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Room Report: AC Hotel by Marriott Pamplona, Spain

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Arrival Experience: The AC Ciudad de Pamplona hotel (a Marriott family hotel) is no more than ten minutes from Pamplona airport. So easy to access is Pamplona's airport, that few places in the city are more than15 minutes away. The hotel is located in a business and residential area outside of the main historic city walls making it quite convenient for those with work in the area. Also nearby is the city's main hospital and medical centers, which are bringing high acclaim to the city for medical tourism drawing visitors from around the world. The hotel occupies a half dozen floors facing a quaint garden square. Many rooms view the mountain range in the distance, and all have windows that open for fresh air. The lobby has a small, modern reception area, and further inside is a larger lounge with large windows overlooking the street. Complimentary newspapers and magazines await those that wish to linger.

Dining: The hotel's main restaurant is located one level below the lobby where a substantial breakfast buffet is served including Spanish favorites like pan con tomate, tortilla Espanola, and Iberico ham. In the lobby, a coffee shop and bar keeps guests caffeinated during the day and energized with cava, cocktails, and beer in the evening. A lunch and dinner menu is available although is more on the lighter side. Numerous cafes and bars are also within walking distance of the hotel.

Accommodations: AC Hotels have a reputation for sleek and modern rooms without overcharging for the privilege of a design hotel. King beds are soft with large pillows and thick duvets. Lighting controls and electrical outlets on either side of the bed are appreciated extras. Spacious work desks have phones and enough space for a laptop and paperwork. Free wireless high speed Internet is available throughout the property. Bathrooms are behind frosted glass doors and house bidets, powerful showers, and glass vanities with clever toiletries including a ball of soap that is akin to a golf ball. While impractical to place on the counter, they are designed to massage your neck and arms by rolling them across the skin. Housekeepers would be wise to stock extras on their cart for those that want to grab a few to take home. Room service is available, and all rooms have minibars.

Conclusion: A first floor fitness center has modern equipment and a fridge stocked with free bottled water. Meeting rooms are available for small groups, but this is not designed to be a convention hotel anyway. A lobby level gift shop sells sundries and snacks. The staff is friendly and accustomed to dealing with a global clientele thanks to AC Hotels' recently launched affiliation with Marriott Hotels and Resorts. This is a well-priced option for those that prefer to be out of the city center's main action, but within walking distance of everything from outdoor parks, the nearby El Corte Ingles, and downtown's Plaza del Castillo.

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