Hotel Catalonia is a chain of Spanish hotels (probably Catalonian owned right?), which seems to be buying up older hotels and refurbishing them, like others in the US and Europe. The Plaza Mayor was the first HC hotel I stayed at, but if this is what they are all like I'll stay at more of them. There are 6 in Madrid, the Plaza Mayor opened in 2011.
Located right on Calle Atocha, its easy to get confused with another Hotel Catalonia, the Catalonia Atocha Hotel, which is right next to the Anton Martin metro stop (40m). The HC Plaza Mayor is a few blocks walk west of the Anton Martin metro stop, and right near the San Sebastian church. It was a 15 minute walk east and down hill to the Sophia art museum, and the Atocha main train station (or take the metro from Anton Martin). The Del Prado is another 10 minutes further to the north.
Since its a refurbishment, the rooms and furnishing are all new (as of 2011), and its light brown wood paneling everywhere, with modern furnishings in the bathroom. I had a room with a good queen bed, a small desk/side table on one side of the bed and a small table on the other. The desk was small if you planned to work from your room. The closets (2) and mini bar are built-in of the same light brown wood. A good sized room, with hardwood floor, there was plenty of floor space, and the bathroom was big also. Big shower (former bathtub) with a heated towel dryer that was actually working.
There is one building with rooms around a small courtyard (outdoor dining area on the ground floor), and each of those rooms has a window that opens to the courtyard if you want some air. I didn't see the rooms in the other section so i don't know if they had windows or what those opened to.
The small simple bar and dinning area was not staffed when I was there, and I did not have breakfast in the hotel. It didn't seem that many people were using the restaurant/bar. They did offer breakfast at a reduced rate if you paid upfront for more than one day. I had breakfast right across the street at a small cafe/coffee shop.
I ordered a veggie pizza from room service and got a pizza with vegetables and ham on it, which was ok with me, but might have been bothersome for a vegetarian. I think the kitchen/bar staff doesn't have much experience and maybe confused the directions for ham pizza and veggie pizza and made the everything pizza, but that's my guess.
Esthetic note: The stairway was pretty interesting, instead of installing new stairs, or totally re-doing them, they just sanded them to bare wood and varnished them. All the patches, filler, nail holes, and other funky old bits are there, exposed for all to see. Its an interesting contrast to the new wood and very angular finish of the rooms and hallways.
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