Behind a discrete door in a quiet pedestrian street in the centre of Granada is one of the best of the city’s boutique hotels. The building is traditional, but has been completely refurbished to the highest modern hotel standards, though access to the main lift is down a twisty ramp that seems left over from an earlier age. I have to say that I’ve quite fallen in love with RoomMates all over Spain – there is something comforting about knowing you’re going to get excellent quality but not ever feel like you are dealing with an impersonal corporate hotel chain. It always feels like coming home.
The location is between the Bib-Rambla square and the Cathedral on one side, and the main shopping street on the other, and is also close to the bustling bars and restaurants around Calle Navas. Plaza Nueva, the Alhambra, and the Albaicín are within easy reach.
The hotel serves breakfast throughout the morning in a pleasant little breakfast room in an interior patio, but the star of the show has to be the comfortable lounge on the top floor with a roof terrace outside that has a stunning view of the Alhambra.
There are 32 rooms, the majority standard double or twin, but also Executive suites. My room was a spacious standard, decorated in black, white and gold, with a big mirror, desk, and square leather armchair. Nice bathroom with a proper hairdryer (not one of those attached-to-the-wall types) and the usual fabulous RoomMate toiletries. Free Wi-Fi that actually worked and a good sized wardrobe with plenty of hangers.
Third time totally lucky! This was my third stay at a Room Mate Hotel, and this time it was Mario, the original Room Mate hotel, in the heart of Madrid just off Plaza Ópera. An easy metro ride from Atocha station, I was there within half an hour of arriving in town. Check in was quick and welcoming, and I really appreciated that complimentary bottle of mineral water (why don’t more places do this?).
My spacious superior room was on the first floor with a balcony facing the street. Bright and charming, I loved that I could open the balcony doors and enjoy a pretty leafy green view. Super comfy bed (as usual at Room Mate) along with plenty of closet space, which included a mini bar and safe. The attractive grey & white tiled bathroom had a full bath and shower (with detachable shower head). I’m getting a bit hooked on the lovely bath products at Room Mate, especially the body lotion, but those hairdryers! Useless for anyone with longish hair. Also, the bathroom lighting could be better – I had to do makeup in front of the full-length mirror next to the balcony. Not a serious hardship, but thought I should mention it.
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As I always travel with three devices (notebook, iPad and iPhone) I was very happy to see lots of well-placed electical sockets around the room, and I was also pleased with the excellent (free!) WiFi connection. This time I had breakfast included but mostly went for fruit and coffee as I had lots of serious eating to do throughout the day (occupational hazard!). Have to say I’m not a fan of the “buffet breakfast”, but I did enjoy my coffee in the sunny breakfast room. It was a nice start to the day.
I think what I loved most about my three-night stay was feeling like I was in a cosy barrio, and overlooking that pretty street scene every day. A home away from home.
Room Mate Mario
C/ Campomanes 4
Tel. 915 488 548