Finding a hotel in Madrid is easy – because there are a lot. But finding the right one might not be quite as easy, so we are ready to help you out. Read this Madrid hotel guide if you are looking for a great place to stay. We recommend a few different hotels, so at least one of them will be sure to match your preferences.
We are also looking into the best areas to stay in. You get a complete checklist of what to look for when you are trying to find a hotel for your trip to Madrid.
Our favorite Madrid hotel
Our favorite central hotel in Madrid is Hotel Emperador. Highly recommended for any traveler who wants to stay in a perfect hotel, right in the middle of the city.
It’s not exactly new and modern, but it’s damn historic, it has a lot of rooms, everybody speaks English, and you never have to walk far if you want to do something nice.
Hotel Emperador is over 70 years old. It’s a typical choice for travelers that want a nice experience, without paying an unreasonable amount of money.
Many great events have taken place inside this hotel in Madrid. The Royal family of Spain has been there. Several other famous people have been there. Yet, the hotel is not arrogant about it – everybody is welcome.
What we liked about Emperador
We like the grand history of the hotel. We like the vibe you get when you walk into it. We like how clean the rooms are, and we like all the additional facilities it has to offer.
Also, a really great thing about Hotel Emperador is the view. If you get a room with a window overlooking Gran Vía, wow! Looks completely amazing.
The location of the hotel is a huge advantage. You are right on Gran Vía, in the middle of Madrid, inside a nice hotel. Doesn’t get any better than that!
We also like the service that they provide. In this hotel, everybody speaks two languages. So even if your Spanish is not great, you can easily get by with English or French.
The reception is open 24 hours. You can check-in and check-out any time it suits you. You can ask for help anytime if there is an issue with the room, or if you need recommendations for the city. All great.
All the facilities
Hotel Emperador has a lot of facilities. Aside from the central location and the nice rooms, you get plenty of other advantages as well.
For example, there is a rooftop with a swimming pool. There are also comfortable chairs if you just want to sit down, enjoy the sun, and have a perfect view of the city.
If you are sporty, the hotel has a gym. You can also book a massage if needed.
Like most of the best hotels in Madrid, it has breakfast, a very enjoyable restaurant, a nice café and a bar.
Then there are the basics:
- Elevator to all floors
- A smoker’s zone
- Sound-isolated rooms
- A safe for your valuables
- Room service
- Opportunity to book a conference room
- Opportunity to book a room for a party/celebration
And of course: The hotel has free Wi-Fi for all visitors. Unlike other hotels with slow and flawed internet connection, here it actually works. You can even stream movies from your laptop while staying there, that’s how effective it is.
Location and nearby attractions
The hotel is located on Calle Gran Vía 53. Right in the middle of Madrid. A perfect location for shopping and for going to the theatre – but also great for seeing sights and attractions around the city.
Callao is just a short walk away. So is Plaza de España and Puerta del Sol. You can also walk to Opéra in less than five minutes.
The closest metro station is Santo Domingo. However, you also have various other stations close. It’s possible to cook a taxi right to the door if you need it.
The airport is 13 kilometers away. It takes less than and hour to get back and forward between the airport and the hotel.
Price and booking
The standard prices of Hotel Emperador are above-average when it comes to hotels in Madrid. It’s not exactly cheap, because the hotel strives to be a high-class, quality hotel.
However, the prices are still lower than many average hotels in cities such as London and Paris.
In other words, even though Emperador is expensive based on Spanish standards, you get high value for your money. Compared to other countries – it’s no longer an expensive hotel. However, it remains a quality hotel, and that’s where the value is.
At times you might even be lucky and catch a special discount. Looking online, approximately 2-6 weeks before you arrive, is the ideal time to look for discounts.
You can usually book a double room for 120 euros per night. Not too bad, and at times there are discounts all the way down to 90 euros per night. Obviously, it’s more expensive during the travel season in the middle of the summer. But even so, prices are acceptable all year around.
Another central hotel
We have several other recommendations if you like to have more options to choose from. The first one is Hotel Ópera – a great hotel, located right next to the Royal Palace.
Hotel Ópera takes the name after Ópera, another famous place in Madrid that is also very close. This is a central hotel in Madrid, although closer to the old sights than to the newer attractions.
This hotel has clean rooms, free Wi-Fi internet, a very nice restaurant, a bar, and much more. The rooms are in great conditions, and they vary in size. That is a good thing since you get the opportunity to book a small room if you are on a budget. At the same time, you can get a large and luxurious room if money is not an issue.
The closest metro stop is Ópera – from here you can travel with the popular line 5, or you can take the short route to Príncipe Pío. Line 2 also passes through and goes to other popular places such as Retiro and Sol.
