Lodging Review: Only You Hotel Atocha, Madrid
I'd never really stayed in a hotel in Madrid - usually I stay with a friend or in an "hostal" (guesthouse, sometimes a floor of a bigger building) -, until a recent visit when I stayed at the Only You Hotel Atocha.
The Only You Atocha (there's another Only You near the Chueca metro station), is directly across from the main Atocha train station, making it super convenient if you're arriving or departing by train. The intersection you have to cross, though, is monstrous as you can see!
But once inside, it's like another world. I immediately got a cozy feeling, with a kind of library to the left and comfy sofas throughout.
The check-in staff here were excellent: super friendly, making easy conversation. The lady who checked me in actually apologized that a room wasn't ready - it was only 9:30am or so, of course I wouldn't have expected a room to be ready! But then she said she would check, and it appeared that there was a handicapped accessible room that was available for check-in; the only drawback was that there wasn't a glass separating the shower area. I took it! I looked forward to being able to drop off my bags, lock important things up in the in-room safe, and freshen up in my room right away.
So not only was the apology for a lack of room a surprise, later being offered a room was an even bigger surprise! This stay was already off to a great start.
Also very important: right next to the check-in area was a little table with water and gummy bears, marshmallows, gummy stars, and red licorice. I will readily admit that I helped myself to this station. A lot.
The room itself also turned out to be a delight. Wood (or laminate) flooring gave a clean appearance. The use of darker but warmer shades of wood - as opposed oft-seen pale Scandinavian look - contributed to the continuing sense of coziness.
A few features that I loved: a real desk, a comfy place to sit that wasn't the desk chair or the bed, and a place to put my suitcase. Amazingly, some places lack a place for suitcases! Oh yea, and the indirect lighting in the ceiling was a great touch.
Closet space was plentiful, although I myself don't really use the closet a lot for fear of forgetting things in there. The many mirrors were nice to make sure you looked your best before going out!
The bathroom was nicely decorated, and included my number 1 wish-for: tons of counter space to lay out my stuff. Yes, when I took a shower the floor next to the toilet did get wet, but I managed. And it was a small price to pay to get into the room so early in the morning.
The toiletries provided were Rituals brand.
My view was onto an interior courtyard, rather than to the street. I actually liked it, because it was quiet, yet still luminous.
Breakfast the next day would have been worth getting up even earlier for. It was served on the top floor, with views over the south of Madrid.
There was a big diversity of cold cuts, jamón, fruit, and baked goods, all beautifully presented.
They had a made-to-order station offering eggs. But the choices weren't limited to just scrambled or omelette or fried: I was able to get my scrambled eggs with a couple different hot sauces on top, and served in a cute mini-skillet. The breakfast items in general were like tuned-up versions of a regular buffet. Instead of just the regular pineapple and melon, they also had dragonfruit. Instead of only juice, they also had on-trend green smoothie.
Also very on-trend was the chia pudding with granola!
At the made-to-order egg station, they even had dumplings! But these dumplings were pre-made frozen ones, and the cook unfortunately only managed to defrost the dumplings in his hot water, not getting to the point that they were hot or even warm. So eating these cold dumplings was the only miss of the morning.
If you can get a reasonable rate with breakfast included, I'd go for it!
In the evening, the buzzy lobby space turns even buzzier, with a DJ spinning off to one side, and even more people in the bar area and restaurant off to one side. On another side was a branch of the Madrid pastry chain Mama Framboise.
The lobby area was really a nice space. I didn't get to spend much time in it, but I can see how it would be a nice place to hang out with friends for a time.
Also, it should be noted that luggage storage is inside of a locked room behind the reception desk, so I felt quite safe leaving my bag there after checkout.
Overall, I was super impressed by the Only You Hotel Atocha. The design, the room, the service, and the breakfast were all top notch. I'd love to stay here again.
Only You Hotel Atocha
Paseo de la Infanta Isabel, 13