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.
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.
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 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
The bathroom was very spacious and I loved the rainforest shower.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
The coffee was self-serve from a machine, but was decent enough quality to satisfy a coffee snob like myself.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards (January 2021)
There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
You can also earn Marriott Bonvoy points by converting American Express Membership Rewards points at the rate of 2:3.
Do you know that holders of The Platinum Card from American Express receive FREE Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite 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 MeliaRewards Gold status. We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.
You can also earn American Express Membership Rewards points with American Express Gold (20,000 bonus points), the American Express Rewards Credit Card (5,000 bonus points) and – for small business owners – American Express Business Gold (20,000 bonus points) and Business Platinum (40,000 bonus points).
(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.)