Arrival Experience: A short stroll from Puerta del Sol, Madrid's central hub of activity and the physical geographic center of Spain, this supreme Best Western hotel sits on a quiet side street adjacent to the bustle of shopping activity. So central is this hotel in the pedestrian-friendly zone that most taxis cannot stop in front of it rather depositing travelers a short block away. Most arrivals come to the hotel by metro anyway. Reception is an elegant oasis from the crowds with gilded ceilings and museum-quality artwork. Soft sofas provide space for tourists to unfurl maps while the small desk issues keys and helps with baggage. A sole elevator lifts guests to the dining area and guest rooms.
Dining: A first floor restaurant provides a Spanish breakfast geared for international travelers serving fresh juice, fruit, cheeses and deli meats, and hot eggs. The space doubles as a lounge area and bar where guests can use the free wireless Internet or chat with friends. Serving lunch or dinner here is uncommon since there are dozens of choices within footsteps from the front door. Even if guests prefer to dine in, there is an El Corte Ingles department store with a basement grocery area perfect for light meals.
Accommodations: Guest rooms are in excellent condition with soft carpeting, large beds with high-quality linens, and plentiful closet space. Air conditioning works especially well although windows can open for fresh air. Bathrooms are also surprisingly large with plentiful towels, wall-mounted toiletries meant to reduce waste, and a full box of tissues (uncommon for mid-range hotels in Spain and especially appreciated by American travelers). Rooms on the top floor are premium units boasting huge balconies unheard of for a city hotel. Patio furniture is great for an impromptu picnic or wine and cheese aperitifs after a visit to the nearby El Corte Ingles. There are only a few of these rooms in the hotel and are popular with repeat guests.
Conclusion: There is no beating this location, and tourists-in-the-know are first to recommend this place. Even the city's more expensive hotels are a long walk from sights like Plaza Mayor, Gran Via, and Puerta del Sol making this a solid bargain. Soundproofing is excellent even though there is constant activity on the pedestrianized streets below. Staff speaks many languages including fluent English, and Americans who know the trustworthiness of the Best Western brand (all hotels are independently owned insuring local touches and management involvement) flock here regularly.