Hotel in Madrid, which area?

Oct 1st, 2002, 10:33 PM
  #1  
AA
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Hotel in Madrid, which area?


All you Madrid experts (Maribel???),
I need your good advice. We have just 1 night in Madrid at the end of an extensive trip in Spain (will visit Madrid next year).
We will have a car with us. Since we have never been in Madrid before, we wonder which area will be the most convenient and suitable to stay for that single night. Any ideas for a hotel with parking facilities? We love tiny places with ensuite double rooms.
Thanks!
AA
 
Oct 2nd, 2002, 04:43 AM
  #2  
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Oct 2nd, 2002, 07:59 AM
  #3  
Maribel
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Hi AA,
Just a question first:

Will you absolutely need to have your car with you during your night in Madrid? Can you not turn it in upon arrival in the city, at Atocha or Chamartin train stations or at Barajas (depending on from which direction you're arriving)? We're often in that very situation (6 wks of travel and a final night in Madrid) and relish
the chance to dump off that rental car post haste before entering the city, then take a taxi to our hotel for our last night, then another taxi (or you could take the Aerocity shuttle) early the next morning to the airport. Isn't that expensive (you'll save the 20 euro overnight garage fee) and much easier to let the taxi driver fight the nightmarish, headache-producing Madrid traffic for you. For us a car in Madrid is a distinct liability, (except on a late summer wkd.) even though we know the city very, very well. Negotiating the downtown area on your own to reach your hotel could eat up an hr. + of your valuable time. Except for Sun. mornings in July/Aug. there's really no "light traffic" in Madrid.
You could stay at one of the characterless chain hotels on the M 40 or the Avda de America in route to Barajas, which would be much easier, but that isn't what you're seeking, so...
If you indeed must keep the car that night for a particular reason, I'll post here a couple of nice, small hotels with garages that would be relatively "quick" and easy to find. They'll have ensuite baths. Just let me know either way, and I'll try to help.
 
Oct 2nd, 2002, 08:12 AM
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Maribel
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Hi again AA,
Could you also tell me from which direction you'll be arriving so that I can give you suggestions in the proper location? Thanks.
 
Oct 3rd, 2002, 12:07 AM
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AA
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I knew I could count on you, Maribel!
To answer your questions: We will need a hotel for a Friday night toward the end of November. We will be arriving from Chinchon. And... you are right, I hate those characterless chain hotels, and use them only if I have no other choice. We don't absolutely need our car for that one day in Madrid, but the idea of carrying and moving the luggage in and out of cars and buses more times than necessary really deters me. But if you have a grand idea of a cute place to stay, we might consider getting rid of the car a day earlier.
By the way, will it be wise to stay an additional night in Chinchon and just drive into Madrid for the day?
Thanks a million!
AA
 
Oct 3rd, 2002, 03:05 AM
  #6  
Siobhan
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I would get rid of the car. I drove in Spain last March and came into the city for the day and it was a nightmare to drive in Madrid. I used to drive into NYC regularly and I drive in Dublin now but I found driving in Madrid far more stressfull and I am a good driver. If you drop the car off and get a taxi you won't have to worry about parking or tickets.
 
Oct 3rd, 2002, 05:37 AM
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Oct 3rd, 2002, 06:28 AM
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Maribel
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Hi AA,
Speaking of Chinchon, I just reserved a room for us at the Parador for 1 night in April. It's an adorable little town with a very atmospheric Plaza Mayor and delightful, pretty Parador, but I think that 2 days spent *solely* in the town certainly would be overkill. One can "do" Chinchon in an hr. or so, but we enjoy using it as a place to relax and unwind for a night after either a long driving tour or to recover from over jet lag. It's an easy, quick drive from there to Barajas. While you really don't need that extra night, you could solve the driving problem and just take the bus into Madrid for a day's worth of sightseeing, knowing you'll return next year. And the Parador in Chinchon is better priced, actually, than any cute, small hotel in Madrid with parking garage that I would recommend. From Madrid to Chinchon I've taken
"La Veloz" bus (it's #337, green),and it makes 2 stops in the village. Busses leave every hr. Mon-Sat., trip takes 40 min. Bus drops you off near the Conde de Casal metro stop where you can take circular, gray line #6 for your touring. Quite easy. This actually might be your best bet for a hassle free ending to your trip. Also on the afternoon of your arrival in Chinchon you could drive down to Aranjuez to see the 18th c Bourbon Palace and gardens (the Spanish Versailles) if you didn't see it during your trip, or drive east into the Cuenca province to the Monastery of Ucles (the Escorial of La Mancha) and Roman ruins of Segobriga if you find you've *done* Chinchon and need other things to do.

If you absolutely must take your car into Madrid (I still advise against it), consider the Old World style, antique filled Hotel Residencia Galiano (actually the residence of a Marquis who still lives upstairs), right off Castellana Blvd. on a 1 block long one-way street next to the Ministry of the Interior (safest street in Madrid). It has a garage and a double runs 115 euros (with 10% discount if one pays in cash).
See www.hotelgaliano.com
Only in Sp. but the day desk clerk does speak English. Not a place for those who need lots of orientation, though-it's a great value place for "those in the know". I stayed there in June.

