Shopping trip with mom to MADRID

Old Dec 25th, 2005, 04:12 PM
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Shopping trip with mom to MADRID

Hola!
Hello everybody..merry xmas!

I am going to Madrid in mid-Jan and looking for a 3* or 4* hotel possibly close to the shopping area. I am trying to decide whether to book a hotel in Gran via area or Puerto de Sol, I heard one of these area is not that suitable in terms of safety wise.
I have read some of the reviews and I have to say I am kinda feeling a bit nervous regarding all the pickpockets incident plus I am travelling with my mom. Therefore I need a few advise/recommendation on which hotels should I stay during my trip.

Thank you very much!
Mucho gracias!

Charleen is offline  
Old Dec 25th, 2005, 04:37 PM
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Hi Charleen!

My Mom and I went to Spain together in October and had a great time.

In Madrid, we stayed in 2 locations. The fist was right off the Puerto del Sol called the Hotel Intur Palacio San Martin. It's 4 stars and was around 100 euro a night. It was very convenient for walking everywhere and we felt very safe there, even at night.

The second was the Westin Palace hotel which is located right across from the Prado Museum. This one is 5 stars, and fairly expensive when booked through the hotel, but I got it on Priceline for about $135 Euro.

If you'd like to see my trip, including photos of the hotels and more details, check out my travelogue at http://www.wired2theworld.com

Have a great trip!
Kristina is offline  
Old Dec 25th, 2005, 07:10 PM
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Check out the Crowne Plaza on Plaza de Espana. It's at the beginning (or end, however you see it) of Gran Via. I felt it was safe, it was about a 5 minute walk to Puerto del Sol. Transportation was the best (taxis and the metro right outside). The price also couldn't be beat.

Another place to check out would be the Sofitel, a block+ away from the Crown Plaza. They sometimes have amazing rates.

The Westin is grande. If the price is right, stay there for sure.
mcnyc is offline  
Old Dec 26th, 2005, 07:44 AM
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We stayed in Madrid a couple of years ago and really loved the Villa Magna. This is the hotel Cruise and Cruz would stay when in Madrid. Perfect location for shopping. The best shopping is located at the rear entrance of the hotel everthing you could ask for. The one thing that I really remember about this hotel was that it was the most comfortable bed that I've slept on in Europe! Also great location for the Prado, just down the Blvd. Though I believe it was a 5 star. If you are worried about safety DON'T. This is the most upscale locale in Madrid!
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Old Dec 26th, 2005, 01:12 PM
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I took my Mom to Spain in Nov. and we had a blast. While we always take appropriate precautions, never once did we felt in any danger, including the many nights we walked back to our hotel near Puerta del Sol from the Plaza Mayor. In Madrid, I have stayed at the Best Western Atlantico in Gran Via, Hotel Europa by Puerta del Sol, Hotel Mora across the Museo del Prado, and Hotel Carlos V at Puerta del Sol. I recommend all of them. If your priority is shopping, then I would prioritize it as Hotel Carlos V, Hotel Europa, Hotel Atlantico. Puerta del Sol is the center of Madrid, and consequently, it is probably one of the Madrid's hot pickpoketing spots (more common in the summer season). It have never ocurred to me or to anybody I know, but I am certain Madrid is no different than Paris or Rome on that regard. The only area of Madrid I wouldn't stay is in La Chueca District and Calle de la Montera. Otherwise, use common sense precautions and you should be fine.

Strongly recommend a visit to Artesanias Reyes on Gran Via. Beautiful hand-embroidered linens by crafts artists from Toledo. Great prices. Have a great time. Remember your umbrella, a tucked-away purse, and warm boots.
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Old Dec 26th, 2005, 01:16 PM
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I forgot to mention.....it seems you are limiting your shopping options to the Gran Via/Puerta del Sol area. Well, the Salamanca District in Madrid is a dream area for serious shoppers. Even if you don't buy a thing in that area, just browse for great stores. Also, if anything, you want to get yourself a pair of Spanish shoes. The most exquisite leather quality and classic design.
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Old Dec 26th, 2005, 01:17 PM
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Look at http://www.solmelia.com and see if you see any special offers. We got a great rate on the Tryp Cibeles, a 4* hotel right on Gran Via, and very convenient to shopping.
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Old Dec 27th, 2005, 01:20 AM
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Hi Charleen,

exactly, what kind of shopping are you looking for? There are many areas in Madrid, and hotels handy for one are not so good for another ...

The Salamanca district has many upscale shops and a very "cute" Corte Ingles department store. The Zara in Serrano is housed in a pretty interesting ancient building, and in the Ayala street there are quite a few good shoe shops, including my favourite, Hakei.
Not so far away, Goya street has a lot of interesting shops, not so upscale as in Serrano, Ortega y Gasset and the likes.

The Corte Ingles in Nuevos Ministerios, not so far away from the Santiago Bernabeu, is one of the biggest in Spain, and if you donīt get lost there, you can always head behind to Orense and meet the usual suspects.

Then we get to Fuencarral and Chueca, with the streets Almirante and Barbara de Braganza thrown in, just in case we were missing something. Lots of quirky and lovely shops, one of my favourite areas to get lost and return home loaded with shoes and bags and t-shirts. Well worth a look, and some good places to eat, too.

Preciados and the surrounding area, the shopping area between Gran Via and Puerta del Sol, always seem extremely boring to me. The best part of it is the FNAC and the Swatch shop (because the attendants are very nice).

