Arrival experience: On the edge of the airport’s runways, this American conversion of one of Madrid’s largest hotels is a huge success. It was originally known as the Hotel Auditorium, but Marriott grabbed hold of this independent gem making it the largest Marriott in Europe, renovating it piece by piece to insure it is tops in town. This hotel is well-known amongst Spaniards since it hosts the annual Goya awards (similar to the Oscars of America) each year and draws more celebrities than most downtown properties combined. Free shuttles transport guests between the airport and the hotel regularly on a twice-per-hour schedule. Given the number of business groups, this is quite popular for conventions. The lobby’s design is quite residential with conversation tables and high ceilings. One might never expect the massive size of this property, which spans six separate blocks of accommodations.
Dining: The main lobby serves a plentiful menu of tapas as well as craft cocktails and regional beer. The Madrid Buffet opens at 6:30am for a massive buffet that includes everything from pan con tomate and regional cheese to freshly cooked eggs and pimiento peppers. The main restaurant handles the rest of the dining requests (including room service) with an international menu that caters to the meetings group that bunks here.
Rooms: All guest rooms have been recently updated into Marriott’s new style. Set within multiple blocks, the accommodations showcase new carpeting, furnishings, and décor that befits Marriott’s European plan. The carpet still squeaks underfoot while beds are so comfortable that it can be tough t wake up on time. Luckily, bedside power outlets make it easy to charge up devices that make waking up easier than years past. Spacious bathrooms are stocked with Thann toiletries in glass-enclosed shower areas or along the edge of deep soaking tubs. Club level rooms offer guests with elite status or staying in club rooms plentiful breakfast buffet, all-day snacks and coffee.
Amenities: During our visit, the swimming pool and workout areas were under renovation leaving guests with a make-shift workout area at their disposition. It suffices unless travelers were looking forward to swimming laps. Meeting space draws large conventions from across the globe to a property that offers easy access to Madrid. The Hilton is this hotel’s biggest competitor, but it is notably larger and cam accommodate more groups giving it an edge. Both are within the same travel distance of the airport (although this hotel has a few rooms with excellent runway views). Business travelers will find both to be popular with groups although the executive lounge at the Hilton has an edge thanks to more self-serve options.