Recently returned from Spain. Stayed at the AC Recoletos in Madrid on my last stop. Very nice hotel. Very clean room. Somewhat small room as compared to American hotels rooms but was expected for a European hotel.
Mini-bar is free and restocked daily (only alcoholic beverage in it is 1 beer).
No CL and no free breakfast. I had read that someone else said there was 'free' food on the bar or the check-in counter but the only thing I saw was jelly beans on the check-in counter which was fine by me.
Some good restaurants very near the hotel.
Thanks very much! I had a great trip.... didn't want to come home!!!
If you go, you must do the 'convent cookies' purchase! You ring the doorbell of the convent and say 'Dulces, por favor' (Sweets, please). The nun will buzz you in, look at the the price list next to the lazy susan and place your order. Your order will be swung around to you on the lazy susan, take your package and place your money on the lazy susan and swing it around back to the nun. If you need change, the nun will place it on the lazy susan and swing it back to you! All done without any face to face contact.... these are cloistered nuns.
Here's what was on my itinerary for the Madrid piece:
|Prado Museum||European Renaissance art - Velaquez, Goya, El Greco, etc|
Pick up the English floor plan as you enter.
Audio guide - 3.50
Photography not allowed
|Royal Palace (Palacio Real)||Sumptuous, lavishly furnished national palace. A must see!|
Audio tour - 4E
|Opera House (Teatro Real)||Opposite the Royal Palace opened in 1850|
|Plaza de Oriente||Plaza de Oriente is a haven of peace and tranquillity. The landscaped gardens are enclosed in a kind of semi-circular design. It's a leafy area with plants and trees beside broad walkways, one of which is lined with the statues of Spanish kings from the medieval period.|
|Descalzas Royal Monastery (Monestasterio de las Descalzas Reales) - Monestary of the barefoot Royal Nuns||Most visit worthy! Founded in 16th c.|
Founded by Juana, youngest daughter of carlos I, it contains a splendid Baroque staircase and a number of art treasures.
|Real Monasterio de la Encarnacion||Once connected to Royal Palace Convent meant to be a refuge for the women of the royal family in case of some novelty. Church is a splendid example of 18th C architecture by Ventura Rodriguez. In relicry, is vial of san Pantaleon's blood which is said to liquify every year on 27 July|
|Puerta del Sol||Marks the center of Madrid, lively central square|
|Plaza Mayor (Main Square)||Center of 17th century cobblestone district|
|Plaza Santa Ana|
|Retiro Park - Crystal Palace (Parque del Buen Retiro)||See at sunset from across lake for a great photo op? Inside, floor reflects all the colors… beautiful! PHOTOS!!!|
Real Jardin Botanico - small charge - just to the south of the Prado, created in 1774 by Carlos III, tranquil and lush w// green houses a shaded walkway of Spanish vines
|Mercado de Ibiza||Municipal market on Ibiza near the eastern side of Retiro Park|
|Grand Via||For walk/architechture/shops|
|Chapel of San Antonio de la Florida (Ermita de San Antonio)||Church w/ Goya's tomb plus frescoes by him|
Goya's extraordinary frescoes - walls and ceiling showing St. Anthony raising a murdered man from the dead.
|Temple de Debod|
1968, Egypt gave Spain an ancient temple as gift for help in rescuing monuments threatened by rising Nile waters. Original Egyptian temple with fine carved reliefs from 200 BC!
Tremendous sunset photo op!!!!
|Market in historic center|
|Puerta de Alcala||Gorgeous photo op at night! Neoclassical gate|
|Plaza de Cibeles||Plaza de Cibeles is a square with a neo-classical complex of marble sculptures with fountains that has become an iconic symbol for the city of Madrid. It sits at the intersection of Calle de Alcalá (running from east to west), Paseo de Recoletos (to the North) and Paseo del Prado (to the south). Plaza de Cibeles was originally named Plaza de Madrid, but in 1900, the City Council named it Plaza de Castelar, which was eventually replaced by its current name.|
|Mercado de San Miguel||Lavish displays of Jamon, shellfish, cheeses, pastries, wines and beer, and fresh produce. Many Madrilenos patronize the market more for tapas and snacks than anything else|
|Mercado de Maravillas||Biggest of the Madrid's old-style covered markets. Part of its success must be its location: the Calle Bravo Murillo runs right through the densely populated and traditional neighborhoods of Estrecho and Tetuan.|
|Mercado de la Paz||Lacy iron-and-glass coverd market was designed in the late-19th Century by Gustave Eiffel (of Tower fame), and today individual stalls showcase an abundance of epicurean fare ranging from hams and cheeses to fresh fruit and vegetables to fresh meats and seafood.|
|El Rastro Market||Only on Sunday morning|
|Plaza de Villa||Pretty pediestrian square and showcase of Madrid architechture from 15th-17th c. Main attraction is the Baroque Casa de la Villa, or town hall. Also note the Torre de los Lujanes, w/ Mudejar arches and a Gothic portal|
Here are 3 that I enjoyed:
Pelotari (very good steak, sit in the front room as the back room has a huge TV on the wall)
Calle Recoletos 3 (same street as the hotel)
La Kitchen (very good duck confit and drunken carrot cake)
Calle Prim 15 (few blocks away from the hotel)
Lateral (good lunch place for tapas, nice outdoor seating)
Velazquez 57 in Plaza Santa Ana
There's also a seafood restaurant on Calle Recoletos that was good. Can't remember the name. Close to Pelotari on the same side of the street.
