Marbella to Toledo?

Jan 30th, 2001, 10:16 AM
  #1  
Donella
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Marbella to Toledo?

We will be driving back to Madrid airport from the Marbella area. Thinking of spending the night in Toledo. Is this a do-able trip and will we get there in time to see anything? Where should we stay? How fast can we get to the airport from Toledo? Or should we just say in Madrid? WE can probably fit in another day as our airfare is not booked yet.
 
Jan 30th, 2001, 05:06 PM
  #2  
Pedro
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It is really a hard trip because of its aprox 700 kilometres ( 440 miles ) . Of course you will almost surely get there late when everything is closed and even tired to spend time walking around the narrow streets of this beautiful city. Toledo is 1 hour and 10 minutes away from Barajas Airport but it can take you longer to get there if you drive on busy hours ( 8-9 am, 2-3 pm, 7-8 pm ). I think it is affordable in case your flight doesnīt depart early in the morning.
 
Jan 31st, 2001, 08:44 PM
  #3  
Donella
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Thanks Pedro,
Mapquest shows Marbella to Toledo 358 miles. Maybe we should stop somewhere in between. Any ideas would be appreciated. WE will drive back on a Sat. morning early and would like to fly out of Madrid by Monday at the latest. Thinking maybe we should just fly into Malaga and rent our car there instead of driving from Madrid, but my husband loves to drive especially if there is a hint of a mountain en route. Is there any other town you would recommend that would cut the driving time down on Sat. that might be interesting?
 
Feb 1st, 2001, 05:59 AM
  #4  
Maribel
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Donella,
You might consider spending Sat. night in Ubeda, an often overlooked Renaissance gem. It has a beautiful Parador, and the city itself has stunning architecture.

Read about it at: http://geneura.ugr.es/ubeda.html

Another less well known gem is Almagro,
in the heart of La Mancha, closer to Toledo. (If you do a text search here, you'll find a previous post of mine and of others, on this lovely town)
 
Feb 1st, 2001, 04:37 PM
  #5  
Pedro
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I see Almagro as the best option. It is an interesting town ,it is close to Toledo ( 90 miles ) and a good parador.
 
Feb 1st, 2001, 09:37 PM
  #6  
Donella
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Gracias,
Almagro sounds perfect! Hope I can get reservations at the Paradore. I've E-mailed them. Already booked Ubeda for the trip down. Getting excited!! The planning is half the fun. Now--we will need a place to stay on Sunday night close to the airport in Madrid. Should we try for something with charm and sights or just utility. Looks like this 2 week vacation is extending into 18 days!
 
Feb 2nd, 2001, 09:42 AM
  #7  
Maribel
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Donella,
I think you'll love both towns and both paradors; they're really special.
The Madrid airport area hotels, the NH Express, the Tryp Barajas & Diana and Best Western Villa de Barajas are strictly utilitarian (the Barajas being the most "upscale" with garden/pool). For business I need to make the Madrid hotel-airport taxi run several times every summer, but insteading confining myself the airport (no atmosphere and most importantly no good tapas!) I stay at one of the hotels in the upscale Salamanca residential/shopping district (with plenty of restaurants nearby) with direct access to Barajas airport. The morning trip to Barajas is a straight shoot and takes no more than 20 min.-for an early morning flight it's even quicker, as Madrid taxi drivers are speed demons when given an open road.

You may want to look at the following:

Melia Sol Galgos (very nice rms; good wkd rates)
www.solmelia.es

NH Principe de Vergara (ditto)
www.nh-hoteles.es

Aparthotel MadroŮo (a great find last summer!-new, special wkd rates and rms have kitchenettes with microwaves)
www.hotelstravel.com

Have a great trip!
 
Feb 2nd, 2001, 09:38 PM
  #8  
Donella
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Thanks Maribel,
I checked out the hotel.com site and think we may be interested in the Emporador or the Mayorazago as they both say they have parking and one seems to have an on site garage. I've e-mailed them to check it out. We will still have our car to worry about and I heard there might be break in's if you leave in an unattended spot. These are both on the Gran Via. How's that location. My husband and I love touring the countryside and seeing the smaller towns and scenery so won't be spending much time in the larger cities. This looked like it was close to sites and restaurants and rates were
$120 & $96, which I thought sounded reasonable. We'll have one afternoon and evening and the next morning to spend. Will try to get a late flight out on Monday. If there was one thing you would reccomend to see in such a short time what would it be?
 
