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Hotel Check: Pestana Plaza Mayor Madrid

WHERE IS IT? You won’t find anything else like it in the Spanish capital, this hotel is in the heart of Plaza Mayor.

PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS: Within the famous Plaza Mayor, this hotel offers one of the most tourist-centric locations in town. Service and amenities are top-notch.

HOW MANY ROOMS? 87 rooms and suites

WHAT’S IT LIKE? The entrance, on a side street and not in the main square (there is a private entrance for guests to walk directly into the main square), leads guests to a small reception area with smiling staff awaiting their arrival. Portuguese pastries, cold water, and sweets are always available by the front desk. The building’s protected history is visible at every turn with exposed brick and stone just the first reminder of how important this architectural framework of Plaza Mayor actually is. It’s pretty impressive that a hotel company was able to secure one of these buildings giving visitors an inside look into such an important cultural landmark.

ROOM FACILITIES: Depending upon which room you have, views will vary. Some look to neighboring side streets or interior building sections. The most prized peer out toward Plaza Mayor from amazing balconies. Peering out onto one of Europe’s main squares in the early morning before it becomes flooded with tourists is a special experience. Pillowtop mattresses are heavenly with bedside power outlets providing convenience. Oversized bath towels are another luxurious perk, especially when paired with the Portuguese Castelbel bath products used at many Pestana hotels. Several suite categories tacking on spacious bathrooms with dressing areas, some with windows of their own, to the mix.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS: RIB is the main dining room here. It is situated within the heart of the hotel’s atrium, which features a glass roof (this was once a fire station for the main square). Here, a lovely breakfast buffet is served each morning with fresh fruit and cured meat and vegetables on offer. The best part is the a la carte menu from which guests can order as many dishes as they like. Once the sun sets, the restaurant transitions from a continental and Spanish menu to steakhouse options with a variety of prime cuts of meat paired with regional wine on offer. My dinner here was one of my favorites in Madrid including a beefsteak tomato appetizer salad that was out of this world.

LEISURE FACILITIES: The basement spa and plunge pool areas are wonderful amenities for a hotel of this size. A fitness center boasts the latest equipment, and in Madrid’s warmer months, the rooftop plunge pool looks to be an exciting spot with incredible views of the city’s rooftops.

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES: Wireless Internet is complimentary throughout the hotel.

VERDICT: Madrid has plenty of great hotels, but nothing can provide the location and experience of this hotel. Pestana has a winner in this hotel.

PRICE: Internet rates for a traditional room start at $127 on the random dates we checked.

CONTACT: Pestana Plaza Mayor Madrid, Calle Imperial 8 , 28012 Madrid, Spain. Phone 34-91-005-2822.