Review: Marriott’s brand new and very central Aloft Madrid Gran Via hotel

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This is our review of the Aloft Madrid Gran Via hotel in Madrid.

A couple of weeks ago I headed over to Madrid to review Marriott’s newly-opened 139 room Aloft Madrid Gran Via. Anika and Rob have reviewed two of the UK Aloft Hotels in Liverpool (review here) and the Excel Centre (review here) respectively, but it was my first experience of the Aloft brand.

The hotel only opened in July 2019, but visiting in early October, it felt like the hotel had settled well into its stride, with a smooth service experience and efficient amenities.

Location

Situated super centrally, by Calle Gran Via, one of Madrid’s key commercial shopping streets, and just a hop, skip and jump from some of Madrid’s key sights like Plaza Mayor and Palacio Real de Madrid, this is an excellently located spot. Metro stop Callao is a couple of minutes’ walk away and there’s a plethora of eating and drinking options nearby.

Aloft Madrid Gran Via Callao

Coming out of Callao Metro stop you’ll find yourself in this plaza. Head down Calle de Jacometrezo and the hotel is midway down this short street on the right-hand side.

Check-in

Check-in is on the 3rd floor, so on arrival you need to head up in the lift, and turn right when you get to the 3rd floor but it’s very easy to find.

Aloft Madrid Gran Via reception

This area is also a ‘social area’ with plenty of seating and a table football table at the bottom. It’s also where you can find breakfast and the 24 hour self-service buffet.

Check-in was incredibly smooth, despite some confusion on booking name (Rob, as he booked with his points) vs guest name. The staff member was charming and authentically warm, making me feel welcome and comfortable immediately. Because of the name confusion, I was unfortunately unable to put Aloft’s ‘Cardless Key’ service (via the Marriott app) to the test, but as someone who regularly loses room keys, it does sound really useful!

Bedroom

I stayed in an Aloft Twin room on the 8th floor. Hotel room reality rarely matches website pictures. However, I was pleasantly surprised that my Aloft Twin was bigger than I anticipated, with plenty of space around each bed and the desk. Although I stayed solo, I felt confident that even with two guests, you’d have plenty of space.

Aloft Madrid Gran Via Door

The only real downside for me was the window / light situation. The window was disproportionately tiny given the size of the room and had the inspirational view of… a brick wall. This is unfortunately often the case for inner-city hotels but I do think a bigger window, even one facing a wall, would have made for more natural light.

Aloft Madrid Gran Via Room window

I suspect the rooms on the opposite side of the corridor facing Calle de Jacometrezo have much more attractive views and windows, so I would encourage future guests to ask for this option.

Aloft Madrid Gran Via TV

The room amenities were well thought out and more than sufficient. I really appreciate a decent in-room iron and ironing board so I was pleased to find these supplied, as well as a powerful hairdryer – an often skimped amenity! There’s not tons of hanging wardrobe space, but for a city break or business trip it would be more than sufficient.

Tea making facilities were provided and I was pleased to see a carton of water in the place of a plastic bottle as a good nod to sustainability.

There were plenty of USB electrical points both by the desk and by the bed, which are always handy.

Bathroom

The bathroom was very spacious and I loved the rainforest shower.

Aloft Gran Via Bathroom sink

Similar to Anika’s review of the Liverpool property, I was a little baffled by the location of shower hooks – in a seemingly inefficient position on the opposite side of the bathroom to the shower – but apart from that I couldn’t fault it. I personally find 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioners ineffectual and would rather have separate products, but I do recognise that this is additional cost and waste for the hotel. Towels were lovely and soft, which again was a pleasant surprise.

Hotel features

Many Aloft hotels feature a splash pool and Gran Via was no exception. This is not a pool for serious swimmers, as it is quite small, but on a hot day it’s a lovely spot for a cooling dip or to simply sunbathe.

Aloft Madrid Gran Via pool

The gym was quiet and well stocked with quite a few running machines, and cross trainers, along with a good set of weights and weighted equipment. I liked that it was well stocked with towels, and anything you may need at the entrance.

Aloft Madrid Gran Via gym

Dining options

Aloft Gran Via didn’t have a restaurant, instead providing a buffet breakfast and their ‘Re:Fuel by Aloft’ concept – a 24 hour buffet self-serve option. The rooftop bar did have food as well, mostly tapas and a few sandwiches and salads.

Aloft Madrid Gran Via pastries

The buffet breakfast was a real highlight for me. There were plenty of options, with an extensive chilled section of meats and cheeses for continental palates, hot options in the form of bacon, scrambled eggs and beans, and then breads, pastries, cereal, yoghurts and fresh fruit.

Aloft Madrid Gran Via hot buffet
This is to be expected in most breakfasts, but the standard of food was very high. Take the chilled section as an example – no sad looking fruit salads and tomato slices, but instead fresh blueberries and delicious avocado.

Aloft Madrid Gran Via cold buffet
The coffee was self-serve from a machine, but was decent enough quality to satisfy a coffee snob like myself.

Aloft Madrid Gran Via bags

My favourite touch though, was the ‘doggy bag’ kit. Ever hidden a bit of a hotel buffet breakfast in a pocket or handbag ‘to have for later’? Instead of fighting it, Aloft actively encourage this behaviour, supplying paper bags, containers and wraps for you to use – a nod that I found innovative and thoughtful.

Bar

Aloft Madrid Gran Via’s stand-out feature has to be the rooftop bar and social space,  named WXYZ. With a rooftop splash pool to one side and two-storey seating area with views over Madrid and a birdseye view of Palacio Real de Madrid, it’s pretty special.