Feb 3rd, 2001, 11:30 AM
  #9  
Maribel
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Hi again Donella,
This I must confess: I don't usually recommend lodging in or around the Gran Via/Puerta del Sol, including the popular Carlos V, a Forum fav. For the same reason when in Manhattan, I don't choose to stay in the Times Square/Broadway district, which is similar in atmosphere to the Gran Via/Puerta del Sol. Both I find too crowded, too noisy , not very attractive to me. The area isn't Madrid at its nicest/prettiest. But then again, I want my friends to leave with the very best impression possible of this big and bustling city. The upper reaches of the Gran Via closer to the Plaza Cibeles have a bit less hustle/bustle, and Maira has recommended the Tryp Capitol which has a garage, and I personally know that it's well run with reasonable tariffs and quiet, interior rms-I took a look at it last summer. But if you don't enjoy large cities, you may not enjoy this location and wish for something quieter with less hubbub. I'm afraid that the Emperador or Mayorazgo would be a disappointment to you after the Almagro/Ubeda Paradors! I just really don't like their somewhat "scruffy" locations and find them lacking in charm.

Can you turn in your rental car immediately upon arrival in Madrid? A vehicle in the city is a true albatross. If that's not possible, please, please, please store it away safely in your hotel garage! Never leave it parked unattended on the street.

For another option within your $120 budget, I would suggest the Hotel Opera, a Best Western, near the Royal Theater /Royal Palace. The Plaza de Oriente area is more attractive (beautiful at night), and you'll still be within walking distance of most everthing. I "inspected" it and liked what I saw. Friends just booked here thru the B.W. reservation system and secured a rate of $115 with VAT and brk. No hotel garage, but there's an underground garage 30 meters away (but leave absolutley nothing in the vehicle when you park it.) It has nicely appointed rms, spotless modern baths, public rms in a kind of British Hunt/Polo theme. It's become very popular, though, due to a rec. in NY Times. There's a handy cafe adjacent for snacks/meals at any hr. Great restaurants nearby. And since you're trying for a late flight out of Madrid the distance to the airport wouldn't be a factor.
Just a thought...

Just one thing not to miss in Madrid? The Prado! And if you're an art lover, I'd also take a peek at the nearby Reina Sofia (modern art-Picasso's Guernica) and the Thyssen Bornemisza (vast former private collection housed in a beautiful palace, works from 13th c to contemporary).

Good luck in your planning!

 
Feb 3rd, 2001, 12:04 PM
  #10  
Maribel
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Donella,
Huge correction! I meant the Tryp Atlantico, not the Tryp Capitol!
 
Feb 3rd, 2001, 09:19 PM
  #11  
Donella
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Maribel,
Super, the Hotel Opera was one I had picked out but wasn't sure of location. It comes recommended by both Fodor's & Frommer's and certainly is reasonably priced. On the last night of our trip I certainly don't want to stay somewhere that would leave me with less than good memories. I managed to get into their web site and they mentioned a restaurant that has singing waiters(opera of course) and that definatly cinched it. I have been trying in vain to find the web site for the Madrid Opera house, to no avail. Could we be so lucky to have Opera season in May in Madrid? We have actually decided not to go to Barcelona because Opera tickets were sold out, and it is a little stretch on our itinerary. I truly appreciate your help (Pedro,too.)
 
Feb 4th, 2001, 09:25 AM
  #12  
Maribel
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Hi yet again Donella,
Here's the web site for the Royal Opera House, which is just steps away from the hotel:

www.teatro-real.com (I believe in Spanish only)

It appears that on May 1-2-3, the opera "War and Peace" will be performed with an all Russian cast. Also May 12-13, the Madrid Symphony, and May 26-27-28 the National Ballet (splendid!-director is amazing Nacho Duato) will be performing "Romeo & Juliet".

If any of those dates work for you, I would call the desk staff at the hotel well in advance and ask them to secure tickets, and then call back on the very day they go on sale just as a gentle reminder. Tickets are always in very high demand and not inexp.-the very best seats will run up to 25,000pts, the cheapest 11,000 depending on the opera. The ballet & symphony cost less, the least exp. seats cost 9, 000 last yr. Tickets for "War and Peace" and the ballet go on sale on April 10 and for "Romeo & Juliet", May 8, according to their calendar.

I attended an opera last June after multiple, time-consuming trips to the box office. Could have called 902244824, but I stubbornly wanted to do this in person and reacquaint myself with the old Franco era expression "Vuelva Ud. maŮana". I donít suggest this for a visitor! Iíd let the hotel do the leg work for you or at least make the call. Iím sure they must get frequent requests

If you wonít be able to attend a performance, you can take an hour tour of the magnificent building (but I donít remember if itís given in English). Tours are currently given Tus-Sun from 10:30-1:30 (summer schedule is different), and you need to buy tickets at the box office by 10:30. Also, the new dining venue in a gorgous ballroom of the Opera House, just called "Teatro Real", has received raved reviews. A bit pricey- itís dinner only. Itís on my list to try someday. Sigh. But the singing waiters at the Cafe de la Opera, adjacent to the hotel, are fun as well. I think you'll like the area.

Regards,
Maribel

 

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