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3 days [and nights!] in Madrid - a trip report

3 days [and nights!] in Madrid - a trip report

Mar 9th, 2007, 01:52 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 180
Ann,
Thanks for the wonderful trip report! You're very detailed - which is wonderful! I'm going to Madrid for 3 days in April, so all this info is really useful to me! I'm staying at the Room Mate Mario, which I believe is near the Opera metro stop. Did you like the neighborhood you stayed in? Was it convenient & safe? Thanks again for a great trip report!
Lolly100 is offline  
Mar 10th, 2007, 02:24 AM
  #22  
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Hi, lolly,

yes, the area around the opera was fine. Just the other side of the opera house is the beautiful plaza oriente, which overlooks the palacio real. With any luck, by the time you get there they will have finished digging up the calle de arenal, which is the main "drag" up to Puerte de sol, the main hub of the town, less than 10 minutes walk. It is lined with restaurants and the street off it are full of tapas bars.

Off to the right up the calle de arenal is the plaza mayor, no more than anther 10 minutes walk. again lots of bars and restaurants.

My only complaint would be that it is rather a longer walk to the museums, but even the Reina sophia is only 30 minutes, and it does give you the chance to explore the town on the way back which is how we found the plaza santa ana.

we didn't feel the need to use the metro, but there are several stops nearby. the area felt very safe to us, and being Madrid, there were plenty of people walking around at night. I MO if you keep to the main well-lit streets, you should be fine.

have a great time,

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Mar 10th, 2007, 03:58 AM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Great report, annhig! I'm curious to know how you felt about your timing--did you see all that you wanted to in three days (and nights!)?
AnnMarie_C is offline  
Mar 10th, 2007, 04:21 AM
  #24  
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finally, I'd have listened to my DH [please don't tell him] when he suggested we go to the Flamenco show after the opera, which would have allowed us to have a really good meal on the last night. [always supposing we'd not eaten too much tapas of course!]

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Mar 10th, 2007, 05:24 AM
  #25  
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hi, annmarie,

Don't know why, my last post only came up with the last paragraph!

hope it makes sense - I was saying that I would have combined the Thyssen and R/S museums on one day, and the Prado and retiro park on another, leaving the palacio real for the last, rather truncated day.

also that I'd have tried to eat less tapas to leave room for a proper meal.

thanks for your kind remarks.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Mar 10th, 2007, 06:24 AM
  #26  
ComfyShoes
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Ann, Good report. I am whetting my appetite

Do you actually have donkeys? How cool! Do you pronounce them don-K-s?

It is great you live so close to Madrid.
 
Mar 10th, 2007, 09:50 AM
  #27  
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 52,517
hi, comfy -

yes we do have donkeys - we pronounce them Eeyore and Henry! [if any OPs are interested, you can visit the donkey sanctuary in sidmouth, devon, to see all their friends, as we only foster them, they belong to the sanctuary].

Not sure I would describe Cornwall as particularly close to Madrid, but it's certainly closer to mainland europe than most ops.

we are certainly lucky to be able to travel there relatively easily, but on the other hand, it's along way to the US which we also like a lot.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Mar 10th, 2007, 10:39 AM
  #28  
ComfyShoes
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All good points.

Eeyore is my favorite character. Seriously!

Have fun.
 
Mar 12th, 2007, 09:44 AM
  #29  
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hi, comfy

don't know if it's co-incidence, but our eeyore is just like his literary equivalent, whereas Henry has a much sunnier temperament. and it never occurred to me that they're characters could differ so much before we had them.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Mar 17th, 2007, 09:16 AM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 3,160
Hello Ann:

Enjoyed your trip report!

As it happens we are now considering an independent package (no escorts) that specified Hotel Opera, only because of the price. It includes breakfast at the hotel for 7 days
in mid May, and air from USA so it is pretty attractive.

Since the T.A reviews are so mixed, would you mind giving a bit more details on Hotel Opera ?

Overall satisfaction:
location
size of room
space for clothes
bathroooms.
Location seems good, no?

