A Room With a View

Spain and Portugal – Casa de Suenos – Dream Houses


This apartment was exceptional and is located right on Plaza Mayor. We enjoyed the excitement, sounds and atmosphere from our windows looking out on the plaza. It is well furnished and comfortable. The décor is elegant and classic.

It has 3 double bedrooms each with its own bathroom, a full kitchen with all appliances, a spacious living room with a dining area and two window balconies overlooking the plaza. There is a bedroom on the main floor and the two others are upstairs. You can reach these through a narrow spiral metal staircase in the home or outside with a key.

The location is perfect with many places to eat in the square. If you are on a tight budget eating at restaurants a block or two off the square is less expensive, but the restaurants in the square are where the entertainment and action is. There are some steep stairs to consider as there is no elevator in the building and carrying heavy luggage up those stairs can be challenging for older people.


This unique duplex with two large scenic private terraces is located in the upper part of the Old Town, close all the important attractions with panoramic views. It is a fantastic space spread out on three floors. The two patios have panoramic views of the Hoz del Rio Júcar (a river lined with magnificent limestone cliffs. While on the terrace we made a new friend—Kat, a cat who wonders among the terraces! This accommodation is good for couples traveling together or small groups. All the décor is fresh and contemporary. It is an easy walk from the bus that takes you to Plaza Mayor. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes nearby.


This apartment is in a lovely residential area away from the bustling city. It has fantastic views out to the Tagus River and San Jorge Castle. It is very comfortable with classically elegant décor and furnishings, bright interior, a shallow wrap around balcony, and a full suite of cable stations. It is on the fourth floor. The building is equipped with an elevator. The walk into the historic area is about 20 minutes. We were able to park in an inexpensive parking lot nearby. There are great cafes restaurants within walking distance.


My husband and I absolutely loved this historic duplex in the most stimulating part of Porto. The views of the Ponte de Dom Luís I (Louis I Bridge) over the Douro river were dazzling from the private terrace off the master bedroom, as were the views of town and of the park from all of the other windows in the primary living space. The apartment has a gorgeous art deco feel with the curved walls and lighting fixtures and is furnished with unique built in cabinets. Both bathrooms are finished in beautiful Carrara marble and loaded with plush new towels. Mark and Grace were very helpful, especially when we realized that we were arriving an hour earlier (we learned the hard way about the time difference between Portugal, and Spain and France). Grace met us at the door and insisted on helping carry our bags up a short flight of stairs to the elevator. She also met us at checkout and did the same thing. There is a very convenient parking garage located across the street. Parking can be a little pricey but well worth the safety and convenience. The washer-dryer came in very handy, and the full suite of cable stations on the television was appreciated. The apartment is only a short walk from the row of restaurants that line the bank of the Douro river, and a stop for the open-top double decker city bus tour.


Andalusia is hypnotic in its vivid grandeur, full of romantic icons from the passionate flamenco dancer to the uninhibited bullfighter. It is a crossroads of religious cultures which have blended deliciously to create some of the most unique cuisine in the world. I have always wanted to see Andalucia and  go to Granada and see the Alhambra, especially after listening to Washington Irving’s vivid stories (written after he spent the summer of 1828 in the Alhambra–in those days, you could live within its walls). My husband and I stayed at the Carmen de los Moriscos, where we could see the most inspiring site in Andalusia, the Alhambra a Moorish castle (now, officially called a “monument”) from many of the windows, the terrace and  the main bath tub (the villa has two). The villa also boasts panoramic views of the city. This lovely house is a dream come true: from the parking the garage on the property to the romantic fireplace with an endless supply of wood, to the boundless enthusiasm of Miguel for the comfort of his guests. The style of the home is 1920s and it has been beautifully renovated with gorgeous tile floors, many of the original finishes–the wood doors and window shutters–have been beautifully preserved. The patio has a convenient plunge pool  to cool off in during the warmer months of the year. During the cold, rainy November of our stay, we could not use it. Miguel is a thoughtful host and was gracious enough to park my large vehicle in the garage. Quite a feat on such narrow roads of the old town.  Our front door was immediately across from a stop for the mini bus lines that for a modest price (EU1.40) take you directly to the Alhambra, and other points in the city.


This cozy, distinctively laid out flat is surprisingly spacious, and has the feel of a vintage garret in the Old town section of Toledo. The Cathedral Toledo Suite has tremendous terrace views. This suite apartment wraps around a central courtyard, and boasts magnificent vistas from several of the rooms. The private terrace, which one reaches by what must be called a hatch, offers the best view of the cathedral. The roofs tops and old town are also in full view from this vantage point. The two bathrooms are small but are fully renovated and functional. Having a washer and dryer is a real perk especially for a rental in the old town area. There is no elevator so your will carry your luggage up one flight of stairs. Our host Mercedes was very helpful and insisted on carrying some of the luggage herself. A parking garage nearby which is available at a discounted rate, thanks to Mercedes, who seems to know everyone. The garage is close enough and downhill by foot, but not by car. Mercedes arranged for a taxi to meet us near the apartment so we would not have to lug our bags up the footpath. This apartment is ideally located near the most important sites as well as being close to great restaurants and shopping. In the narrow streets between the tall old buildings, GPSs are not much help, but a little experience and memorizing of landmarks will get you through the maze.