I am traveling for 16 days with my husband and our 3 teenage kids, starting in Barcelona, a week in Andalusia, Morocco, and then flying out of Madrid. We will be moving fast, so I wanted to pick a nice hotel in Madrid at the end of our trip (we will have 3 nights) where we can relax and and do little sight seeing, but swim in a pool at the end of the day. This will be the first part of July so it will be hot. I am having a difficult time finding any hotels in central Madrid that have an outdoor pool. Maybe we should stay in Toledo instead? Any thoughts would be much appreciated!
Having traveled w teenagers in spain here are some random thoughts.....
Barcelona offers better beaches than found in andalusia w ez access. Take a 1/2 day for the teens to enjoy a swim in the med.
Purchase of blouses/shirts makes for a better souvenir for teens.
Stay well hydrated as it will be hot.
Reconsider need for speed in face of heat. You will/should "lose" travel efficiency mid-day due to heat. However, you will/should gain travel effectiveness by taking advantage of late evening opportunities commonly found in spain.
Madrid is a great big city, third largest in europe, w a small area of "old town". Others will disagree w my assessment, but"....... Consider staying outside of madrid and take a day trip into the city instead of staying there. Since i have not stayed just outside madrid i cannot inform you of opportunities. I know, i know.... Disappointing i cannot answer your main question. However, perhaps you might choose to use a couple of nights designated for madrid to slow down and stay longer at one of your planned destinations?
See what esmadrid.com has to say. They have a lot of scoop that doesn't make the guidebooks.
Thank you for your suggestions. I believe you are right. We may need to slow down our trip and finish it outside of Madrid. So the question is Seville or Toledo? If we stay a few nights in Seville, we still will need to spend the last night in Madrid to fly out the next morning. If we stay in Toledo, we could possibly take a train into Madrid in the morning to catch our flight by noon. Since we are already spending a few nights in Granada, is Toledo different enough from Granada, or would you stay in Seville? Also, the esmadrid.com website is great! There were a few wonderful hotel options with pools in Madrid! Thank you both for your help.
Seville or Toledo? Either will be a great choice. Sevilla is 2 1/2 hours to Madrid via the AVE train. Toledo is 1/2 hour via AVE train. From either city I think you would be advised to go to Madrid the day before your fight, considering travel, security, etc. I am not sure there is a train from Toledo that would get you to Madrid in time to comfortably make the trip on to the airport. You can check the train schedule on the AVE Renfe site...or on the web site The Man in Seat 61. If you purchase on line you can do so about 60 days or so before hand and save a considerable amount on the fare from Sevilla...that from Toledo is small anyway. Both trains from Toledo and Sevilla arrive at the Atocha Train Station. Easy to navigate. To get to the airport, take the Airport Express Bus, five euros and 1/3 hour. It leaves from Atoacha across from the maim entrance. Check out www.madridman.com for specfics as well.
Both Sevilla and Toledo are great small cities. I personally enjoy Toledo the most. History on every corner and every step. Roman, Moor, Jewish, Christian (I may have the order reversed). J No automobiles are allowed in the city, other than taxi, and residents. You will enjoy either city.
You might be well advised to find a hotel near the airport with the pool. Take the airport express bus to the airport and then the shuttle to the hotel. A taxi will run a minimum of about 30 euros for a couple I think. There is a set limit, but I am not familiar with it. You will find information on the barajs airport site I think.
Wow, thank you for your detailed feedback. Based on your recommendations, we will most likely stay in or around Toledo for those last nights, with the last night in Madrid to avoid any last minute problems catching our flight home to California. I appreciate your thoughts!
If you are still looking for a hotel in Toledo with a pool you can do a simple google search for that. I found a few through some booking agencies. It looks like most of them will be at least 4 to 5 star hotels and could be pretty expensive.
I just booked the Parador de Toledo for 2 nights. It looks beautiful, has a pool and is any easy taxi ride to the center of town (2 miles away). We will probably still need to spend the night before our flight in Madrid. Thanks for your input!