I wouldnīt opt for the Crowne Plaza or the Sofitel, although they could be good if you decided to go shopping in the Princesa area. I saw the other day the rooms at the HT Posada del Peine, and they were quite nice, right by the Plaza Mayor. Another new hotel that looks interesting is the Hotel de las Letras, in Gran via near Alcala and the Circulo de Bellas Artes. And if money was no object, I would opt for the Urban Hotel (and even if you donīt stay there, they do great Bellinis ...)
http://www.epoquehotels.com/h.php/h/lasletras/l/en/
http://www.hthotels.com/

Rgds, Cova

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Old Dec 28th, 2005, 03:38 AM
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Hello again..

Thank you soo much for the responses..I do appreciate it.
To Viajero..thank you for your suggestions on places to shop..I am not limiting the shopping areas but I was not aware of any other areas...need to do more research on this..
Thank you again..

Wishing everbody a happy new year!
Charleen is offline  
Old Dec 28th, 2005, 03:58 AM
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mcnyc writes: <<Check out the Crowne Plaza on Plaza de Espana. It's at the beginning (or end, however you see it) of Gran Via. ... it was about a 5 minute walk to Puerto del Sol. Transportation was the best (taxis and the metro right outside). The price also couldn't be beat. >>

I don't know how old 'Mom' is or how well she gets around; but when I was in my prime I couldn't make it from the Plaza de Espana to Puerta del Sol in less than 15-minutes. Palacio Real or Plaza de Oriente, yes; Plaza de la Opera, yes also; but I would estimate about 1.5km from the Quixote statue on Plaza de Espana to the Bear and Berry tree (km-0) on the Puerta del Sol.

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Old Dec 28th, 2005, 01:36 PM
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Hm...well, hm...we're talking about the area near the El Cortes shopping store, right? Maybe I'm remembering wrong, but I'm pretty sure I made it in about 5 minutes. It was a walk I made every day. I just called my friend who was with me, and even she said it was about a 5 minute walk. We were walking our normal speed (as NYers), which may account for the short time? Or we're both remembering wrong. Sorry, but don't mean to give wrong info.
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Old Dec 29th, 2005, 02:28 AM
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Hi mcnyc,

Plaza de España and Puerta del Sol are not really so far away. 5, 10 minutes walking max (Iīd say right now more like 10 minutes because of the public works in the area). 15 minutes is a bit too much Youīre right, I think (I can always test it this evening ...).

But the most important thing is to recommend good shopping areas for Charleen, I think. The following site will be really helpful : http://www.softguides.com/madrid_gui.../shopping.html

Regards, Cova
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Old Dec 29th, 2005, 05:28 AM
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Hello again!

Cova, mcnyc, nedsireland thanks for your responses!
Well put it this way..my mom is not fond of walking..but when see alot of shops ahead that'll get her motivated..
I think im going for the Hotel Intur Palacio St.Martin .
Those links are absolutely useful! Thanks again!
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Old Dec 29th, 2005, 07:06 AM
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Hi Charleen,

if your mum is not very fond of walking ... there are plenty of buses and the metro and taxis to move around. Taxis are more difficult to find after 1:30 am, but not so during the day, and they are not very expensive.

Not far away from your hotel you will find the metro stops of Callao and Puerta del Sol, very useful ones. Check this :
http://www.ctm-madrid.es

I donīt know exactly what are you looking for, clothing, shoes ... Punto Roma is a spanish clothing chain that has just opened a big place near Callao, in Gran Via. It caters mainly to middle-aged women, and it has lots of sizes, but their knits are quite good and you can always a find great t-shirts and jumpers and scarfs there (itīs just a question of knowing how to wear them).

Adolfo Dominguez is beginning to open a series of accesories boutiques. His shoes and handbags are quite good looking, and not so easy to find abroad.

Rgds, Cova


http://www.ctm-madrid.es
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Old Jan 3rd, 2006, 10:05 PM
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I was in Madrid last summer and came across a shoe store located at 51 Calle de Claudio Coello. (salamanca district) This shop sells shoes exclusively made by Cristina Castnaer. The shoes are priced between $45 to $100. During the the summer many of the spanish women wore her shoes. There are super comfortable and beautiful. The shopping areas in the Salamance district are on calle Goya, Calle Serrano, Claudio Coello, etc. It is not true that the shops in the salamanca area are all expensive, some are, but many are very well priced. This is especially true in Jan when most of the stores have their winter sale (Saldos). We stayed at Hotel Intercontinental on Paseo De la Castellana which is walking distance to the salamanca district shopping area for three days (great hotel) and two nights at the Westin Palace (good rooms but everything else in the hotel including the restaurant/business center were extremely over priced) $11 for a cup of cappucino and danish.

Do not miss eating tapas/great coffee/appetizer sized sandwiches at one of the mallorca restaurants (There are two of them in the Salamanca disrict, one on calle Goya and the other on Calle Serrano) Also right next to the Mallorca located on Calle Goya, there is a great tapas restaurant. Cannot remember the name. GREAT food. Dinner for two around $30
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Old Jan 10th, 2006, 11:10 AM
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We were very happy with our room at the Intur Palacio San Martin -- thought it was great value for location. Check the reviews on Trip Advisor -- seems that some rooms have no/limited windows, so you will want to specify when you check in (or before, or better yet, both times.) Ours had a small balcony (Spanish style -- about one tile deep) over-looking the street which made a delightful perch for people watching. We didn't find the street noise bothersome at all. Of course in January you will presumably have your windows closed .

Maribel has a nice list of recommended shops in her guides at mariblesguides.com. Also, her restaurant/food advice cannot be beat.

Have a ball!
Molloy95 is offline  
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