On a recent trip to Madrid, I was challenged with finding a moderately priced, well-located hotel in the Spanish capital. Having had this same challenge many times in cities around the world, I knew that finding quality, affordable lodging in city center would be difficult.
Eventually, after hours of cross referencing hundreds of listings on TripAdvisor and a variety of hotel booking sites, I found the proverbial needle in the haystack of Madrid hotels: The Hotel Santo Domingo. Of course I thought I had found the perfect place, but since hotels are notorious for using creative camera angles to project the perfect image, it was hard to know the truth.
Like most tourists arriving from the U.S., we were in Madrid early and made our way to the hotel straightaway. Even though the Santo Domingo is centrally located close to the Gran Via, that doesn’t mean that it is an easy trek from the airport. Finally, after 45 minutes and three metro train changes, we arrived.
The hotel is directly in front of the metro, so finding it really wasn’t a challenge. We checked in and were escorted up to our room and we were shocked by what we saw. Let me back up and say that the lobby was ultra modern, clean and gorgeous. However, from many hotel stays I know that the lobby is not a good predictor of room quality and given the age of the nearby buildings, I was a little worried.
My fears though were laid to rest when we entered the room. We were greeted by a spacious room with ultra modern finishings and a remarkable wall of windows providing a gorgeous view of the area. Technology was also a theme throughout and, while fascinating at first, quickly became annoying when we couldn‘t figure out how to operate any of the lights.
The obsession with technology continued into the bathroom with the best shower I have seen in a hotel – ever. A useless, but cool, added bonus was color therapy built into the shower. That’s right, if you have ever fancied taking a shower with green or red water, this is your chance.
Throughout our stay we were impressed by the hotel staff and the overall cleanliness of the property. Even better was its amazing location. In five minutes you can be at the Palacio Real, Calle Arenal or the middle of the Gran Via. Personally, I believe that having a prime location is key when traveling, especially if you are tight on time.
I had the opportunity to peek around the hotel a bit and was very pleased with the consistency throughout. The hotel went through a massive, five year construction process and even now not all the rooms are open. However, I was assured that the remaining rooms and the rooftop pool will be completed soon. All of the rooms have the same modern elements, but each is decorated in a different theme or style contributing to a boutique hotel feel. Rooms vary in size, but all seem very comfortable and certainly in line with European standards.
The Hotel Santo Domingo checks all of the boxes: location, value and quality. I can think of no better place to stay on your next visit to Madrid.