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Heidi Oct 24th, 2002 09:28 AM

Just back from Seville & Madrid
Quick update on the Hotel Alcantara in Seville. The location is wonderful--right in the pedestrian only area, so there's no street traffic to keep you up. Rooms are a decent size; well appointed, clean, and modern. (Good bathrooms with decent water pressure!) It's not luxurious, but it's a good deal for 80 Euros a night. I'd definitely stay there again! Nice buffet breakfast for an additional 5 Euros per person.<BR><BR>As for the Hotel Carlos V in Madrid, I'm not so sure. Many raves here and other guides indicated we'd be very happy. Unfortunately, while the rooms were again a decent size and had nice, modern bathrooms, they were slightly shabby. Worst of all, the hallway/elevator noise forced me to wear earplugs at night. As for the breakfast (included in the room), we actually opted to skip it after the second day. The coffee was surprisingly blah and nothing seemed particularly fresh.<BR><BR>As for both cities, well, they were fantastic! (As were our day trips to Cordoba and Toledo....)<BR>

Jim LaGrone Oct 24th, 2002 09:42 AM

Thanks for the info! We will try and change our reservations in Madrid. How did you like Seville and where did you stay there? Jim LaGrone

Heidi Oct 24th, 2002 09:53 AM

We absolutely loved Seville--probably should have opted to spend another day there instead of so many days in Madrid. It's a great, small city that's just fun to wander through and explore.<BR><BR>I mentioned in the first part of my original post that we stayed in the Hotel Alcantara in Seville. It's quite modest, but has everything going for it if you're not looking for anything plush. Clean sheets, good bathrooms, great staff, and a decent breakfast buffet (we fell in love with the little sachets of delicious, fresh olive oil there). Also, it's well situated if you're into authentic flamenco. Every night, there was a show in the adjacent building.<BR><BR>I think I didn't expect much from the hotel at such a low rate, and I was indeed pleasantly surprised. The staff was very helpful as well.<BR><BR>If you do decide to stay at the Carlos V in Madrid, make sure to ask for a room far away from the elevator--and don't bother with the breakfast. You can do much better on your own in Madrid. The rooms were indeed clean, modern, and fairly spacious, but they weren't as nice as I expected (at nearly twice the price as the room in Seville). The staff was ok, but due to a booking glitch on their Web site, they tried to charge me for two rooms instead of one. Fortunately, I brought my confirmation along and we sorted it out. The hotel is well situated, but I'd probably look for something else next time for Madrid.<BR><BR>If you have any more questions, I'll be glad to answer.

aj Oct 24th, 2002 11:44 AM

Heidi,<BR><BR>Thanks for the report! I had been looking at Hotel Alcantara on the internet and it looked good to me and in our price range. I was happy to hear your good report and have decided to stay there this May. We plan to spend most of our time in Seville and maybe only catch a flight from Madrid to Lisbon. Would you suggest that we spend any time in Madrid. I really like the "small city" feel of Seville.

Heidi Oct 24th, 2002 12:16 PM

In terms of art museums, there are very few cities as wonderful as Madrid. This was my second visit, and I still find it's an exciting, artistic, and delicious(!) city that has much of the hustle and bustle you'd expect in other large international cities. It doesn't have the quiet charm of Seville by any stretch, but I really love the architecture, the art museums, and the wonderful restaurants. I loved Lisbon too, but I enjoy almost anyplace in Europe! (Actually, I just like going away on vacation where I don't have to do dishes, laundry, or other mundane tasks.)<BR><BR>I doubt this helps, but at least my post on the Hotel Alcantara gave you some insight. I just hope it doesn't change too much between now and your visit (if you do decide to stay there).<BR><BR>Let me know if you need more info!

aj Oct 24th, 2002 12:30 PM

Thanks again! I may inquire more of you closer to May!

Heidi Oct 25th, 2002 05:02 AM

BTW--the high speed train between Seville and Madrid is fantastic!

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