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This year my mom, daughter, and I took off to Spain for spring break. My mom had been a Spanish teacher for 35+ years and during much of that time had a large map of Spain on her classroom wall. When she retired the map came home with her and ultimately served as the inspiration to get her a trip to Spain as a Christmas present last year (see the fun gift reveal video in this post)!
While hotel rooms in much of Europe are much more affordable than they were even a year or two ago thanks to the exchange rate and local economies, we still wanted to use points for our accommodations and save our cash for purchases, food, and activities. Since there would be three of us, and we weren’t going to all be sharing one bed, we had the added challenge of finding points friendly options that allowed three in a room, and had two beds and/or room for a roll-away bed. This is easy peasey in the United States, but as you know if you have done it before, it gets much trickier in Europe.
For our first couple of nights in Madrid we decided on staying at the Radisson Blu Madrid Prado Hotel that, as the name implies, is right across the street from the Prado Museum. When we booked, this hotel was 50,000 Club Carlson points and the last award night was free thanks to the non-defunct benefit of the Club Carlson credit card. So, we got what I thought to be a very solid redemption at the time in the form of two nights for 50,000 total points. Note that now the hotel is 70,000 points per night and the last award night perk is no more. Still, I know some folks will still have Club Carlson points to use, so I wanted to share the review even though the deal we got is no more.
Lobby and Check-In:
We arrived fresh off our overnight flight from the United States in the morning and we hopped in a cab to the hotel. We had told the hotel in advance that we would be requesting early check-in, and while they couldn’t guarantee it, at least we hoped we would get lucky with them having space available. Thankfully, our room was ready when we arrived at about 11AM.
We had contacted the hotel in advance about needing a rollaway bed and that charge was an additional 60 euros per day, which stinks, but is cheaper than getting a whole second room. They confirmed the rollaway and charge at check-in and offered to send someone up promptly to set up the extra bed. We were also informed at check-in we had been upgraded thanks to my Club Carlson Gold status to a business class room, but that did not mean that we were eligible for the complimentary breakfast that normally comes with business class rooms.
Radisson Blu Madrid Prado Business Class Room:
Now, when you think upgrade, you may be thinking larger room. Think again, as this room was still quite small for those used to American-ized hotel rooms even though it was technically an upgrade.
However, it did have room for the rollaway once some furniture was re-arranged a bit, so it was large enough for the three of us for a couple of nights.
The room was pretty warm by our standards, so we often had the balcony door open to try and cool it off as it was still pretty crisp outside during our March visit. I could never figure out how to adjust the setting in the room in a way that made the room cooler, though admittedly I did not ask the staff for help with that matter.
As is common across Europe, the bed was pretty firm, but not the hardest we have experienced so it worked out without too much trouble. We didn’t have any real issues with noise, but then again, we were pretty tired so perhaps a parade went through and we didn’t notice.
The bathroom only had a shower which isn’t ideal with little ones, but it was a pretty nice and updated bathroom overall. The water temperature and pressure were good, and we have no complaints at all in that department.
As part of my Club Carlson Gold status that comes via the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature® Card we received this complimentary amenity of fruit and water on the first day of our stay.
The hotel had a restaurant right off the lobby that we did not utilize on this visit.
The hotel also had a gym, spa, and even indoor pool – all of which we didn’t actually use, though I did snap a few photos. I will also add then when we went to the lower level to see the pool it was very warm in there and the room had a very strong chlorine/chemical smell, as is somewhat typical with indoor hotel pools. That would have bothered me if we stayed very long, but probably wouldn’t bother everyone.
Overall Impressions of the Radisson Blu Madrid Prado:
Overall I thought the hotel had a very good location that was across from the Prado, easy walking distance to the Parque del Retiro, not too far from a subway station, and was pretty much right on the route for the “hop on, hop off” tourists buses. There was also a cafe/restaurant within feet of the exit of the hotel and plenty of other shops and restaurants within a few blocks radius (including a Burger King if your kids need something familiar for a meal).
The hotel only has 60 rooms and suites, so it very much has a small and boutique feel to it, which was a good thing. I didn’t love the hotel, but you probably aren’t ever going to love sharing a small space with multiple people. I do think we got a very good deal for the points price we paid, the hotel is in a great location, and the service we received there was very nice.
If I wanted to stay in Madrid on Club Carlson points in the future I would stay here again, though of course all Club Carlson redemptions are no longer as good without the last award night free perk. I’m glad we got this stay in when we did! I will also add that paid rates can be very reasonable here on certain nights, so be sure to check that out as well even if you don’t want to stay on points and instead want to earn some via a lucrative Club Carlson promo.
For our last night in Madrid we switched over to the nearby Westin Palace Madrid, so keep your eyes out for that review if you want to compare two points friendly properties in the same area of Madrid.
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.