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Why do I agonize over hotel for every vacation

Why do I agonize over hotel for every vacation

Old Nov 21st, 2022, 09:10 AM
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Why do I agonize over hotel for every vacation

Well, here I go again. Old habits are hard to break, I guess. Every time we travel I really do waste massive amounts of time thinking and overthinking about where to stay. We will be in Spain for about 2 weeks next May, 4 nights in Madrid including the day we land from the U.S, 3 nights in Barcelona, 2 in Begur area, 2 in Girona and finally 1 night in Madrid before our flight home the next day. We arrive May 6 and fly home May 18.
In my head this distribution of time made sense. The trouble is always where to stay for some reason.
We do like comfortable rooms to come back to after a long day of seeing a new city.
We prefer warm , but not fussy surroundings . Updated is fine, but not austere.
We are strangely intimidated by mass transit; Blame it on living in a state without a lot of opportunities to use it so, largely walkable distances or easy taxi access.
Conversely, we have really enjoyed stays off the main tourist paths.
I am interested in these properties in Madrid, I think. If you have stayed and have feedback or can offer other suggestions, please, please chime in.
Only You boutique Hotel in chueca area
Hotel Pestana Plaza Mayor
Hotel Villa Real
Aparthotels Jardines de Sabatini
Hospes Puerta de Alcala- really liked the look of this and it seemed convenient, but some reviews mention a lot of noise from the restaurant and tired accommodations.
We donít need a pool, spa or fancy gym, nightlife or upscale/ trendy shopping.
We would enjoy a convenient place for a nightcap whether itís in the hotel or just down the street, lovely,warm staff, quiet nights within reason. We understand itís a city. Oh, and itís a 30th wedding anniversary trip.
Weíre open to Barcelona suggestions as well. Our other accommodations are already taken care of. Many, many heartfelt thanks to those who can respond to this thread.

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Old Nov 21st, 2022, 10:25 AM
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There are lots of hotels in Madrid for all tastes, I think we need to know your hotel budget per night, but I think you would like a hotel like this https://www.petitpalacesantabarbara.com/en/
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Old Nov 21st, 2022, 11:57 AM
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Revulgo-
Thank you. I’ll check it out. Most of the places we have put in consideration are under $400 US per night, but if we can find something lower , that would be wonderful. Sorry I didn’t think to include that. I have looked at past threads but aren’t finding much. Maybe I’m doing it wrong.🤔
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Old Nov 21st, 2022, 01:10 PM
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We enjoyed The Principal. It is off of Gran Via, walking distance to the major museums and Retiro Park. It is a vintage building with a modern, hip interior.
We spend more time choosing hotels than any other part of the trip.
But we feel it pays off. We look at Google Street view and see traffic and buses going by. Delete that one! But in many years of travel we have very rarely not liked a hotel.
Once when we traveled with friends, we ended up with much better rooms. We had researched the hotel and knew room category to book. We got a great room location while the friendís room location was bad, all for skimping on a few dollars.
One bad experience was when we caved and accepted a recommendation for a hotel we were not totally sure we would we like. We left after one night so lesson learned. So noisy we could not sleep at all. Youíre agonizing over hotels can give you better hotels and,thus, a better trip.

Last edited by HappyTrvlr; Nov 21st, 2022 at 01:29 PM.
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Old Nov 21st, 2022, 11:45 PM
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We enjoyed our stay at the Hotel Preciados in Madrid in 2017. It was well located on a street with several restaurants and shops but our room was quiet. We walked from there to many locations. Their breakfast included a tremendous array of yummy choices. We opted for one of their cheaper rooms but I would pay a bit more next time for one of their nicer rooms.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2022, 04:31 AM
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Happy Trvlr- I think that is how I feel. We too have had a pretty good success rate with hotels for the same reasons. It does sometimes challenge my commitment when I’m sifting through countless reviews and vacillating between the last couple of possibilities. “ Oh, this one has a great location, but the other one has beautiful rooms”. I like to drive myself insane. That is why I appreciate the feedback here on Fodors.

KTtravel- Yes, thank you! I think the reason I looked at Preciados was because you mentioned it. We usually choose a mid grade room and I think that too has helped us out. Although on our trip to Sevilla several years ago we stayed at Alfonso xiii and were gifted with a complimentary upgrade. It was probably by far the nicest hotel stay we’ve ever had.


