What is not to love about Madrid? I admit that sometimes my expectations are not to high when travelling to a new city. It is different reasons for this, I have not had time to search so much information in advance on what to see and do, and the choice of city is often random. This is what happened when I visit Madrid during Christmas and New Year. I wanted to visit a big city, and just searched on flights and accommodation with valuables rates, and Madrid was one of the choices and I am happy I did choose Madrid!
You do not see or read so much about Madrid, and I really think this city is underestimated. You find history, architecture, beautiful parks, a lot of restaurants and good shopping. And it gives you much more value for money than for example Paris (even though I love Paris too..)
I stayed for 12 nights, at three different hotels in different areas of the city and I am happy I did since I learned more about the city and got to know some of the areas quite well. Since I am a Leading Hotel of the World traveler, I of course stayed at three at their properties this time as well.
The first night I stayed at Gran Hotel Ingles. A very nice Boutique hotel in the city center. At first location seems a bit of, but when you get familiar with the surroundings you realize it is in the middle of the city and it is just a few minute’s walk to “everywhere”.
The room at Gran Hotel Ingles was different, with this charming bathtub in the room. My room had a very nice terrace, and the room was very nice equipped. Breakfast was very good. The bar area relaxing. I really enjoyed my stay, and regretted I only had booked for one night..
Then I moved further into the old part of the city, not so far from the Royal Castle, and stayed four nights at Gran Melia Palacio de los Duques. I really loved my stay here as well. Here the staff was very friendly and attentive. I upgraded to the Red Level, and enjoyed my time with a nice share of Ruinart Champagne.. The breakfast was very good, a lot of choices, both health and sweets.. The location of the hotel was very good as well, just a few minute’s walk to “everywere”.
The last 7 days I stayed at Gran Melia Fenix, situated in the Financial and Shopping district of Madrid. The hotel was more “Classic” in regards of the room, but I enjoyed the time in the DRY Cosmopolitan Bar. Vibrant, but still possible to relax. Here I enjoyed most the location, both close to many shopping possibilities, and only a “short” walk from the El Retiro Park, but also many good restaurants in this area. I recommend this district if you stay for a longer period, so many choices.
I prefer to stay as many days as possible when visiting a new city, because you don’t get the spirit, ambience and feeling of the city and its possibilities when only staying one weekend or a couple of days. I stayed 12 days, and loved Madrid more and more for each day.
One day I also had this daytrip to Toledo and Segovia, this trip I really recommend! A very nice break from the city, and these two towns are very charming, and with some interesting history as well, and you can include a visit to Alcázar Castle in Segovia.