Aloft Madrid Gran Via Rooftop 1

I had planned to take a couple of pictures and head out to get some tapas, but the spectacular views lured me into setting up with a drink to watch the sunset.

Conclusion

Madrid is a fantastic city with plenty to see and a vibrant culinary scene, so it’s a great place for a city break. Travelling in October it was a balmy 27C, so it’s a lovely city to go to if you want to experience your last bit of sunshine as the UK weather gets colder and the nights draw in.

Aloft Madrid Gran Via is a very good option to have when visiting Madrid. Redemptions start at 20,000 Bonvoy points per night (off-peak) through to 30,000 points per night (peak) as a Category 4 hotel.  Cash rates in November run from €132 to €254 which means, given HFP’s notional 0.5p value per Bonvoy point, a redemption is a good use of points.

You can see the Aloft Madrid Gran Via website here.

Comfortable rooms, great service and a fantastic rooftop bar make it a reliable choice and if you opt to have breakfast at the hotel, you can save money on lunch by taking your doggy bag with you!

Aloft Madrid Gran Via Rooftop 2

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points via UK credit cards

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold, Shangri-La Golden Circle Jade and Melia Rewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here.

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Marriott Bonvoy points.  That page is regularly updated with the latest special offers and will still be accurate even if you are reading this article months after publication.

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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Comments

  1. The_real_a says:

    A very nice review.

    What is it with girls and their shampoos?!

    I like the doggy bag concept. I have to admit to sneaking out a roll and cheese inside a paper napkin quite a few times!

  2. Good informative review. Although I am not sure why it is ‘ours’

    “This is our review of OUR Aloft Madrid Gran Via hotel”

  3. I might be wrong but I’m assuming that the doggy bag concept is more for eating breakfast on the run than it is for squirreling out food for lunch – but I admit to having snaffled the odd lunchtime banana in my time

  4. Good review and an interesting option for central Madrid. The base price of €132 does not include breakfast which costs an extra €18 per person meaning for two the nightly rate is actually €168. That seems a little pricey given that the hotel pool is really a plunge pool and the rooms look quite small and that window is not big enough.

    Be aware though that you should request a room on the higher floors. Several reviews mention noise from a nightclub which seems to get going at 2am.

    That said it compares well with the nearby and even pricier Hotel Indigo which has a similar pool.

    • I stayed in a Junior Suite on the 7th floor & still could here the bass beat coming from the Club – was able to sleep but it was annoying. Great location – El Corte Ingles is a block away – good supermarket in the basement & check out the top floor – lots of small gourmet stalls & bar with great views

  5. Suddensky says:

    Slightly OT but Madrid related. Does anyone know how the seating allocation works on the BA cargo flight, specifically in relation to who gets into the F cabin on the 777? My wife and I do Madrid three or four times a year and always get the 777 back to London, we are both gold and always travel CE. Sometimes we are on the same ticket and sometimes on separate ones, sometimes reward seats, sometimes full fare. I’ve asked everyone I can think off; the call centre, at the checkin desk, customer services, and even on board, but nobody seems to know how it works, they just say that the F cabin is blocked out and availability starts in the club cabin. I know the soft product is the same in F as CE on the flight, and it’s only a couple of hours, but I’m just curious as to how the system decides (and how I can make it work for me).

    • Flub (F with Club service) is not an official service. They only open the F cabin if the flight is particularly full in both Euro Traveller and Club. It opens up for availability at T-24 for seat selection but can often close off again depending on flight loads. You can ask at check in so best option is to select preferred seat in Club and check in but not print or save BP. But it is random and can also happen if you get the magic beep at the gate.

      • TGLoyalty says:

        From recent posts on flyertalk Flub is now only available at checkin as it’s under airport control.

    • Taken the route only once but got the F seat. Can’t shed too much light on this but on the app it allowed me to select F a few days before the trip. There’s an entire thread dedicated to this on flyertalk

  6. The Original Nick says:

    I had a reservation for this hotel for 13th February one day prior to flying to Cuba. I’d paid 25000 points so have had a result this morning by cancelling and rebooking at 20000 points. Thanks Rob and Sinead.

  7. Concerto says:

    Seriously, who would want to eat out of a paper bag for lunch in Madrid?? Skip breakfast, have a coffee and croissant (or churros) in a café somewhere, have an amazing lunchtime menu for 10-15 Euros at one of the many good tables and do tapas and drinks in the evening.

  8. When I went hiking in Mallorca, I’d make myself a hefty bocadillo from the breakfast buffet spread, then sneak it out for a lunch with a view from the top of a peak. I didn’t have any of the self pour Cava, because some of the hiking paths were a tad perilous, and it seemed deeply unwise, so I considered that a fair swap! I like the fact that Aloft encourages this (although I wouldn’t necessarily take a doggy bag if I had access to the incredible array of food options that Madrid has for lunch), I’ll keep an eye out for them in future.
    Fab review Sinead! I’m with you on the 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner.
    Has Anika had her little one yet? Did I miss an announcement?

  9. Secret Squirrel says:

    RE: 777 to MAD – How many people on here managed to get a seat in F cabin without any status?

    • Not Madrid but even better – me, my OH and our son were travelling in CW on the 12 hour flight to GCM (2 of us on 2 4 1 voucher & 1 on a cash booking) and long story short all 3 of us were allocated seats in the F cabin (with CW service). The moral of the story is don’t pre-book seats in CW!

  10. Slightly OT, anyone know of any way to earn a small amount of Bonvoy points? I’m literally 14 points short of a redemption and rather than buying a whole batch of 1,000 points I was wondering if there are any little competitions or surveys or such like I can enter to bridge that gap?

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