Happy Travel Tuesday! I've certainly waxed poetic enough about Madrid, a simple mention of that majestic Spanish city makes my heart smile. I'm glad this blog has given my experience a home so-to-speak, where the memories live and the recommendations translate. The space where we rested our heads every night after taking it all in (every step through Parque Retiro and famous painting at The Prado, every last tapas plate and glass of Sangria....) was JC Rooms Santa Ana offering admirable accommodations in the city center, just steps from Puerta del Sol. The brown marble facade is snuggled in between a tapas bar and a kebab joint on the tiny but busy one way side street, Calle de la Cruz. The hotel is located on the second and third floors where a small reception and lounge area is colorful and inviting with modern decor. Black Ikea tables and shelving are surrounded by energetic orange couches, among newspaper comic strip window curtains and a funky rainbow-bright wall constructed of glass cubes.The vibrant and contemporary hotel managed to offer a number of noteworthy amenities, beginning with my personal favorite: the free mini bar. A fridge restocked daily with ice cold Spanish beer, refreshing soft drinks and bottled water, this was a major perk that I appreciated ten fold after returning from a hot afternoon in the sun or awaking after a late night out. P.S. The Kas was awesome, especially the Limon flavor. P.P.S. The Finkbrau Pils was not great.
Now that we've got that out of the way (admit it, you're sold) lets talk about the rooms themselves. When we stayed (September 2011) a room with a double bed cost $112/night. There are 25 rooms total, which were remodeled in October 2010, each one named after a different region of Spain.We adored the look and feel of Aragon, thriving on a primary color scheme with sunny yellow walls and bold red and blue accents. The blow up photograph turned wall mural of the region truly distinguishes the space. Low hanging light fixtures were appropriately placed and the sweeping curtains over the single window allowed a small amount of light to stream through even when they were closed. The room was tiny, but this much we both expected. I am pretty content in a European hotel as long as I have space enough to breath and decent floor space to store my suitcase. A closet is an added bonus. So is a desk and especially so is a computer. This small space contained all three without feeling totally cramped. A flat screen TV is mounted on the wall and there is a safe in the closet. The double bed was comfy and I absolutely loved the intricate black and white bedspread, it added a double dose of contrasting elements to the angular, colorful space. I could have done with fluffier pillows, though.What did feel a little cramped was the bathroom, but with sleek black fixtures defined by shiny red tiles and glowing teal blue windows, it was actually quite striking. Toiletries came in the form of bath gels and soap (no lotion or shampoo) and packaged toothbrushes and toothpaste. There isn't much room on the sink or additional space to spread out your personal goods. A shelf for my contacts, makeup, etc would have been ideal. Supposedly that is a hydro-massage shower, but you could have fooled me. Those mounted nozzles and attached upper shower head were fakes! (We had no idea how to turn them on.) No buttons, switches or what have you existed on the standard movable shower head or anywhere. We tried every conceivable option to turn them on. In theory (or for those non shower engineer challenged) this is a great amenity. Why didn't we ask about them? Well, I think we tried, but, gave up without a fight because it was just a few shower nozzles and we don't speak Spanish very well. (The front desk staff varied in terms of their proficiency in English. Some were fluent, others not at all.) However, all of them were absolutely lovely people who smiled often and genuinely seemed to care about us and our stay. Other noteworthy perks included the free wifi and the free guided tours. I have never come across a hotel that includes a tour in your stay! The pre-scheduled walking tours meet on certain days at 11am the lobby. We decided to take advantage and embarked on a four hour expedition lead by a lively British transplant - a young girl named Lonnie, along with an interesting cast of characters visiting from all over. The tour was fun, engaging and proved to be quite valuable for learning our way around Madrid. With a fresh and innovative approach, these affordable Madrid hotel rooms offer great value for the money. Situated in one of the best locations by which to explore the city and within a safe and spirited neighborhood, I would definitely recommend JC Rooms Santa Ana to travelers with a like minded budget and expectations.
JC Rooms Santa Ana
Calle De la Cruz, 8
Calle De la Cruz, 8