Arrival/Check-in: My flight from New York was delayed by many hours because of the second ash cloud incident in May, which meant a longer than normal flight and a very tired and slightly grumpy traveler. Adding to my grumpiness was the fact that my arrival coincided with the start of evening rush hour, so the taxi ride to my hotel took twice as long as the usual 40-plus minutes. So it was a somewhat disgruntled traveler who arrived at the hotel to find a warm welcome from the doormen and the front desk. My mood quickly lifted on entering this elegant hotel, which has been one of the “best” hotels in Madrid since it opened in the 1950s. I was staying in a Club room, so check-in took place in the Club Lounge on the second floor (first floor in Europe) by a very efficient and friendly Club hostess while I sipped a complimentary glass of wine. I was quickly on my way to my room. (29/30)
Guest Quarters: The room was spacious with a king-sized bed, a good-sized desk, a chaise longue, a desk chair and a minibar. The bathroom was large with separate shower and a deep soaking tub and two sinks. The only minor downsides in the room were the TV, which was not an LCD TV, and the charge for the WiFi service. The room had a sliding door onto a decent-sized balcony that overlooked the central courtyard and a relatively famous 1950s-era metal abstract art wall sculpture. The toiletries were by Elemis. Because the room overlooked the inner courtyard, it was extremely quiet for an urban hotel; that, and a very comfortable bed meant a good night’s sleep. (28/30)
Services/Amenities: Since I stayed in a Club Room, I had access to the elegant Club Lounge where each morning I had a sumptuous breakfast. Later in the day snacks and drinks are served in the lounge. One day I had a fantastic lunch in the hotel restaurant, El Jardin, which had to be one of the best lunches served that day in all of Madrid. The hotel also has a casual dining restaurant called El Café that overlooks the garden. Bar 49 offers tapas and sushi and specializes in local wines. Like all upscale urban hotels, the InterContinental has a spa, Spa Connection, and a 24-hour gym. (38/40)
The Experience: The hotel is an ideal place to stay whether traveling on business or leisure. It is located in the heart of Madrid’s financial and business area and close to the famous shopping area of Serrano Street. And for those who frequent museums, the location is almost ideal. Madrid is one of the most important museum cities in the world, and the hotel is just minutes away from the Prado, the Reina Sofía, the Thyssen Bornemisza and the Caixa Forum Museum with its vertical garden. I found the staff very helpful and very willing to accommodate my requests. I would definitely stay again at the hotel and recommend it to friends.
Total Score: 95/100
Paseo de la Castellana, 49
Madrid 28046, Spain
tel 34 91 7007300
After driving through the arts and entertainment district of Delray Beach, I was expecting the lively and vibrant energy to follow me to my doorstep at Crane’s Beach House that evening. I was pleasantly surprised when the spirited rumble of a night downtown halted right at the front gate. As I walked the pathway to the front office for check-in, I was welcomed by a quiet rustle of the greenery and flowers that guided my walk, strung with lights and colorful, tropical décor. At check-in I was provided with a complimentary parking pass; although I would only be there for one night, I much appreciated this unexpected perk. I received my room information, including a pass code that would open my door. Keyless entry was a nice touch.
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