Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Review: the Aloft Madrid Gran Via hotel

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

This is our review of Aloft on Madrid’s Gran Via.

It is the third and final hotel review in our tour of Barcelona and Madrid. You can read our review of the W Barcelona hotel here and our review of the EDITION Barcelona hotel here. Marriott provided us with the stays but we paid for all our other expenses, including flights.

This was my first stay at an Aloft and I was intrigued to see what they offered. Aloft is not really a brand you come across much in the UK. There are just four hotels – in Birmingham, Liverpool, Aberdeen and in London by the Excel centre. Anika reviewed Aloft Liverpool here albeit five years ago and Rob reviewed Aloft London Excel here.

Aloft Madrid Gran Via exterior

Aloft was originally launched in 2008 as a sort of sister brand to the W Hotels which were operated by SPG at the time. The best way to think of them is as a slightly budget, select-service version of a W.

There is some overlap with the Moxy brand, which is also a design-led budget brand. Marriott inherited Aloft when it bought Starwood and already owned Moxy at that point. Both Aloft and Moxy have quite disinctively different styles, however, so it is easy to tell them apart.

Aloft Gran Via was the first Aloft to open in Spain in 2019. You can see the hotel website here.

Aloft Madrid Gran Via

Location

As the name suggests, the Aloft is located just off the Gran Via, one of Madrid’s main thoroughfares and shopping districts:

Aloft Madrid Gran Via location

Getting to the hotel by public transport is simple. It is just 100m from Callao metro station with access to Lines 3 and 4 (yellow and green). Line 2 (red) is available from Santo Domingo station which is just a little further.

Getting around Madrid is easy too – you are within a short walk of many attractions, including Chueca, with its many restaurants and gay bars and Banco de Espana, which is where the Retiro park and Thyssen and Prado art museums are located.

Aloft Madrid Gran Via entrance

Check in at Aloft Gran Via Madrid

Before you can check in you need to take the lift to the third floor, which is where reception is located. (There is nothing on the ground floor.) There are three lifts including a very small one which would be a squeeze for more than two or three people. The hotel is in a converted building and certain features were inherited, it seems.

Aloft Madrid Gran Via lifts

Once on the third floor you have reception:

Aloft Madrid Gran Via reception

I was able to check in immdiately and it seemed to be well staffed throughout the day.

The third floor also has a mixed use space that is used for breakfast in the mornings and can be used as a lounge throughout the rest of the day:

Aloft Madrid Gran Via computers

and

Aloft Madrid Gran Via lounge

Plus a grab and go ‘Refuel Cafe’ as you find at most Aloft hotels:

Aloft Madrid Gran Via refuel grab and go

and

Aloft Madrid Gran Via gran and go items

Rooms at the Aloft Gran Via

There are 139 rooms in the hotel. I was given a top category room, which in this case is a king room with city view and private terrace.

Whilst the Aloft opened in 2019 I imagine it was already a hotel as some of the fittings (such as the doors) feel older.

As you enter you have quite a long hallway with an open wardrobe on your left:

Aloft Madrid Gran Via wardrobe

This is then followed by the large bathroom:

Aloft Madrid Gran Via bathroom

The shower has dual heads:

Aloft Madrid Gran Via shower

The all-in-one shampoo and shower-gel dispensers are by Bliss which is also what the W used up until recently. The bar of soap seems to be a different generic brand:

Aloft Madrid Gran Via soap

As you can see, the style is very white – I was surprised at how white given the brand’s history. I was expecting something a little more like a Moxy where everything is styled but that obviously wasn’t the case.

Aloft Madrid Gran Via room

Moving on to the bedroom, there is an empty mini fridge with a very convenient suitcase rack above it:

Aloft Madrid Gran Via fridge

You then have the king-size bed:

Aloft Madrid Gran Via bed

…. as well as a small desk in the corner:

Aloft Madrid Gran Via desk

There is a 49″ TV on the wall opposite the bed.

