Does anyone have a recommendation for a centrally-located reasonably-priced Marriott property in Madrid? Something family-friendly and within walking distance of attractions and/or near public transportation would be ideal. Also, do Marriott points work the same in Europe as in the US? Can I use free nights that I earned with my Marriott credit card?
As a frequent visitor to Madrid, a few thoughts in response to your question:
1. In general, hotel and restaurants in Spain tended to be reasonably "kiddy-friendly", probably more so that the UK - in part, I think, because the "family" remains an important unit in Spanish daily life;
2. You need to bear in mind that one of the defining features of AC Hotels was/is(?) their business orientation - a factor which went side by side with their predominantly urban locations. That is not to say that AC's are likely to be antagonistic to families with children, but it is to forewarn you that they may not be set up specifically to cater for them. How much the Marriott branding will change this remains to be seen;
3. Following your "reasonably-priced" conveniently located criteria, I'd look at either the AC Carlton or the Atocha. Each is very close to the main Atocha rail station;and within walking distance to the 3 great art galleries and the Retiro park. They are also close to a Metro (subway) station, from which there is easy access to the other main tourist locations - Plaza Major, Sol, Lago - (even the Bernabeu Stadium if you have a son into soccer!) The Recoletos is another realistic option.
4. As you'd expect, pricing varies by brand. The two hotel I mentioned are likely to be in the region of 80 - 120 euros; if you are looking for something more sophisticated, then look at the Autograph brand sites, which will be priced at between 180- 300 euros
5. And, yes, the AC Hotels do accept points - with the required number again varying by brand; for example, the Carlton and Atocha will "charge" 20,000 points per night.
6. One small point to bear in mind: the AC Hotels now form part of the Marriott portfolio, but many still retain a distinctive "AC" sense of identity. Respecting this may help visitors get the type and level of support and information they might need.
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