For all of the countries with five star hotels, Spain has a variety that is as wide as its regions, and its people. There are at least a dozen languages spoken, and the climate can vary tremendously from place to place. Local variants in food can lead toward a tendency to want to take a culinary tour of the country, but this, like anything else here, would take longer than one lifetime. There are some standards that are the same from place to place, and these are evident in the hotels. There is a love of both tradition and innovation, and guests here can expect to find old-world hospitality coupled with new technology. There are also all the other qualities that are standard in five-star hotels, where excellence in service, design, and amenities are just the beginning.
Spain has something for everyone, and is one of the most fascinating countries in Europe. With an extremely rich and complicated history, cultures that have reputations for being warm and friendly, and a sensibility that embraces style and elegance, Spain is, and has always been, a superb destination. There are also some very famous and colorful characters who come from Spain, and one of its most favorite daughters these days is Penelope Cruz. With dozens and dozens of film roles, television appearances, and high media attention, there are very few places in the world she can go without attracting a lot of attention.
It’s a beautiful arc for this character, as her origins are a little more humble. Born in Madrid to a middle class family, her father was a mechanic and her mother was a hairdresser. She studied classical ballet before she got the notion, when she saw Almodóvar’s ¡Átame! (Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down!), to be an actress. This was prescient, because not only has she become one of the most visible actresses working today, she has become one of Almodóvar’s favorites. She had a leading role in Todo sobre mi madre (All About My Mother), and she won a very well-deserved nomination for Volver (To Return). She has had many other roles, in films in Spanish and English, and is developing a reputation for her complex portrayals of complex characters, which might be shorthand for saying that she’s arrived. Penelope Cruz just might be the Queen of Spain.