Open the door and you can walk out onto a large rooftop terrace:

Aloft Madrid Gran Via terrace

The rooftop WXYZ Bar and pool are actually multilevel and since I had an end room my terrace abbutted the pool loungers. For this reason it didn’t feel hugely private, and it would be nice to make a slightly larger divider between both the pool and my room as well as the other rooms:

Aloft Madrid Gran Via terrace divider

Pool

There is a small rooftop plunge pool as well as a number of loungers. The pool is open from 1pm until 8pm daily – I thought it was a shame it wasn’t open earlier as I would’ve liked to have had a quick dip before check out given the temperatures in Madrid.

Aloft Madrid Gran Via rooftop pool

WXYZ Bar

With only a grab and go offering on the third floor the only place you can really dine is the WXYZ Bar on the rooftop. This offers a range of seating both around the pool and bar:

Aloft Madrid Gran Via bar inside

It has some decent views including of the opera house and royal palace. It is a good spot to catch the sunset over Madrid and enjoy a couple of drinks before heading to the bars.

Aloft Madrid Gran Via rooftop bar

The menu is fairly basic with a handful of tapas as well as some burgers on offer. Don’t expect anything gourmet and you’ll be content – it is mostly poolside food.

Aloft Madrid Gran Via cocktails

I had the croquetas, chicken ‘fingers’ (coated in cornflakes!) and the salmorejo:

Aloft Madrid Gran Via tapas

Breakfast at the Aloft Gran Via

Breakfast is served in the third floor lounge rather than the rooftop bar, which is a shame. It would have been nice to be able to sit outside and enjoy the views in the morning.

Aloft Madrid Gran Via breakfast buffet

It is a small self-serve buffet with limited hot options. You get the basics, including a few different cereals, pastries, bread and yoghurt:

Aloft Madrid Gran Via breakfast cereal

Hot options are limited to scrambled egg and some bacon:

Aloft Madrid Gran Via hot breakfast

There is also mushed tomatoes and avocado in little reusable glass pots which I appreciated:

Aloft Madrid Gran Via breakfast pots

I went for the traditional option and made myself some toast with tomatoes and jamon iberico.

Aloft Madrid Gran Via breakfast

Conclusion

The Aloft Gran Via isn’t quite what I was expecting. Having never been to an Aloft my expectations were that it would be a slightly different version of a Moxy.

In general the rooms feel slightly larger and appear to have a less intrusive style, with a big focus on white and light wood colours. Whilst there are some colourful brand elements these are far more subdued than in any Moxy I have stayed at.

The breakfast is slightly better at an Aloft vs a Moxy as well, with a self-serve buffet with mostly continental options.

If I am being honest, if I had a choice between a Moxy and an Aloft I would probably choose a Moxy. But I am aware that for many people Moxy is a bit too youthful and ‘in your face’. If that’s you then the Aloft is a better option. As an overall package, the styling, pool, rooftop bar and good sized rooms at Aloft Gran Via made it feel value for money.

The Aloft Madrid Gran Via is a Category 4 hotel in Marriott Bonvoy, which means you’ll need between 20,000 and 30,000 points per night depending on season.

Cash rates start at €135 for a weekday night in September. The room I had, with the private terrace, starts at around €220 for the same dates and if you like the idea of your own terrace overlooking the city I would be tempted to splurge for this.

You can book on the hotel website here.


How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards

How to earn Marriott Bonvoy points and status from UK credit cards (October 2021)

There are various ways of earning Marriott Bonvoy points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

The official Marriott Bonvoy American Express card usually comes with 20,000 points for signing up, 2 points for every £1 you spend and 15 elite night credits per year.

You can apply here.

American Express Marriott Bonvoy credit card

Marriott Bonvoy American Express

20,000 points sign-up bonus and 15 elite night credits Read our full review

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 status for as long as they hold the card?  It also comes with Hilton Honors Gold, Radisson Rewards Gold and MeliaRewards Gold status.  We reviewed American Express Platinum in detail here and you can apply here.

Until 2nd November 2021, The Platinum Card comes with a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Amex points. This converts into 90,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

You can also earn American Express Membership Rewards points with American Express Gold (30,000 bonus points – special offer to 9th November 2021), 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).

