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“Hostile staff, unattractive room, parking a fiasco”
Review of Pension Mardones

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Pension Mardones
Ranked #19 of 25 Bilbao B&B and Inns
Paris
Level Contributor
56 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Hostile staff, unattractive room, parking a fiasco”
Reviewed August 29, 2013

Bilboa is beautiful but the parking situation spoiled our stay. It is extremely complicated to park near the centre and the staff is totally unhelpful. It took us three international calls from a cell phone and more than an hour to locate the parking. The hotel told us that the parking attendants did not take money but when we reached the parking they in fact menacingly demanded ten euros in cash (which we did refuse, after much tension!) and told us to park anywhere. When we reached the hotel the owner proceeded to yell at us, literally, using really vulgar words in Spanish, telling us we had parked on the wrong floor. We left the car anyway and the next day returned to the parking lot have yet another argument as the attendant tried, again, to get the ten euros in cash that he was not supposed to request since the hotel was to pay him directly. The hotel room itself was rather small and dark, which we could have forgiven because of the location but the hostility of the staff and parking lot people was astounding.

Room Tip: Find abother hotel and if you can't then don't bring your car!!!!
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank PacoParis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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87 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
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English first
Thessaloniki, Greece
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed July 2, 2013

Last June, me and my friend, two greek women, visited Bilbao and stayed in Pension Mardones. We have no words to describe the amazing hospitality of the Pension's owner, as he helped through various situations. The rooms smell excellent, they are comfortable and really clean and the location super central! On top of that the price is great! Gracias Sr José Francisco!!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BANTOYLA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Haven, Connecticut
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2013

Great location in the Casco Viejo district. Easy to go pintxos hopping and within a block or two of the tram stop. In nice weather the Guggenheim is within walking distance. Even though our room balcony faced the calle, there was no problem with street noise and sleeping. The host was wonderful; we were there on my birthday and he gave me a nice gift on departing.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Charlie760
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level Contributor
55 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed February 10, 2013

Very good value and location. The rooms were comfortable and clean, and we didn't hear any noise from outside (although the walls are thin). The area around is great for going out too with lots of bars and places to eat.

Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank AlexMLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Malaga, Spain
Level Contributor
17 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed October 8, 2012

I stayed a total of 4 nights at this pension in October. It is certainly nothing fancy, at all. Completely function over form but worth the price. Situated in the center of Casco Viejo and across from numerous yummy restaurants and shopping you couldn't ask for a better location. It was always a short walk to find a good breakfast, lunch or dinner. Bilbao can be a very expensive city and I was happy to pay less for a clean, simple room so that I could afford to eat the good food.

Room Tip: If you want quiet room then get a room toward the back of the building. If you want to see the actio...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank HodgeAdventures
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed September 16, 2012 via mobile

Pension Mardones is perfectly located in the old town. Walking distance to all the major sights and the main train station. It's a short tram ride to the bus station if you are travelling this way.
Bilbao itself exceeded all expectations, it's a beautiful city!
My only criticism is the size and comfort of the "double" bed. Two people cannot sleep comfortably in a bed that size and the mattress was obviously very old with springs sticking into you.
It was very noisy at night, but we were expecting that from others reviews.
The staff were difficult to pin down when needed and don't speak any English.

Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Jess F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chesham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2012

The Pension Madrones might seem a tad overpriced at first, but, surprisingly, it is not. The location is unbelievably good, the building is situated in a narrow street in the middle of the older part of the city, and the building itself, with its porcelain wall decorations and stairways made of dark polished wood, possesses a great air of antiquity about it.

Pros:
- Magnificent location: as I looked out of the window, I often caught myself thinking that I am on a movie set. The conversations and songs from the nearby cafes create a very relaxed, yet colourful ambiance.
- The proprietor is a very refined gentleman — courteous, charismatic and helpful. I have booked the wrong type of apartment by mistake and he exchanged it for an ensuite one as an act of sheer courtesy. Most appreciated.
- The building is very old, and it is presented in style: wooden floors, carved wooden furniture, antique window frames... It is full of character and inspires a thoughtful, romantic mood.
- The room I have stayed in was very large, huge by hostel standards.

Cons:
- Somehow they have failed to install any wall fixture to hold the shower, which renders the whole thing barely functional. The shower is still usable, but uncomfortable and inefficient to say the least.
- The Wi-Fi signal in my room was somewhat weak. The connection worked but was not that fast or reliable.

Things to Keep in Mind:
- It might get a tad noisy at night due to all the cafes and bars surrounding the place. Personally, I found that it contributed to the overall atmosphere, and it never affected my sleep, yet if you are looking for an absolutely quiet place you might want to consider this.

Verdict:
- Despite the somewhat flaky WiFi signal and the inability to use the shower properly, the outstanding character and exceptional atmosphere the place offers, as well as a remarkably pleasant host, yield Pension Mardones a solid 5.

Room Tip: I have stayed in Room 8 and I could recommend it - a huge room with a very nice view.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ZeroHistory
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pension Mardones

Property: Pension Mardones
Address: c/ Jardines n. 4 20 y 30 | Casco Viejo, 48005 Bilbao, Spain
Location: Spain > Basque Country > Province of Vizcaya > Bilbao
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #19 of 25 B&Bs / Inns in Bilbao
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 18
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Restored house, oak beams exposed, endearing. 11 Rooms with bathroom,7 Rooms without bathroom heating and TV. Next to the metro, trams, trains and buses, to 5 'of the Guggenheim. Area wealth of architectural, shops and restaurants pintxos. ... more   less 
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