Lastly I see you were not thrilled with breakfast. My husband is diabetic (non insuln)so I am particularly interested in getting a breakfast in the hotel first thing in the morn for him, and one that does include some protien.

We are late 40s/50ish, speak Spanish,
and easy going (like you guys)

Thanks again for the hand holding earlier.

Ana Maria
amsdon is offline  
Mar 18th, 2007, 03:14 AM
  #31  
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hi, ana maria,

trying to make sure i answer all of your queries:

breakfast ; we only skipped the hotel one because it was extra, and we don't normally eat 11E's worth every morning.
if your package includes it, you'll find it includes tea, coffee, and probably hot chocolate, fresh fruit, boiled eggs, raw and cooked ham, rolls, etc.etc. - anything you could reasonably want. [actually, put like that it probably was worth the money, we were just being mean!]

the cafe opera, which is attached, is open from early am [can't tell you how early, we were never up early enough]and you can get a "normal " continental breakfast, plus omlettes, ham, eggs, etc. so no trouble getting protein for your DH at an early hour.
location - it is down the palacio royal end of town. convenient for the gran via, plaza mayor, the palacio royal of course; not so convenient for the museums and the retiro park which are a good 20-30 minutes walk away, depending on how fast you walk. in 1 week you'll have more time to get to grips with the metro than we did.

rooms - ours wasn't particularly large, but had all we needed ie space each side of the beds [twins] good lighting, a large closet, a desk, a room fridge and a safe.

bathroom - good size with easy to use over bath shower - always hot and fast. the bidet was useful for washing aching feet. plenty of shower gel, soap, toothbrushes, etc.etc.and fresh towels every day, if needed. very clean [as was the room - something mentioned on TA is I remember rightly]

facilities - as others have said, there is no large lobby, but the staff are reasonably helpful.
They have two lifts, which were reasonably fast, and took our luggage reasonably easily.

they organised the airport shuttle for us for our return trip very efficiently, and I'm sure they'd have organised other things if we'd wanted them to and stored our luggage until it was time to leave.

they have a restaurant as well as the cafe, which has the "famous singing waiters". We weren't interested as we were going to the opera, but it might be fun for one might.

overall satisfaction, for the price, was very good. of course, there may be other better deals, but it was reasonably quiet,[apart from the notorious saturday night] clean, comfortable and in a safe area. there must have been over twenty restaurants and more bars within 5 minutes' walk - you'd need to be there a month to explore them all and there is the beautiful plaza oriente just behind the hotel.

if you want ideas for other hotels, there are some recommendations on maribels' madrid guide [www.maribelsguides.com] plus some comments about this one.

please come back to me if you have any other queries,

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Mar 18th, 2007, 10:45 AM
  #32  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Thanks so much Ann, very helpful. Those details are just what I needed confirmed.

I had indeed been pouring over Maribel's guide, T.A. & other sites for months..and had alot of fun planning my the trip for March (yes this March as in right now) when a medical problem changed the plans, we had to cancel sadly.
So medically things better & we are now planning for May instead. But I found my original Hotel (Petit Palace Posada del Peine)was no longer the deal it was before @ 686 Euros w/ Breakfast for 6 nights, rather now about 70 E per night more .
Not all that anyway.

I had considered the Hotel Opera but it was not my first choice, then I saw the offer I mentioned that included Hotel Opera with breakfast & air fare from LAX that I could not beat by booking independently.

So when you confirmed the details I went ahead & booked it today!

We are going for the 7 nights to Madrid and then another 5 to Segovia & the "Lechazo Trail" refered to in Eks Crunchy's now famous "Pedraza" thread.
Will follow up on that thread after I go.

Thanks again for all the attention & help!

Ana Maria
amsdon is offline  
Mar 18th, 2007, 10:53 AM
  #33  
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hi, ana maria,

sorry to hear about your helath problems, but pleased that all is better now.

if you think of anything else you'd like to ask, please don't hesitate - but I can't guarrentee to be able to answer!

regards, ann
annhig is offline  

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