In-depth review ahead, short version-cheap accommodation in a great location provided you're not looking for quality and service, ideal for short break.
Stayed here for 4 nights in mid-October, booked on web direct with hotel due to little or no price difference with other sites. Very easy to find, it can be seen as soon as you exit the Opera metro station that is just a few metres away (or rather it will be once again when construction work is finished around the square). I guess you could miss it if you are just walking by as the hostel signs are on the upper floors and only a small plaque outside the door along with a buzzer and keycard slot. Press the hostel bell if door is locked and you'll be buzzed in.
The hostel reception is on the first floor (or second in some places, one above the ground), there are around 20 steps to walk up (not steep at all) or you can use the small lift.
Check-in was easy enough although please note that the staff speak little or no English. The reception seemed better manned at night than during the day however there was normally someone not far away. One day the maid left us with no towels and we had a little difficulty trying to get across what we wanted (Lastminute's talking iPhone phase book came in handy here) so be prepared to muddle through although
they did have someone English speaking on the phone to translate. You can leave your luggage with them after check-out however we choose to use the left luggage lockers at Atocha train station for quick retrieval before heading to airport after Bernabeu
The room itself was small (as expected) but clean. There was a 1 Euro operated safe in the closest and with some hangers and a shelf, a table and chair below an LCD TV and two bedside cabinets. Two windows overlooked a space in-between the buildings, not much to look at but certainly had no problems with street noise due to that fact! Noise could be heard from other rooms however but thankfully our neighbours were fairly quiet bar the rather loud snoring gent from our final two nights. Both windows had curtains plus a blind on the outside which could be lowered to totally block out light. The thing that lost us the most sleep was the pillow on the bed, the bed itself was fine but the pillow (note singular) was was thin, long and too low to be of any use and if one person wants to sleep and the other wants to sit up and read then you have a problem. In-between the windows was a radiator which came on at night and above the door was a air con unit. As we visited in October although it was fairly warm during the day the temperature dropped at night so the radiator heat was welcome but it did get the small room hot fairly quickly, thankfully you could turn it down or off. We didn't use the air con so can't comment. The free wifi worked flawlessly over our entire stay.
Regarding the TV, there are just two English channels, Sky News and Bloomberg (switch the source to analogue TV). The rest are all Spanish (DVB-T sourced, like Freeview). After getting bored with the same news I had a little play and found that a few of the domestic channels (notably Disney, Neox and .7 I think) also broadcast the undubbed sound on an audio side-channel. To try and change it press yellow
button on the remote then the right arrow and select the second/lower channel. The audio MAY change to English if broadcast, it typically worked on dubbed American TV shows.
Bathroom was also small (again as expected) but certainly adequate. There was a mirror and shelf above the sink from which (very) hot water was plentiful. There was a thin window which refused to lock but it did close and a shower attachment wrapped around the taps for the tiny bath.
We picked this accommodation mainly for it's location and it didn't disappoint. As stated it's just metres to Opera metro which will take you anywhere for 1 Euro (or to the airport for 2) on clean, efficient and punctual trains. You are also within two minutes walk from the palace and most other places you want to visit aren't too far either.
There is a large supermarket in the basement of El Corte Inglés just 5 minutes down the road and no shortage of places to eat in any direction. We felt extremely safe everywhere we went no matter what time it was plus there were police wherever you looked (as were street cleaners who seemed to take pride in keeping their city very clean). I recommend visits to the palace, the zoo (with very cute twin two-month
old baby Giant Pandas!) and Real Madrid Bernabeu stadium.
We had a wonderful trip and provided you aren't looking for 5 star accommodation, big room or wonderful view then this place is perfect, great location and easy on the wallet.
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- Also Known As:
- Oriente Hostal Madrid
- Oriente Hostal Hotel Madrid