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Spain in 2018

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Aug 27th, 2017, 10:58 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Aug 2017
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Spain in 2018

Hi
I traveling to Madrid for 8 days with two kids 11 & 14. We would like to go to the Andalusia too. Any suggestions do we do the europass or just buy tickets? Do you think it will be difficult traveling with two suitcases on the train. I'd like to stay in an apartment any other suggestions besides airbnb?
Thanks
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Aug 27th, 2017, 11:49 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
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I just booked a lovely apartment through Spain Select (now Home Select).
Very helpful service via email. http://www.homeselect.com/
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Aug 27th, 2017, 11:55 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Here's a great 2 bedroom apartment where we stayed in 2015 (also HomeSelect).

http://www.spain-select.com/en_US/re...ope-de-vega-ii

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Aug 27th, 2017, 12:38 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
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In Madrid we stayed in an apartment hotel near the Royal Palace called Jardines de Sabatinis apart hotel http://www.jardinesdesabatini.com/en/rooms-and-suites/. A suite might be just big enough if there are 3 of you.

The service was very good, helpful staff, and we chose a room with a view of the Royal Palace. The walk into the city centre was pleasant with plenty to see on the way. We would definitely stay there again.
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Aug 27th, 2017, 12:40 PM
  #5
 
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Sorry just realised you also asked about suitcases on trains. We did find this a little challenging at times, so would definitely recommend that you don't take large suitcases. There is plenty of storage for your suitcases when you get on the train, but getting them up the steps when they are heavy can be a bit tricky.
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Aug 27th, 2017, 01:56 PM
  #6
 
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Three carry-ons are all you need for eight days.
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Aug 27th, 2017, 02:07 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Before thinking too much about apartments, settle on your itinerary. An apartment may not work in some places.
Do the 8 days include arrival and departure days?
No passes needed for Spain. Purchase only the train tickets you need.
Rather than two large suitcases, each person take just one. No problems with suitcases on trains.
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Aug 27th, 2017, 02:09 PM
  #8
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 17,197
Trying to see Madrid and Andalusia in 8 days is ambitious. You can see a bit of each, but you will need to be selective. Here's what I recommend: Get some good guidebooks (or spend some time with a few in your local library), identify the things you most want to see in each location, check their opening/closing times on the internet, and mark them on a calendar. Then pencil in your transportation, add some time on either side (for getting to/from your lodging, checking in/out, packing/unpacking, getting lost/oriented, etc.). Then see how things fit together. As you plan, note that many things in Spain are closed on Monday, and often for all or part of Sundays too; and many things in Spain will also be closed daily for a very long mid-day break.

booking.com covers some apartments.
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Aug 28th, 2017, 03:57 AM
  #9
 
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"As you plan, note that many things in Spain are closed on Monday, and often for all or part of Sundays too; and many things in Spain will also be closed daily for a very long mid-day break."

Right what kja says about mid-day breaks and many things closed on Sunday. That's because then "all of Spain" is having a huge lunch with colleagues, friends or family. Especially the Sunday lunch is a highlight of the week, starts with some drinks and tapas and then goes into an often several hours long and laid-back lunch with familiy and friends of all ages. Very much recommend to follow the locals here!

So when everything except the restaurants are closed, it's because then Spain is at its finest ;-)
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Aug 28th, 2017, 04:15 AM
  #10
 
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And very easy to go from Madrid to the wonderful and very different Andalucian cities Córdoba, Sevilla and Málaga. From city center to city center in no time with the very comfortable high speed AVE train. (renfe.com)

I throw in an extra word for the oldest of the three, nearly 3000 year old Málaga city by the Med. Great historic sights right in the heart of town, and now Andalucías "city of culture with its so-called 'mile of art' being compared to Madrid, and its dynamism and fine dining to Barcelona".https://www.lonelyplanet.com/spain/andalucia/malaga

And Málaga is great for kids, not only all the beaches and the excellent and no fuss beachfront restaurants, the huge ferris wheel down in the New marina (Muelle Uno) with lots of kids acitivites, but much more: https://www.spain-holiday.com/Malaga.../c/kids-family

The Ferris Wheel with spectacular views of the city, the sea, the Moorish Palace fortress and the Mountains: https://www.guidetomalaga.com/big-wh...ion-in-malaga/

Muelle Uno (Quay one) in Málaga, boats, shopping, cafés, restaurants and kids activities: http://www.andalucia.com/cities/malaga/muelle-uno.htm
http://www.muelleuno.com/
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Dec 13th, 2017, 01:50 PM
  #11
 
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DEADLY FIRE & FLOODING IN APARTMENT - COMPLETE FAULT OF HOME SELECT! NO COMPENSATION AND HS WENT AGAINST THEIR OWN CONTRACT, FORCING ME TO PAY MORE FOR ANOTHER APARTMENT OR BE LEFT WITH NO PLACE TO LIVE WHILE WORKING IN MADRID.

AVOID AVOID AVOID! USE THIS COMPANY AT YOUR RISK! LEGAL ACTION PENDING!

Home Select (also goes by Spain Select) has been an utter nightmare! ISSUES BEGAN ON DAY 1 and continue until NOW! Where shall I begin?