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Old Nov 22nd, 2022, 08:43 AM
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I, too, spend a lot of time trying to choose our hotels. I try to weigh factors such as price, location, reviews, photos, air conditioning, convenience to transportation, whether breakfast is available, etc. It's funny because I think of ourselves as pretty easy going but the hotel does make a big difference. We are usually happy with the outcome although some places have been better than others.

Once, after fairly thorough research, our family arrived to our hotel in NYC only to be told they were overbooked and they had moved us around the block in another hotel. I was not pleased considering that I had booked our room months in advance and we were tired after flying across the country. To my surprise, we were upgraded to a much nicer hotel with a view of Central Park!
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Old Nov 22nd, 2022, 06:06 PM
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Interesting, we are just the opposite and rarely book a hotel more than a day or two ahead. We have traveled about a year in Europe over the past 40 years or so. Haven't slept in the train station yet. But our standards are different. At one time made heavy use of the TI but now mostly depend on Hotel.com or Hoteltonight.com All we want is a great location, clean sheets and a clean room. We spend so little time in the room or the hotel that these items are not important to us.

For Madrid we always stay in Hotel Europa. About as dead center as it gets. We prefer the front rooms overlooking the piazza with the French balconies. Can be a little noisy but the views of the street and the piazza are terrific. The back rooms are very quiet.




Last edited by fmpden; Nov 22nd, 2022 at 06:11 PM.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2022, 10:48 PM
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When we were younger and walked all day, the room was just for sleeping. As we got older and needed a rest sometimes, or an nap before dinner, do not have an evening event or the weather is not nice, we end up in the room a lot more. We have discovered how much the room and hotel or nice apartment can contribute to the whole experience. A place with great service or great views or easy location makes a huge difference. Now, I pay attention to anything more than a very quick stop before a cruise or flight. We try not to have short stays even for those, preferring a full day to rest and enjoy the area. Your obsession with places to stay is perfectly understandable.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2022, 11:31 PM
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Oh how I relate to this thread title….
For my upcoming trip, I found myself zooming in on photos of the breakfast buffet - I want muesli, fruit, great bread and cheese, lol, and also checking the lounge chairs in the various room options - my creaky body needs some comfort these days; choosing the accommodation is very important to me now. No winging it anymore.
I didn’t tell DH how much time I spent on this, but those iPad reminders of your ‘screen time’ were a bit scary….
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Old Nov 22nd, 2022, 11:44 PM
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Madrid's newest hotels on a map
https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer...sHRuQt4A7FG-Tf
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Old Nov 23rd, 2022, 07:17 AM
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In 2017 we stayed at the Mercure Madrid Centro on Calle Lope de Vega 49, if you are still looking for a hotel recommendation. Very clean and quiet. In an excellent location. About a 10-minute walk from the Prado and Reina Sofia. Excellent breakfast!