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which can be used to earn Marriott Bonvoy 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 Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

Comments (24)

  • Tariq says:

    Room decor looks similar to the new Birmingham Aloft. A hotel with a slightly controversial development background involving the Unite union. I understand it was originally specced as a lower grade and I can understand how the building structure could have easily been a Moxy.

    Functions very well as an Aloft though, I think the old strap line was ‘concept of W’. I’d describe it as ‘grown up Moxy’ with a slightly higher level of service. Certainly service levels at the Birmingham hotel can’t be faulted.

    Breakfast is much more comprehensive than displayed above. Having stayed at the other Alofts in England, the only one with a pool is Excel – a really nice pool in my opinion, albeit small.

    Excel and Birmingham are purpose built, Liverpool is a repurposed building with historic architectural style.

  • The Original Nick says:

    I thought Annika had already reviewed Aloft Madrid a few years ago..?

    • Rob says:

      Sinead did it, yes, just after it opened. This was basically a test trip we sent her on after she joined. Marriott offered it up again so we thought ‘why not?’.

      • Lyn says:

        Sinead’s 2019 review was well-written as well, and a good complement to Rhys’s review for anyone considering staying at the hotel.

      • The Original Nick says:

        Yes why not. I stayed there just after she’d reviewed it.. Couldn’t fault the hotel to be honest.

  • ChrisW says:

    It looks like quite a confused brand. None of the luxury of a W and none of the style of a Moxy.

    What hotel pool doesn’t open until 1pm??

    • Blenz101 says:

      Must be a requirement to have a lifeguard so sounds like they have a single shift on only and have covered off the evening only.

      As with anything else right now (including the empty minibar) this could be a Covid related cutback or a permanent feature. At least no assisted buffet which is something I’m growing my increasingly tired of in some locations.

  • Harry T says:

    Thanks for the review. Shame they didn’t send you to the Westin Palace or one of the Autograph Collections after putting you up in five star properties in Barcelona!

    Speaking of which, would HFP be interested in a review of the Shelbourne, Dublin; Hotel Alfonso, Seville; Westin Palace, Madrid; W Amsterdam? Stayed at them all in the last month.

    • Rob says:

      We try to keep hotel reviews in-house unless it is something unique. Readers get to know the likes and dislikes of the author and it makes it easier to control the format, photos etc. Thanks for the offer though.

      • Harry T says:

        Of course, makes complete sense, no worries.

        • DeB20 says:

          Nothing stopping you from writing a brief review in the comments though, Harry. I, for one, would like to read them!

          The Westin Palace Madrid used to be my regular spot back in 2008-2012. Whenever I next visit Madrid, then the new Four Seasons Hotel is calling me (literally).

        • The Savage Squirrel says:

          +1 to one every few days fed through chat thread; well mainly the Shelbourne which is of interest 😀.

          • Harry T says:

            The Shelbourne is one of my favourite hotels. It’s just excellent across the board, with a real feeling of warmth and genuine hospitality. Happy to answer any questions!

    • JDB says:

      Harry T I hope you enjoyed the Shelbourne and weren’t too spooked by a portrait of one of my ancestors looking at you. I think it came from the Hibernian Hotel which is no longer and there is another in the Westbury, so no escape.

  • KP says:

    I like aLoft hotels and stayed there in Madrid, Milan and Istanbul.

    Biggest issue is breakfast is not included for Platinum/Titanium. You get some room credit which is fairly useless as a la carte food/drinks are so overpriced anyway

  • Dev says:

    I’ve probably said a million times but Aloft Liverpool is one of my favourite hotels in the UK! Great sausages for breakfast!

  • Lady London says:

    Looks like the way someone felt about their stay would be determined by which exact room they got.

    • Rob says:

      Isn’t that often the case?

      • Lady London says:

        Yes but Rhys’s review makes that clear in a very diplomatic way.

        • Lady London says:

          There are quite a few hotels I’ll repeat stay at but it’s not the rooms it’s something else that will pull me back.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.