flight Awaits!