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Madrid, Spain

Page 6
Continued from page 5

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ABOVE: The Hotel Meninas is on a quiet street near the Teatro Real (in background) and the Gran Vía.

Hotels

Like most big cities, Madrid has tens of thousands of hotel rooms in all price ranges, so you shouldn't have trouble finding a room if you book ahead.

Start by checking the Madrid hotel listings at our booking partners, Venere (Madrid) and Booking.com (Madrid), which often supply rooms at lower rates than you'd get from the hotels themselves. Most Venere and Booking.com listings are accompanied by guest ratings and reviews. These are likely to be more trustworthy than the ones in "user review" sites like TripAdvisor and VirtualTourist. (See our article on Phony Hotel Reviews.)

Unless you're partial to taxis or public transportation, we'd strongly recommend booking a hotel in the historic center of Madrid. Many newer hotels are in the residential and office-tower districts north of the center, which are handy for business travelers but less convenient for visiting the major tourist sites.

photoPersonal tips:

  • In the midrange category, we recommend the Hotel Meninas (see photo above), which has a wonderful location just off the Plaza Santo Domingo. Its 37 soundproofed rooms are in a 19th Century building that was gutted and rebuilt as a stylish modern boutique hotel. (The knotty-pine staircase is original, however, as is the vaulted ceiling of the breakfast room.) Some of the singles are small; when traveling alone, ask for a room ending in "2" (such as our room, 402).

  • If you're staying a few days to a week or longer, do as we do: Rent an apartment through our international booking partner, HomeAway, which represents a large number of furnished short-term holiday rentals in and around Madrid.

Finally, if you're in the market for a luxury hotel, we can recommend two: the AC Palacio del Retiro (next to the Retiro Park) and the InterContinental Madrid (on the Paseo del Castellana, in a high-rent residential and shopping district). Another upscale hotel, ME Madrid by Melía, is a good bet if you're a rock star or fashionista: The former Grand Hotel Reina Victoria has been reborn as a trendy hotel with a high-energy restaurant, a rootop nightclub, and an amazing Tower Suite overlooking the Plaza de Santa Ana in the city center.

For other advice and opinions, see Frommer's hotel listings for Madrid, and the Madrid hotel reviews from Fodor's Spain. If you're on a rockbottom budget, try Madrid hostels and pensions at MadridMan.com.

  • Tip: Do you have an early-morning flight out of Barajas Airport? The Hotel High Tech Aeropuerto will save you the long commute from the city center. It's close to the airport, room rates are reasonable for a 4-star hotel, and a free shuttle runs between the hotel and the terminals.

Next page: Restaurants in Madrid

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