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When we went down for dinner at ME Madrid Reina Victoriaís restaurant, Ana La Santa, at 9:45 p.m. while staying at the hotel, we were the only people in the restaurant. By the time we left at around 11 p.m., it was packed to the gills.
We headed up to the hotelís super-swanky rooftop bar, The Roof: besides seeing one other forlorn-looking North American couple, it was empty. So we headed back down to the Ana La Santa Bar for cocktails and were surrounded by locals all just getting their after-dinner espressos as we reached the midnight hour.
By the time we hit the hay at around 1:30 a.m. the streets just outside the hotel were reaching a fever pitch. When we went back to the lobby at around 4:30 a.m. to check out, the loungey lobby was packed.
This is ME Madrid. (See the pics below!)
You know how in Europe various attractions and monuments give discounts to holders of European passports? Kind of annoying, isnít it? Well finally, flashing your U.S. passport will get you something other than a dirty look.
Timeís got the scoop on the ME Madrid Reina Victoria, where an American passport gets you 20 percent off room rates when you book at least three nights, plus a bottle of cava and strawberries en suite, free breakfast, and 50 percent off dinner for two at the hotelís Midnight Rose restaurant.
Rates start at about $240, and the offer is good through March, which might not be warm enough to take advantage of The Penthouse, the hotelís Rande-and-Scott-Gerber-helmed rooftop terrace, but you will get to stay at one of Madridís more trendy hotelsóand we know Madrid's got a lot of trendy hotels, but trust us on this one. When we passed by last May, the crowd was terrifyingly hipóso terrifying we didnít go in.
Old and majestic outside but funky and modern on the inside: that's the surprise packet that is the ME Madrid Reina Victoria (usually more simply known as the ME Madrid). With a great location on Santa Ana Square and nightlife, restaurants and sightseeing all within a stroll, the ME Madrid starts off on the right foot.
Then add its colorful history. According to a recent NYT review it used to be a hangout for bull fighters, and it still boasts four big bulls' heads in the nightclub. For a while, the hotel nearly became a Hard Rock, until the joint venture partners parted ways. Now it's just full of cool stuff. Free Wifi, i-Pod connections, plasma TVs and a safe just for your laptop, a 24-hour gym and reasonable rates (around $300 for a basic room with a view) make it pretty enticing.
· ME Madrid Reina Victoria [NY Times]
· Travel Stories in Madrid [Jaunted]
· Hit the Tapas Bars from Madrid's Catalonia Las Cortes [HotelChatter]
Hotel Plaza Mayor is a 34-room bargain hotel smack down in the historic district of Plaza Mayor near Madrid.
Ok, fine, the least expensive rooms are so tiny that if you are over six feet tall you can probably lie across the bed and touch both walls, however the rooms all have air conditioning, are super clean, and the hotel is equipped with WiFi, gratis.
If you can, reserve one of the recently renovated rooms like 103 or 104, or if you are really in the mood to splurge, pony up the 100 for the attic suite.
Here is how one recent guest describes it:
The Suite is an approx. 450 square foot "L"-shaped attic room, with slanted ceilings, exposed wood beams (lovely), and three skylight windows (which open). The room is accessable from a private stairway on the fifth floor, next to the elevator.
The attic suite also comes with a large private balcony and a view of Plaza Mayor.
· Hotel Plaza Mayor Reviews [TripAdvisor]
Now we are the first to admit we are chromotherapy rookies, however, if the 7 Color Rooms, a small Madrid budget hotel, is to be believed...
Orange gives you vitality, is the color of hard work and success. It also symbolizes sexual pleasure, enjoyment, happiness, changes...
People identified with orange are self-confident and self-controlled.
Orange helps to make sexual encounters more enjoyable, overcoming monotony and seriousness.
Orange helps to cure asthma and bronchitis.
Sure the rooms are tiny, and the walls reportedly paper thin, but each room is styled to capture the energy of a certain color, and how many low budget hotels can offer you a taste of chromotherapy?
The hotel is right around the corner from the Plaza de Santa Ana, near the center of Madrid, and can be had for as little as €55 a night.
Now we are off to Home Depot to buy a couple cans of orange paint, so we can ward off bronchitis, of course.