I think so. It is a city I've visited many times over the last two decades and it has always been a source of great enjoyment, catering - depending on your tastes - for art (must be one of the great centres in the world), heritage, fashion, design, sports (I think I wrote in an earlier piece about the significance of Real Madrid soccer team in Castillean history and politics), wine and cuisine. NewHiltonmember's excellent list of places to visit gives an exhaustive (and probably exhausting) flavour of the city. And if you manage to complete that itinerary, I'd suggest a few "day trips" - by the relatively cheap and easy train service - to the likes of Toledo, El Escorial and Aranquez. Even Salamanca is within range if you get up early enough.
Two points to note:
1. Climate: Madrid sits on the Castillean Plateau at an altitude of approx 2000 metres, one consequence of which is that the summers (mid-June/end-August) are baking hot and the winters (December/mid-Feb) are very cold.
2. Politics: You'll have read about the various economic problems confronting Spain at present. A corollary to these is the political tension that is currently threatening to destabilize, and even break up, the post-Franco political constitution. Next month will see " independence votes" in the Basque country and Catalonia, both of which could easily be won by pro-separatist parties. If this happens, it is possible that we will see a repeat of the "UK-Scotland" situation.
Best for now,
Thank you for another classic Nhm most useful/helpful post. The room looks lovely, and I hope/trust you had a terrific time. I have a couple of questions... Did you (or anybody else) notice anything of concern in the 4th and 5th pictures? I don't mean to by coy...so to be a bit more specific, it's with regards to the toilet. Also, did you happen to inquire about whether or not the AC hotel accepts Marriott gift cards?
Thank You for taking the time to produce the detailed post on Madrid. Last month I stayed at the AC hotel in Florence, Italy and it also had a frosted glass bathroom wall and door along with a hardwood floor. I wonder if this a common theme in AC hotels. At first it seemed weird; however, after a few days it no longer struck me as unusual.
More Madrid links on MI
Hotel Ritz Madrid http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/madrt
AC Santo Mauro, Autograph Collection http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/madma
AC Hotel Aitana http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/madai
AC Hotel Aravaca http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/madac
AC Hotel Arganda http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/madar
AC Hotel Atocha http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/madat
AC Hotel Carlton Madrid http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/madca
AC Hotel Coslada Aeropuerto http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/madco
AC Hotel Cuzco http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/madcu
AC Hotel La Finca http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/madfi
AC Hotel Los Vascos http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/madva
AC Hotel Madrid Feria http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/madfe
AC Hotel Monte Real http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/madmr
AC Hotel Recoletos http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/madrc
AC Hotel Rivas Vaciamadrid http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/madri
AC Hotel San Sebastian de los Reyes http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/madse
AC Palacio Del Retiro, Autograph Collection http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/hotels/madre
An update to this thread with this year's stay at the AC Recoletos in Madrid. Stayed 2 nights at the end of August before flying home. Was upgraded to a larger, corner room this year. My Plat status (not Lifetime status) and that I was a returning guest was mentioned by the staff on check-in. Received the 500 points welcome gift in addition to a cheese/fruit plate dellivered to my room.
Great staff, great location, very clean! Highly recommend this hotel!
Here are pics from this year's room:
Hello pained plat,
My experience of the AC's is that:
1. In general, they do not have lounges.
2. Whether or not they offer comp. breakfasts varies widely. For example, the AC Carlton and Atocha in Madrid, in Valencia, Girona and Seville do not; while the AC in Bologna does.
All best wishes,
Thanx for the pictures!
It really helps in making decisions about properties to be able to see what it looks like.