In the heart of Madrid de los Austrias – or Habsburg Madrid – this is as central as it gets. Between the Plaza Mayor and Plaza Santa Ana, and a few minutes’ walk from the tapas bars of Cava Baja, you are unlikely to need public transport or taxis staying here - although Tirso de Molina and Sol metro stations are nearby.
The 22 rooms on four floors come in L and XL sizes, many with balconies overlooking the street. Beds – with duvets rather than blankets - are of a quality usually found only in four- and five-star hotels. Bathrooms are separated from the sleeping area by opaque glass screens, and there are wonderful rain showers with coloured lights that you can set to match your mood. You get an open storage system rather than a conventional wardrobe, reading lamps over the bed, plenty of pillows and a squidgy headboard that is comfortable to lean against while you’re watching the plasma televisions or using the free WiFi.
Good double-glazing and insulation means there is hardly any street noise, but you can always ask for a room at the back, such as 305, which has big windows giving views onto the white walls of a small inner courtyard. Family rooms with cots are available too. You can’t smoke in the rooms, so ask for one with a balcony if you’re a smoker.
The black and white reception is like a cool bar. The 1968 film version of the Mayerling story, starring Omar Sharif and Catherine Deneuve, is projected onto the wall and a scene from it is printed on the staircase. You can sit in the decked courtyard or go up to the roof terrace where there are loungers, showers and fabulous views across the old town.
Eating and drinking
All chic&basic hotels have a ‘help yourself’ area where you not only have breakfast but can also make coffee, grab a bottle of water or pick up snacks whenever you fancy. And it’s all free.
Laidback snd helpful staff on the front desk.
Who stays there
Savvy travellers who know what they like and are not keen on chucking money away on facilities they’re never going to use in a million years.
When checking rates, bear in mind that the price quoted includes breakfast and refreshments, saving around 10 euros a day per person.
- High-Speed Internet
- Culture vultures
- Families with younger children
- First-time travellers
- Seasoned travellers
Pros & Cons
- Great value
- Handy location
- Cool place to stay
- No room service or restaurant
- Lack of privacy in shower