View from the Room: H10 Villa de la Reina, Madrid
Frankly, this elegant hotel is a little more central than intended, smack bang as it is in the middle of touristy Gran Via. The welcome, however, is warm and conscientious and we are continually greeted like a guest rather than a customer every time we encountered staff. The neighbourhoods surrounding it are agreeably pleasant as we found by walking on pretty much any side street at any time of night or day.
This is evident as the H10 serves breakfast until 11 am although this is fitting for a city that doesn’t dream, of going out to dinner until after 9 pm. The long breakfast period resulted in the room never being busy.
On arrival, we were offered a glass of fizz, which, as we were a little delayed, we welcomed. We decided to sit in the beautiful lounge to enjoy it while we got our bearings.
[Sadly it was the last time we were able to relax in the lobby. It will be remiss of me to leave out the fact that within five minutes of sitting down, tired from the journey, a stranger came in and stole one of our phones. Sadly, the good one as mine, it turned out, had a faulty camera*, hence we have very few photos of this trip. The staff did everything they could and the police were called but, the well-dressed thief who came in, put a piece of paper on our table covering the phone and hastily retreated when we said we didn’t understand what he was saying. He grabbed the phone while removing his piece of paper. Very sly and cruel. We spent an hour or so in a mild panic changing passwords, calling banks, shutting down work accounts etc. after this.]
We noticed our room, didn’t have the expected bath and shower and staff worked hard to change it (from 104 to 107) for the next day. (Losing a phone and not having the requested bathtub was just too much, especially for our anniversary break!)They happily let us move over at our own pace, which we did after breakfast. I was OK to give up the room with a view for a larger one that included a bathtub although both rooms were great.
Clearly, the effort had been made to get us a double room as the beds were put together but on wheels and we often found ourselves adrift of each other, which mainly just made us giggle.
The next evening, a knock on the door and the hotel deliver us a complimentary bottle of fizz as an apology - even though there is nothing they could have done!
Separate easy lights controls
Minibar (packed but could take out bits to make room for own drinks)
2 ceiling lights
Plug socket next to the mirror
Samsung TV on wall
Frosted window to the courtyard
Bedside tables on both sides
Foldable clothes airer
Wardrobe hotel 7 standard wooden hangers
Shelf with a lot of space above the minibar
I love a lovely long bath and ours came with mixer taps & shower attachment.
A selling point for me is having one of my favourite brands, the luxurious Rituals toiletries. We were amply supplied with decent sized bottles of shower gel, shampoo & conditioner, body lotion plus a bar of soap although bizarrely this was unnecessarily swapped for a new one on the second day.
The bathroom has an extra full-length mirror on the door so you can see your hair from behind - an idea I have used for our bathroom at home.
Towel rail upon which miraculously towels dried in a few hours
An amazing amenities kit with a comb, shower cap, toothbrushes/paste, sewing kit, a packet of tissues, in fact, everything except cotton buds! There was an empty packet so maybe they weren't replaced.
2 bath towels, 2 hand towels, 2 face cloths and a bath mat.
2 sockets (concierge happily lent us an adaptor for our toothbrush charger)
There is one delightful old-fashioned lift (where you have to close the gates yourself) although being on the first floor, we only needed that when we carried our luggage.
Welcome cookies are always a good thing and we also had a bottle of water and a lemon drink waiting for us. These were not replenished although we picked up large bottles of water cheaply available in local shops which we decanted into our smaller bottles to take out with us daily.
There’s a Nespresso machine which is becoming the most popular choice for hotels. We never used the decaff pods so I was hoping staff would take the hint and only leave us caffeinated coffee, although one cup was plenty and the breakfast room had two machines.
The breakfast room offered plentiful supply of pastries, cereals, fruits, juices, yogurts and a variety of hot food and drinks. Because of the long dining period, we didn’t run out of anything.
Although we didn’t need to be this central as we were all over the city every day, the H10 is superbly located. We walked in the shade all the time except when we were close to the hotel which was on the sunny side of the street. There was just that minute or two in the pulsing sun - depending on how fast we could walk through the 35c heat - so the immediate relief of the air con as we stepped inside was heavenly.
We judge people by how good they are in a crisis and the staff here were amazing. We will definitely stay at another H10 again.
*Apologies for the poor quality photos, due to the aforementioned stolen phone