I remember the Gran Hotel Almeria, a typical example of 1960’s hotel architecture, from when I last knew this city 20 years ago. Its position was always enviable being so close to the historic and commercial centre and the rooms must have superb views overlooking the port. In those days it was shabbier and its environs had little to commend them but now there are water features and palm lined avenues around it. When the movie shooting boom took off in Almeria in the ‘60s there were no appropiate hotels to accommodate the stars so the Gran Hotel was built. Peter O’Toole, Clint eastwood, Gina Lollobrigida, Harrison Ford and Sean Copnnery are among the stars who stayed here.
As I mentioned before there used to be a dusty car park down the centre of the Rambla de Belén. This is what it looks like today.