However, if you stay at this hotel, a lot of Madrid’s attractions are within walking distance. That is a huge advantage. Two of the main sights of the city, The Royal Palace and the Almudena Cathedral, are just within a short walk. If you fancy some shopping or some theatre, Gran Vía is only 500 meters away.
The prices at Hotel Ópera usually start at 70 euros per night for the smallest rooms. If you want a double room with a view to the Royal Palace, expect to pay a bit above 100 euros per night. Still, that’s a great deal. This hotel is popular and all the facilities are on point. It’s well-reviewed by almost all visitors.
Budget-friendly and cheap hotels in Madrid
There are many other hotels in Madrid that are also worth considering. Due to the generally low prices in Spain, when comparing to other European countries, it’s easier to find great hotels for decent prices.
It is possible to find hotels between 40 and 50 euros per night. This would be very difficult in cities such as London, Paris, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and other major capitals. Even in Barcelona, it would be difficult to find good hotels for such prices.
We fully recommend the two previous hotels we mentioned – Hotel Emperador and Hotel Ópera – but if you prefer something at a lower price, check out these great alternatives:
Hotel Mirador Puerta del Sol
This hotel is very close to Sol, which is pretty much the ideal location. The rooms are nice, and although there are not so many extra facilities, it is an excellent hotel for most purposes.
The prices are very low, and it’s not uncommon to see rooms for less than 50 euros for most of the year. During the summer, it can get a bit higher, due to the high demand for hotel rooms. But it is a cheap hotel compared to so many others, and since the quality is quite nice, you get significant value by booking a room here.
In fact, the only real downside is that the hotel is so popular that rooms are usually booked well in advance. You might be lucky and find something within two weeks notice, but we recommend you to book a month before you arrive. A smaller downside is that the hotel is located on a pedestrian street, so if you take a taxi, it will not deliver you right at the door. But on the other hand, it’s nice that the hotel is not surrounded by auto traffic!
From the Mirador Hotel, you can walk to Sol within a minute or two. A walk to Gran Vía is less than 5 minutes. Overall, an awesome location, and you have several metro stations close by too.
Hotel Freedom is slightly more expensive than Mirador – prices usually start at 70 euros – but it is higher rated, and it is still one of the best hotels in Madrid when you are on a budget.
This hotel has a rating of 9 out of 10. That is extremely good for accommodation within this price range, so if you spot an available room here, we recommend you to book it ASAP. It is very cheap compared to the value you get.
About the location: Hotel Freedom is located very central in Madrid. The nearest metro station is the popular Antón Martín. You also have the highly-rated museum Reina Sofía within a few minutes of walking. If you want to walk to Sol, it takes around 7-8 minutes, which is not bad. You can also get to the Atocha train station within minutes. Very useful if you are coming to Madrid with a train, or if you are planning for a day trip while you are here.
The price is the highlight of this hotel, but some other benefits are super clean rooms, free Wi-Fi, well-working air-condition, and the fact that the workers speak English well. It has a bar if you want a drink. There are also a wide variety of tv-channels available. The Hotel Freedom gets particularly good reviews by families with children, so it can be categorized as very family-friendly.
Luxury hotels in Madrid
We almost consider Hotel Emperador to be a luxury hotel. It was the first hotel we recommended, and it remains a great choice, as it has the perfect location, a glorious history, great views, and so much more. However, it is just 4 stars, so even though we consider it a luxury hotel, it is not officially recognized as such.
Because of that, check out this additional hotel that we looked into:
Gran Hotel Inglés
Here we have a 5-star hotel. The prices start at 300 euros per night, but absolutely worth it if you want luxury.
Its interior is absolutely beautiful, and the rooms have the original art deco-style. One of the highlights is the wonderful restaurant that is a part of Gran Hotel Inglés. It is called Lobo 8 and serves modern Mediterranean dishes.
Regarding the location, it is one of the most central hotels in Madrid. First of all, it is located in Barrio de las Letras, one of the city’s most interesting areas. Secondly, it has many great theatres near, and a walk to Sol takes just about 5 minutes at most.
If you are interested in art, be sure to check the Thyssen-Bornemisza hotel, less than 400 meters away. It is one of the best museums in Europe.
Overall, we recommend this hotel very much, as it has the best variety of facility of all the hotels we reviewed. The service is absolutely top-notch and the rooms are very luxurious.
Book an Airbnb in Madrid
There are just as many Airbnb’s in Madrid as there are hotels. Perhaps even more. On Airbnb, you will find listings for holiday apartments, provided by locals in Madrid.
It’s a great idea to book an Airbnb if you want a true and authentic experience. Living in an apartment gives off a different vibe than staying in a hotel. It feels more personal. And there are a lot of advantages: For example, you have a lot of freedom, you have a kitchen where you can cook, and in most cases there is more space as well.
