As Spain moves more and more firmly into the European mainstream, Madrid hotels and hostals have become more expensive and less distinctively Spanish.
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Grandma-style, Old World hostels with knitted doilies under table lamps, bulky antique furniture and paintings of the Virgin Mary on white walls are losing out these days to boutique-style hostals that look like actualized Ikea catalogues. In our humble opinion, it's sometimes the older, more worn accommodations with the most heart and warmest welcome—as long as you choose wisely.
One example is Hostal Marlasca, a hostal filled with Spanish antique radios and telephones. Hostal El Catalan could use an interior decorator, but its consistent service and good prices are as solid as a Spanish olive tree. And we can't stop talking about Hostal A. Nebrija, whose elderly owners treat you as if you've just returned home. Family heirlooms and religious paintings set the very Spanish scene here.
On the other end of the aesthetic spectrum, a crop of designer-savvy higher-end hotels has emerged. While these hotels tend to be a bit pricey for Cheapos, there are a handful of hotels of this type that provide an injection of style without saddling guests with frightening check-out bills. Less expensive chains like Petite Palace and Room Mate are good examples of this accommodation type.
Under no circumstance should you spend more than €125 for a night at a hotel in Madrid. There are plenty of good four-star hotels with nightly rates under this amount.
As a general rule, expect to pay between €68 and €83 for a double room at a basic hostal. For a double at a midrange hotel, the applicable rate range is €70 to €85. A double in a moderately priced boutique hotel will run between €85 and €160.
Rates stay remarkably steady throughout the year, with the priciest rates popping up during the spring (March to June).
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