My wife and I will be visiting Spain in April. I am looking for input (in addition to RS' book) on lodging. We will be probably three nights in each city and need lodging close to the city center and mass tranist and in the ballpark of 90-120 Euros a night. Also any recommendations on the cities' best Irish pubs is much appreciated. Thanks.
Any particular reason you are looking for Irish pubs in Spain?
Madrid - Hostal Acapulco Plaza Carmen, one block from Gran Via and just a few more steps from Puerta de Sol...great location and people. Should be a good buy. Was there in Sept and returning in April.
Barcelona - Hostal El Balcon de Born One block from the ocean. One week there in Sept and hope to return.
It is a few blocks from the Picasso Museum (Same street) on a pedestrian only street. Excellent breakfast and very helpful hosts.
Both of these are hostals, not hotels, and not college hostels.
Enjoy your time...
The only Irish pub we visited in Spain was in Granada (and really only because it was convenient). It was a nice enough place - so I guess that's the best Irish pub I've been to in Spain.
There are pubs all over Gibraltar, but I'd say they are mostly, if not all, English pubs.
A nice place in Barcelona is, I think, the local spelling of Champagne (Xampanan?). It was a much more homey (and affordable) place than anything else we found in Barcelona. Most of the recommended tapas places turned out to be chains.
We stayed at Hostal Campi in Barcelona in April. It's well situated, close to Placa Catalunya. We paid about 65 euro per night last April for a double with no ensuite. About half their rooms are ensuite, for 90-120 euros I'm sure you could get those.
We stayed at Hostal Santa Cruz in Madrid. It's well located, a couple blocks from Plaza Mayor and just down the road a few blocks from Puerta del Sol. It was reasonably priced but not particularly nice - adequate but not much more.
The logical question is when in April are you going? If you are there for Semana Santa (Easter week), I'd skip both Barcelona and Madrid in favor of Zaragosa, Sevilla, Salamanca, Burgos, or other city with outstanding celebrations. I kicked myself for spending too much of the week in Barcelona, where nothing was going on (they aren't particularly religious in Barcelona).
Later in April is the Fair in Sevilla. It's another of those cultural experiences that IMO should be on every traveler's bucket list.
We stayed at Hotel Europa in Madrid. It is right on Puerta Del Sol and is close to almost everything. We had a room overlooking Puerta del Sol and it was very nice.
Hotel Europa is the place to be! I don't think you could pick a more centrally located place. Very clean and I would highly recommend it!
In Barcelona you might have a look at NH Barcelona Centro. It's located only a few steps off La Rambla, and a very short walk to Plaça Catalunya. The breakfast buffet was VERY extensive, the room was great and the staff were wonderful. I can't remember what the price was, but you can check their website. There was a La Caixa "super ATM" at the end of the street, should you want to buy tickets for La Sagrada Familia.
I agree with the others regarding Hotel Europa in Madrid. It's in a fantastic location, very comfortable rooms, nice restaurant and great staff. They had large "sails" strung between the buildings to provide shade, so it was very comfortable to sit outside on the patio and have a drink or a glass of Vino.
Thanks for all the input. As for why an Irish pub in Spain: My wife and I really like Irish pubs and it's fascinating to have the opportunity to meet Irish expats all over Europe (and the U.S.). Rest assured, we also will sample plenty of the Spanish food and drink too.
I have stayed at Hotel Colon in Barcelona and am planning on staying there next year when I return. Located opposite the square from the Gothic Cathedral - central to everything - walking distance to lots of sites. Hop on Hop off buses at edge of square. Staff very helpful and friendly - couldnt do enough for us. Would heartily recommend. http://www.colonhotelbarcelona.com/
Hotel Europa was indeed central and convenient- but beware of the 24 /7 street noise. We were there in 'March two years ago. After a sleepless night , we were ever so grateful that we were allowed a three night early checkout!