We arrived in Madrid on 7th October and opted to take a taxi to Vincci Capitol Hotel instead of taking the Metro. The taxi meter fare was about 35 euros, however, please be forewarned that it costs more than that as the driver added extra on top which cost us £43.50 explaining in Spanish something about tax levy. There was no point arguing with the driver as it was exactly the same experience with our return trip from the hotel to the airport. The taxi ride took about 20-25 minutes from the airport to Vincci Capitol hotel which is on Gran Via, city centre. Gran Via is the main road running through the city centre, with hotels, restaurants, shops and businesses on both sides.
The hotel is situated next to the Capitol theater and the Callao cinema. Up a few steps and through two lots of glass sliding doors, we entered into the hotel foyer which is dimly lit, not very bright. We checked in at Reception on the left and given Room 608, We asked for a room with a view and the receptionist told us it would cost us extra for an upgrade so we did not bother. There are 2 glass elevators which you can take to the rooms. The room was quite spacious, with 2 single beds pushed together as a double; a glass fronted wardrobe with a safe and mini bar in the middle; a writing desk; a single arm chair; a wall flatscreen TV and a LCD screen for internet display. There is a keyboard in the room if you wish to use the hotel internet connection which would set you back 10 euro, unlimited. There is not much on the TV, however, you can select and purchased movie to watch at 13.50 euros a film. The bathroom is well equipped with a bath and an overhead shower, toilet and a uber cool wash-hand basin. The room is dimly lit unless you turn it up at the control. The room card acts as your energy charger on the wall, which is hotel standard these days. We had room only as 15.40 euros each for breakfast was too steep, however, we did try breakfast one morning to see what it was like on 1st Floor. It was pretty much basic with a selection of cold meat; cakes; fresh fruits; cereal; scrabbled egg with streaky bacon and mini sausages, OJ juice and tea/coffee.
The hotel is clean, modern, comfortable and in a good location in the city. We did not have much interaction with reception staff during our stay and did not find them very customer-friendly and helpful.
We would recommend a stay at this hotel as it is in a good location.
There are loads of cafes and restaurants on Gran Via and on the side streets outside and near the hotel, so we would recommend that you try those for breakfast, lunch or dinner for variety. Directly opposite the hotel across Gran Via is a corner cafe/bakery shop which serves lovely freshly made breads of all kinds, cakes and patisserie. It serves breakfasts and light snacks and meals. We dined there several times for breakfast and light lunches. The staff are friendly. There are more seats downstairs with a long central table which we find charming. Oh, they serve tea/coffee in bowls - very innovative. The cafe is called Le Pain.
We tried several restaurants near the hotel and we would recommend the Topolino which serves a buffet as well as from a mini menu. The Taberna Real at Plaza de Isabel II is a good cafe/restaurant to have a few coffee or beer out on the terrace or you can dine inside or on the enclosed terrace on the side.
The Playa Major is about 15-20 minutes walk from the hotel and it is a huge square surrounded by manificent buildings on four sides with restaurants and shops all round. There are street impressionists trying to earn a few pennies. You could try out the restaurants here which cater for tourists visiting the square. Outside the square, there is the San Miguel market, a place where you can drink and eat at the various stalls, from seafood, tapas to cakes. It is worth visiting the Playa Major.
One way to look at the city is go on the city open top tour bus, which costs 25 euros per person for a one day tour. It takes you to historical buildings and you can hop on and off at each stop if you wish.
No different from any other major Cities, please take care of your handbags or wallets and avoid counting or displaying a wad of cash in the middle of a street. We heard tales of handbags snatchers, although we did not witness any whilst we were there in Madrid. There are a lot of beggars and homeless people on the streets.
Apart from the tips above, we had a lovely time in Madrid and the weather whilst we were there was very warm, circa 24 degrees and the midday and afternoon sun was scorching. A city of high rises, busy and buzzling.
(7-11th October 2013)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- In the heart of Madrid: the Hotel Vincci Capitol, located right on the Gran Vía and Plaza Callao. It is a building symbolic of Madrid’s “Art Deco” civil architecture. The ground floor houses one of the most famous cinemas on Madrid’s Gran Vía, Cines Capitol. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Vincci Madrid