To reach the Galiano from the south, coming in on the NIV past Atocha train station, you drive straight north up Paseo del Prado/Castellana Blvd to Plaza Colon, then around the Plaza and to your left onto Genova, then your first right at Monte Esquinza, then an immediate right down Alcala Galiano, and it's the large, grey building on your right. From the outside you'd never know that it's a noble home. The trip out to Barajas from there just requires going north on Castellana Blvd. to Dr. Gregorio Maranon Plaza (Occidental Miguelangel Hotel on your left), where you turn right onto Maria de Molina, then keeping heading straight east till you hit the airport. Early Sat. morning will be somewhat lighter traffic than a weekday.
Hope this helps you to decide.
 
Oct 3rd, 2002, 06:50 AM
  #9  
Tina
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Thanks Maribel!

I was looking for a place for my mother and I to stay in Madrid for one night near Castellana. Perfect advice. We both speak Spanish, and have been to Madrid once before, so this is great! Mil Gracias!
 
Oct 3rd, 2002, 06:58 AM
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AA
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Maribel,

You are the best!

I hope I can repay you once with advice about other places in the world.

AA
 
Oct 4th, 2002, 07:14 PM
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Graziella
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Hi AA,
Maribel ´s advise is perfect. At least I would do exactly the same, leave the car in Chinchon, the Parador is fine and less money and parking will be most likely free., take a bus to Madrid and then drive next day directly to Barajas.You will save yourself a lot of agravation.
Frankly I always enjoy so much Maribel ´s postings , her attention to detail is outstanding.....
 
Oct 5th, 2002, 01:08 AM
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AA
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Thanks Graziella. I think that we will do just that. Stay in Chinchon, take a bus (or the car...) to Madrid, just for a few hours, and drive the next morning to the airport. And of course you are right about Maribel. She is really great. By the way, I contacted Hotel Galiano, the have vacancy, so I am still debating what to do... This hotel seems like the kind of places I like to stay in.
AA
 
Oct 5th, 2002, 03:51 PM
  #13  
lincasanova
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the traffic on m-40/30 to airport can be absolutley jammed at certain times of day or if there is an accident.

i would stay near airport at novotel or sofitel...or one of the meliá hotels there. both have free bus to city and to airport so you could get rid of car that evening anyway and not waste time in and out of chinchon, etc.
also shopping right there for last minute food stuffs and gifts.

might want to check out alcalá de henares. great town. also.. "la casa grande" near there.. old royal summer quarters of working farm.. now restuarant, and the most elaborate museum of icons in this part of europe.
doubt you could ever see more stork´s nests anywhere.. quaint, and plenty of museums , etc.
 
Oct 5th, 2002, 04:52 PM
  #14  
Maribel
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Hi AA,
Hmm, more food for thought!

Yes, the M 40 can be jammed on a workday or beginning/end of a long weekend. I've experienced the crunch. But you're heading to Barajas on the last Sat. morning of Nov., correct? It really depends on how early your departure is. If you plan ahead, allow plenty of time and cushion to go up the M331 to the N III to the M 40 to Barajas and turn your car in (it's painless), you should be alright, if you're still considering staying put at the Chinchon Parador. Actually, I would just email or call them and ask how long they estimate a Sat. morning drive to Barajas would take.
That way you'll know and can make an easier decision.

I'm familiar with the myriad chain hotels around the airport. The closest ones, the Diana and Barajas, I wouldn't recommend (from personal experience). The Novotel and NH Express are a more inexp. option; the new high rise Melia is pricier. Again, they're simply modern, "you could be anywhere" properties, but they serve their purpose. And for the last minute shopping, you can find there an the Alcampo hypermarket, and there's a small branch of El Corte Ingles. Just didn't think that was what you were seeking, but it's certainly the "easiest" option.

Alcala de Henares of Cervantes fame, a virtual suburb or bedroom community now of Madrid, does have the 50 room "El Bedel". It's under the Husa chain umbrella but their small properties are still individually run. www.husa.es

Nearer to what you're looking for in the small, charming, cute dept. would be the "Casa Grande", but it's in Torrejon de Ardoz, near the air base, not a particularly scenic town. Take a look at
www.lacasagrande.es
Doubles run around 130 euros, I think.

All the doubles at Madrid's Hotel Galiano are spacious, and it's the quietest hotel I've even experienced. They only serve brk. but there's a nice place across the street, the "Hylogui", and the pretty Belle Epoque "Cafe del Oriente" right down on the Recoletos section of the Castellana for tapas in the beautiful glass pavillon, on the terrace (piano music at night) or inside-like a Parisian brasserie. The metro at Plaza Colon will take you anywhere. Busses 14, 27 and 45 to the Prado, bus 5 to the Puerta del Sol.

Whew! Have fun deciding!

Now have we totally confused you?


 
Oct 5th, 2002, 05:18 PM
  #15  
Maribel
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Forgot, AA-
To help you a bit more in this decision,
Go to www.viamichelin.com, click on Driving Directions, put in Chinchon
then Aeropuerto de Madrid-Barajas. It will give you the estimated time and exact route, in a "normal" scenario, of course. You'll have 7 miles on the M 40.
 
Oct 5th, 2002, 06:54 PM
  #16  
Maribel
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Sorry! My very last word on this thread, I promise!
2 typos on above post:
make that "7 KM of the M 40" and it's the "Cafe del Espejo", not the Cafe del Oriente, which is, of course, that lovely restaurant with terrace facing the Royal Palace. I need some sleep now.
 

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