TESTED BY Ramsey Qubein
HOW MANY ROOMS? 61 rooms and suites
PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS A five-minute walk to the Prado, Puerta del Sol and Reina Sofia art museum, this the first Hilton family property in the city center.
PRICE Internet rates for a traditional room in the historic building start at $145
CONTACT Doubletree by Hilton Madrid Prado, Calle San Agustin 3, Madrid, Spain 28104, tel +34 913600820, doubletree3.hilton.com.
VERDICT: Beautifully designed guest rooms, power showers and a sushi restaurant are the perfect antidote to a jet-lagged visit. Doubletree by Hilton has done a fine job with this contemporary offshoot in the heart of all the action.
BACKGROUND: Hilton finally has a property in the heart of Madrid’s capital. Until now, Hilton Honors fans were relegated to the ultra-modern Hilton at the airport. Most travelers will prefer this tourist-friendly location, and the carefully restored historic building that houses the hotel is full of unique touches from crown molding to the antique elevator shaft.
WHAT’S IT LIKE? A small entrance down a side street ushers guests into the quaint reception area where staffers are dressed in fashionable purple dresses straight from a designer runway. As is the welcoming custom at all Doubletree hotels worldwide, guests are treated to a warm chocolate chip cookie upon checking in. Early-morning American arrivals famished after a long overnight flight devour them in seconds. A communal table is a convenient spot where guests can grab a newspaper or catch up on e-mail with the hotel’s free wireless Internet. The setting is hip without being overbearing and suits guests of all ages. Indeed the hotel seems off to a great start considering it is only a year or so old.
WHERE IS IT? This small hotel is a short walk from most of the city’s top attractions. Business travelers are also close to important offices on Gran Via (where there’s plenty of shopping to do), Avenida de America and Colon neighborhood. What’s more, Atocha train station is just a few blocks away.
ROOM FACILITIES: The accommodations feature soft carpeting and hardwood foyers with built-in nooks for storing small items by the door. Full-length mirrors and mirrored walls make the already large rooms seem even bigger. Duvet-topped king or queen sized beds are piled high with thick pillows and feature night stands with alarm clocks and power outlets. Flat-screen TVs hang over the desks, which have speaker phones, more power outlets (including US-compatible ones) and USB ports. Side tables by the windows feature armchairs while a modern cabinet opens to reveal a coffeemaker and minibar neatly tucked away. Bathrooms are quite spacious with powerful showers, thick towels and Aroma Actives toiletries. Air conditioning works well, which is important in Madrid’s warm summers, and windows open for fresh air.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS: The sole restaurant serves three meals a day. Breakfast is notably Spanish with everything from Cava and churros to Serrano ham and Manchego cheese. The buffet is tucked around the corner out of view, and an à la carte menu offers cooked-to-order options. Lunch and dinner come from a traditional Kabuki menu, which blends together both Japanese and Mediterranean flavors. Guests can watch as sushi is freshly prepared or idle in the lounge with a cocktail in hand. Alternatively, there are plenty of cafés and bars within close walking distance.
LEISURE FACILITIES: There is no spa or swimming pool, but a modern fitness center stocks the latest equipment. Staff can also point out easy jogging routes, and Retiro Park is just across the street.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES: One meeting room can suit a small get-together, and free wireless Internet is available throughout the hotel.