Upon arriving in Madrid, I called the dedicated number and was then asked to call the rep on his cell phone to let him know I would be at the apartment in 30 minutes. I did and a very rude man answered in an annoyed tone. He barked at me "What do you want?" A little stunned, I asked if he was from Home Select! He asked me to call him back when I was en route and upon arriving at the apartment, he berated me for not coming up to the apartment fast enough. Wow. Welcome home? I initially chalked this up to our dialog being lost in translation but no, he was just extraordinarily rude and this type of behavior would last through the entire time I was dealing with Home Select.

FLOODING: On the first night in the apartment, water poured through the bathroom ceiling flooding the bathroom. I immediately called the emergency number. After explaining the situation, the representative said he would need to call me back. Some time passed before he called and told me they had been trying to fix the A/C earlier in the day. He then told me tenant above me had showered and all the water was from their shower. I CAN'T EXPRESS HOW DISGUSTING THIS WAS TO HEAR and tried not to get sick as I mopped up the bathroom at 1am. UGH. No apologies, no offer to come clean the bathroom the next day.

FILTHY APARTMENT: The next day, while trying to make breakfast I noticed that ALL the dishes were dirty. They had simply been placed back into the cabinet. Fruit and food particles stuck to the cups and plates and most of the appliances. This was ONLY the beginning. Upon further inspection, the entire apartment had not been properly cleaned. The rug in the bedroom was so filthy, I had to remove it and pound it with a broom on the balcony. The amount of dirt and hair that came from that rug was revolting. I kept trying to complain to Home Select but my calls and emails went unanswered. FINALLY, I got someone on the phone and retrieved the manager's email - [email protected]. I listed all the complaints and what had occurred - always using the same email thread as to keep track of my multiple attempts to reach them. It took me two days to clean the apartment. Great first few days in Madrid, right?

FIRE IN APARTMENT:: A couple of weeks later, Home Select workmen came to fix the bathroom ceiling tiles which had been totally damaged by the flooding from the apartment above. They replaced the tiles and as I was sitting in the living room working, the electricity suddenly went off. A few minutes later, I heard a rumble in the bathroom and went to check it out. THE ENTIRE CEILING WAS ENGULFED IN FLAMES. There was no fire extinguisher or fire alarm. I ran downstairs to find help and screamed "FIRE!" to the porter and one of the workmen. The color drained from their faces as I ran back up to the apartment. The entire hallway was filled with smoke and people were coming out of the their apartments. It took three workmen and the porter with multiple extinguishers to put out the fire. Why they didn't call the fire department, I have no idea. The porter told me had I not been home, the building would have gone up in flames. HOW ABOUT IF IT WAS AT NIGHT, I WOULD HAVE DIED - AS WELL AS THOSE PEOPLE LIVING BESIDE AND ABOVE ME!!!!! My family still has nightmares about what would have happened if the fire happened at night.

Home Select moved me to a new apartment as required by the contract I signed. The contract (clause 1.4) stated Home Select was required to accommodate me in a new apartment in such events AS A FIRE at no additional cost. They required me to pay 500 Euros more for the "new" apartment or else be left with no place to live while I was working in Madrid. They never honored their contract.

Then upon check out, I demanded my ENTIRE deposit back and was told it would be given back to me - since I left the overpriced "new" apartment in perfect condition anyway. They refunded me only a portion until I demanded the remaining balance.

THIS COMPANY IS A NIGHTMARE! I wish I could attach the photos of the fire to this review. They are simply the worst and made my life a nightmare in Madrid. I am in the process of filing an official complaint in Spain so others are warned of Home Select. They should be shut down for everything they do. AVOID! There are other more reputable companies in Spain to rent from that don't involve potential loss of life and atrocious customer service.

This post is meant to serve as a warning to others when renting from this company.
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Dec 13th, 2017, 02:24 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
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Wow! That's awful, FuriousRenter.

Our experiences with Home Select in Madrid and Seville were the exact opposite of yours.

We had spotlessly clean, wonderful apartments, and prompt responses to our emails re: transport to the airport. We had a driver at our door exactly on time in both cities, as arranged by Home Select.
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Dec 13th, 2017, 02:54 PM
  #13
 
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Ignore the troll..
SS is a very good outfit.
danon is online now  
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Dec 15th, 2017, 09:46 AM
  #14
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
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danon, I was wondering about this poster, because of the screen name and recent registration. Seems like they signed on simply to post this complaint about a company several other Fodorites have liked. Probably a troll, as you said.
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Dec 15th, 2017, 12:16 PM
  #15
 
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Is it at all possible that this "troll" could be telling the truth even though "other Fodorites" did not have any trouble?
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Dec 15th, 2017, 12:29 PM
  #16
 
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>Is it at all possible that this "troll" could be telling the truth even though "other Fodorites" did not have any trouble?< Doubtful!
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Dec 15th, 2017, 01:15 PM
  #17
 
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Is it at all possible that this "troll" could be telling the truth even though "other Fodorites" did not have any trouble?>

Possible but a newly registered poster with only two posts exactly the same - looks and smells like a troll but may not be.
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Dec 15th, 2017, 03:47 PM
  #18
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
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Is someone is " telling the truth "why is there no location of the apt. or names of anyone contacted.
( The email address mentioned is on the webpage of the company.)
It was fire, flood and filth - all at once - that the poster supposedly experienced in one visit. Relay ?

We stayed at SS apts three times over a 10 year period , the last time was in the fall of 2014 in Madrid's
area called Salamanca.
The service was excellent, the apt. spotless, the location perfect.
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