When we were younger our only requirement for a hotel was cleanliness. Now that we are older I am more picky and willing to spend more money. My husband leans toward the "cheap" side, but I do all the planning and I am more willing to spend more money on a centrally located hotel with a delicious breakfast. For me it's easier to have breakfast at the hotel so we can get an earlier start on sightseeing. And I absolutely don't want to take public transportation to the majority of the sights we want to see. Sometimes we have to, but for the most part I want to be within walking distance. As Sassafrass states, now that we are older, we sometimes need to return to our hotel to take a nap before dinner. And I look at the breakfast buffet photos, too! I am currently planning a trip to Scotland, and I have changed our hotels in several locations, which is why I only book "free cancellation" . So I agree the hotel is very important. We once stayed at a B&B outside of Gettysburg that was awful. Dark and not very clean. But we couldn't switch to a different place because the area was fully booked. It was a special long weekend, forgot which one.
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Old Nov 23rd, 2022, 01:18 PM
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See I am not totally alone in my obsession.
karenwoo- Scotland is also on our list. I keep hoping we’ll win the lottery so we can have a week or two on our own and then take the Royal Scotsman train for a week. Thing is, we don’t actually play the lottery so it’s unlikely. 🤔
Yes, cleanliness, walkable, convenient, comfy beds, quiet. The list goes on and it also seems to matter more to us the older we get. I will check out Mercure Madrid, but we seem to be leaning towards Only You boutique in chueco area.
For Barcelona I have it narrowed to Casa Sagnier, Arai or Baguťs. The last two are Derby hotels properties in the Gothic Quarter. The hotels look lovely and have good reviews, but should we be concerned about this area? I’ve come across a couple of articles stating it’s unsafe at night. We try not to do stupid things especially at night in a strange area, but if we choose to leave for a walk or nightcap, I don’t want to be worried the entire time especially if we’ve had a glass of wine or a cocktail. Any thoughts?
Thanks again to everyone.
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Old Nov 24th, 2022, 01:02 AM
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It has been several years but we felt very safe in the Gothic Quarter. You can always check with your hotel to see if there are any areas to avoid. Pickpocketing is a problem in many areas in Barcelona so I would advise keeping your valuables tucked away safely.
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Old Nov 24th, 2022, 12:19 PM
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Cjar, we stayed at Casa Sagnier in September and absolutely loved it and the Eixample. It's a lovely and elegant area and the hotel is on one of its most beautiful streets. In comparison, although we found the gothic quarter charming and interesting, it was just too crowded. I really haven't met anyone who takes his hotels as seriously as my husband. He scrolls through tripadvisor and booking.com, looking at photographs of highly ranked hotels. Once he's narrowed the choice to a few hotels, taking into account location, price and design, he'll look at the hotels on google maps, street view, to see the surrounding area. He also pinpoints what room he wants from street view and correspond with the hotel to ensure we get the room he's picked. Sure, it's a little over the top, but location and design are important to us, and we spend time in our room. At Casa Sagnier we had a wonderful room overlooking the promenade in front, with a small balcony on an upper floor. The staff were helpful and friendly too.
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Old Nov 25th, 2022, 06:21 AM
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Vonse- Your husband sounds like a man after my own heart. His process sounds very similar to mine.😂
I had been leaning towards Aparthotel Arai in Barcelona, mainly because I really like the look of it and it seems comfortable, but I keep coming back to Casa Sagnier as well. I know it’s been awhile but you wouldn’t happen to recall the room number ,would you?

We’ve booked the Only You hotel for Madrid. Thank you all so very much for your thoughts and suggestions. Since it’s refundable, I suppose we can always change our minds, but I don’t think I’ve ever cancelled a hotel reservation in the last 20 years for reasons other than an emergency or Covid.

Would you say the pickpockets are a bigger problem than Rome? I usually wear a small cross body bag tucked under a sweater. We don’t usually travel during the summer so that has served me well in the past. Maybe that’s not sufficient. I have a friend who had some trouble at a train station in Spain. They were approached by someone offering to help with directions when she noticed an accomplice trying to reach into her husband’s bag. I know that’s off topic a bit ,but KTtravel’s post made me think of it.

As far as staying away from sketchy areas, we try, but In Seville we got really turned around a couple of times. This seems to happen a bit more now than it used to. Time does have its effects, doesn’t it?
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Old Nov 25th, 2022, 12:26 PM
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Cjar, unfortunately I didn't make a note of our room number, but you can't go wrong with rooms on floors 4-6, facing Rambla de Catalunya, with a balcony. The rooms are wonderfully soundproofed.


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Old Nov 27th, 2022, 07:59 AM
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Yes, Barcelona has a much bigger pickpocket problem than Rome. We never have had any issues in Rome but had several bad situations, attempted pickpocketing, in Barcelona.
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Old Nov 28th, 2022, 12:06 PM
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I totally understand being obsessed with the hotel/lodging. It becomes your home in the city, and it makes a huge difference to how much you enjoy your visit in general

In Seville and Madrid, we used this agency and got two very nice apartments at reasonable rates.
https://homeathomes.com/eng/casa-pal...e-v/en/sevilla
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Old Nov 28th, 2022, 12:50 PM
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....Yes, Barcelona has a much bigger pickpocket problem than Rome.... I don't know if that is absolutely true or not. Pickpocketing is problem but we haven't noticed any difference between Rome and Barcelona. We have spent about three weeks in both over the past 20+ years and never had any problems. If you take some reasonable precautions, you will not have any problems. Our friends have had more problems in Rome and Paris than Barcelona. Probably more random luck as to who gets hit.

Last edited by fmpden; Nov 28th, 2022 at 12:53 PM.
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