Hundreds of new hotels sprung up in and around Seville in readiness for the 1992 Expo world fair which attracted a total of 40 million visitors. And hotels which were built for the 1929 Spanish-Americas fair have been upgraded to provide all mod cons in elegant, historic buildings. The result is a city awash with accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets.
You'll find sumptuous five-star accommodation, self-catering apartments in traditional Andalucian houses, cheap and cheerful pensions and modern hotels geared to the needs of business travellers.
Whatever type of accommodation you're interested in, book well in advance if you're visiting in the peak periods of March and April. The Semana Santa Easter processions and the Spring Fair jointly attract more than a million visitors and some of the most popular hotels get booked up more than a year in advance.
One of the most prestigious hotels in town is the five-star Alfonso XIII commissioned by the king of the same name in the lead-up to the 1929 Expo. He decreed that it should be one of the finest hotels in Europe and today it's still regarded as among the best places to stay in southern Spain.
You'll find it in the heart of the city near the cathedral and Giralda tower, the Torre del Oro and Barrio Santa Cruz. Modern facilities include a gym, fitness centre, outdoor pool and nightclub. If you want to stay during the Holy Week and April Fair celebrations you'll need to book for at least a week and pay the full amount in advance.
Stay at the five-star Tryp Colon in the old quarter and you might find yourself mingling with famous matadors who favour this sumptuous hotel near the Maestranza bull ring. Even the restaurant menu is full of bull.in the nicest sense of the word!
The Casa Imperial Hotel is a converted 16th century palace, next door to historic Casa Pilatos which was built for the Marques of Tarifa in the style of Pontius Pilate's palace in Jerusalem. This gorgeous hotel is awash with peaceful patios, fountains, arches and ponds.
Another lovely historic hotel is Las Casas de la Juderia - a collection of traditional Andalucian houses which have been converted into luxurious hotel accommodation in the old Jewish quarter of the city. The hotel has a three-star rating but facilities, service, comforts (and prices!) are top of the range.
Small but charming in every detail is Casa Numero 7 in the heart of the city next to the old Jewish quarter. The hotel has been included in Tatler's travel guide to the world's 101 best hotels and was named the world's Best Small Hotel by Tatler in 2001. Escape the madness of the city in this typical Andalucian house, built round an inner courtyard, where the butler will serve you a breakfast of scrambled eggs in virgin olive oil and warm croissants with Seville orange marmalade.
You'll find many cheaper hotels in town along with a good sprinkling of hostals and pensions where you'll get clean and comfortable accommodation at a very affordable price. The Barrio Santa Cruz district has many budget lodgings though you may not always get en-suite facilities.
If you prefer to stay in the Andalucian countryside within easy reach of the city, you could spoil yourself in a former home of the Spanish aristocracy. Palacio de San Benito is a beautiful 15th century palace which once served as a hospital for pilgrims making their way to Santiago. You'll find it at Cazalla de la Sierra 75 kilometres north of Seville in beautiful countryside where you can hunt big game, trout fish or shoot pheasant and partridge. The hotel's stunning centrepiece is its fountain pool where you can cool off in an exotic Roman-style bath.
Nearby Las Navezuelas is a lovely 16th century "cortijo" converted into select holiday accommodation for those who prefer to avoid the bustle of the city by night. This ancient millhouse is set in 250 acres of land where goats and deer roam freely among hillsides covered in olive and cork trees.