The only negative is that you don’t get the kind of personal service you would get in a hotel. There is usually not any additional facilities at an Airbnb, like there would be at a major hotel in Madrid. However, that is fine for most travelers. If you are the resourceful and self-sufficient type, you will probably enjoy an Airbnb holiday apartment a lot!
As for the prices – expect to pay approximately the same as you would for a hotel room. Small apartments can be a bit cheaper, while huge Airbnb’s are the same price as luxury hotel rooms.
Aside from full apartments, you also have the option of booking a single room in someone’s apartment and thereby sharing the place with a local. A cheaper option that some people like to use.
Find an Airbnb here and get a discount on your first booking!
Book a bed in a hostel
If you want to save money, a hostel can be a good option.
In Spanish, the name for hostel is almost the same – hostal.
You will find a lot of them throughout the city, especially in central areas such as Malasaña and La Latina.
Hostels are way cheaper than hotel rooms and Airbnb apartments. You can often get a bed in a hostel for less than 20 euros per night, even in the deep centre of Madrid.
The obvious advantage is that you will save money from staying in a hostel. It’s always inexpensive. For a small amount, you can stay very central in the city, right where everything is happening. You will also get the chance to socialize with other travelers since hostels are always full of interesting people. And, at last, hostels usually arrange fun events that you can be a part of.
The downsides are that you have to share a room (and bathroom) with strangers, that the surroundings are louder, and that there is less service than in a hotel. However, if you can live with these things, and if the main goal is saving money, then absolutely go for a hostel.
Some hostels do offer private rooms. You can find the ones that do by searching online.
Hostels can be found on Booking.com, usually for quite good prices!
The best areas for finding accommodation
There are many great areas in Madrid, and since the city is quite large, we assume that it’s nice with some tips for finding the right area.
Generally speaking, you want to be as close to the centre as possible. The centre is considered to be Puerta del Sol. Any place that is within 1-2 kilometers of Sol is a great location.
A hotel on Gran Vía is as good as it gets. The main street of Madrid has theatres, huge stores and several nice attractions. And like Sol, it’s right in the middle. Sol and Gran Vía are close to each other and connected by several streets. The first hotel we recommended is on Gran Vía, but just a short walking distance to Sol and other central locations, so that is a perfect example.
Staying around Ópera and Plaza Mayor – also very good choices.
Anywhere in La Latina, another central district, can be recommended. Very central and with a nice charm. The only downside is that this district has fewer metro lines than the others.
Malasaña and Chueca are super central areas, both are just north of Gran Vía. They are known to be hip and modern. You will find a lot of unique stores, restaurants, bars and clubs in these areas of Madrid. They are great places to stay, and it’s generally easy to find a hotel in either Malasaña or Chueca. However, it is even easier to find a hostel – something that many young people take advantage of when they look for accommodation in Madrid.
Lavapiés is a more multicultural area. Has some charm, and many nice restaurants, but is also considered to be a little bit more unsafe. You can easily find an Airbnb here, and there are some hotels as well. It’s a central and historic neighborhood, which is the great part.
Atocha and its southern neighborhoods are nice residential areas to stay in. And very practical if you intend to take the trains to other places during your trip.
Up north in Chamartín is nice, although not the absolute best. Simply because it’s a bit away from the historical centre, but you will probably be able to find some nice hotels here. So, if you don’t mind taking the metro as transport, it can be considered as well.
Don’t stay in areas such as Carabanchel and Vallecas. Not that they are terrible, but they are just not as much fun.
The hotel checklist
When you are looking for a hotel, you can use this convenient checklist to make sure everything is alright.
- Location – make sure it’s central.
- Rooms – look at pictures to see if they are nice.
- Facilities – hotel sites usually describe what extra facilities the hotel has.
- Reviews – look at reviews from previous visitors. Anything that is above-average is usually fine.
- Price – make sure the hotel has a price that you are comfortable with.
If you find a hotel with great location, nice and clean rooms, some extra facilities, great reviews, and a price that is within your budget – then it’s probably the perfect hotel. And if so, we recommend booking it.
We did this checklist for all of the hotels we described in the beginning, and they lived up to it. So feel free to book a room in either one of those. But of course, it is nice to have the checklist available if you want to search for other nice hotels; or to have it ready for your next trip, after Madrid.
There are a lot of nice hotels in Madrid. You have a lot of good options to choose between, and we hope that you enjoyed this guide. Feel free to book a room at Hotel Emperador at Gran Vía – our favorite hotel in the city.
Be sure to check out some of the other options that we mentioned as well, and save the hotel-checklist for the next time you want to find out if a hotel is good or not.
Thanks for reading this guide, and if you have any questions, simply write them in the box below!
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