Interestingly enough I just received an email after our three night stay at this hotel asking us to fill in a survey as to whether this hotel exceeded our expectations. Sadly to say this hotel did not. Despite the accolades and being a leading hotel of the world we could say, at best, that what we received was good but not great - and would probably make us consider staying elsewhere next time we are in Madrid.
Why, you may ask? Well firstly before we even arrived - was our disappointment with the airport transfer from the airport to the hotel. On line the hotel advertises a Mercedes S class stretch limousine transfer with a private chaffeur - when we wrote to enquire about an airport transfer they only offered us some Mercedes shuttle bus transfer service. We queried the type of vehicle offered by email and received no response. The transfer was there when we arrived but as mentioned it was a shuttle bus Mercedes and not a comfortable S class stretch limousine as what was advertised as the transfer vehicle on the website. If the hotel had only advised that maybe there was not one available - then we would have been more appeased - but they didn't so this made us somewhat dissatisfied.
On arrival at the hotel - reception was pleasant enough yet appeared to have had more than one reservation for us - something we were not aware of as we had only made one reservation online for the hotel, quoting 380 Euros for the first night and 400 for the subsequent nights - reception changed this on check in to 400 for the first two nights and 380 for the last night - probably in case we wanted to check out and not stay - they would then still have get the higher rate. Talk about austerity measures in Spain - or should we just call it day light robbery.
On arrival in the room - it was fairly much what we expected - but no more - actually in fact less. There was no complimentary water in the bathroom nor to drink - there was no tea or coffee making service available nor a butler service providing this at no charge. However you could via room service order tea or coffee at an exorbitant 9 or 10 euros each. Whoa!! Don't call me frugal but I do call this pricing somewhat over the top.
When we contacted reception to query whether there was any complimentary tea or coffee available we were told sorry no - but later when we went downstairs we did receive a complimentary welcome cocktail voucher for the bar - this was well received and we made our way to the bar when it opened (a place we would not normally venture to) and proceeded to enjoy ourselves for the next few hours trying out delightful Spanish red wine, some appetisers, and a complimentary cocktail from the hotel.
We then proceeded to the Chinese restaurant where we had a set menu which was well prepared but as we were so full from the time we had spent in the bar we could not fully appreciate it. The decor and service were pleasant and must be an OK place to go as it was popular there during the lunch hour of the day we arrived.
Back to the room we stayed in - the hotel did deliver a fruit bowl with two crunchy green apples and a red apple - which we enjoyed. Aside from this and ourselves the room had no life, no greenery, no flowers. Somewhat austere in line with the economic measures the government is taking in Spain at the moment.
The bath and shower were OK. Housekeeping provided more bath essence when we requested it, but the complimentary shoe shine highly promoted in the guest compendium was done to a level which made me not want to get my second pair of shoes done. As for the black stockings and inhaler drugs left in our room by accident (?) by housekeeping it made you question the kind of job they had done. Supposedly we were meant to receive two turn down services a day - but on our last day there they must have thought they would save themselves some time and money by not appearing, nor providing this service.
Over our three days there we enjoyed breakfast in the Villa Magna Restaurant. The cooked food was divine and beautifully presented but the buffet food on offer although pleasant to the eye and to taste - was somewhat austere. The dining room on the second day was so warm that the cheeses displayed were covered in beads of sweat and not at all appetising to look at. In addition some of the restaurant staff were so busy gossiping with each other they had no time to check whether the customers plates needed clearing. The daily gossip session appeared to be a morning ritual. Our dining table on a daily basis started to appear like a recycling centre with all these empty dishes waiting to be cleared but seemingly invisible to the staff who were there to clear it away. They brought plates of food to the table but appeared to have some aversion to dealing with dirty dishes and taking them away.
In addition they were so inattentive to detail that they did not even notice whether the salt and pepper shakers were filled with salt and pepper and or just plain salt. Two days in a row both our salt and pepper shakers were filled with just plain salt. Not something I would have expected from a restaurant in a leading hotel of the world.
We had tea in the lounge twice at a high price of 9 Euros per teapot which contained no more than two averages sized cups of tea. The tea options were plentiful and the tea tasted fine. The lounge chairs were extremely comfortable and it was a nice place to relax and unwind. The cookies provided were tasty and a pleasant accompaniment to the tea. We would recommend the Mandalay tea and Japanese green tea.
Safety and security wise this hotel had no security key to the different room levels, any stranger could go up or down and to any guest floor they desired. There were security cameras on the floors but still a security key lock to the guest rooms would be something you would expect from a hotel that markets themselves at this level.
Enough said, out of five I would only rank this hotel that charged more than other hotels in town, a 3 1/2 to 4 out of a 5. I feel that some of the staff are resting on their laurels and it is just a matter of time before they lose out to their competitors in the market place if they keep up this level of inadequate service.
We asked for a quiet room and were given a room that faces the shopping district. In hindsight I wo...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
3 May 2012
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Charles L. Morris
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC