If you want a hotel less than 5 minutes' walk from the Prado, around 5 minutes from Atocha railway station (where the airport bus arrives), the same from El Retiro, on the edge of the Huevas area which is full of bars and tapas places and restaurants, perhaps 15 minutes on foot from Plaza Mayor...and don't want to pay a fortune for it...the Mora is definitely worth a look!
When I booked it I had no idea quite how convenient it would be for my wanderings (largely on foot)., so you can imagine how pleased I was to be in reception just 8 minutes or so after getting off the airport bus (I needed the extra time to navigate myself!).
The Mora offers clean, comfortable rooms with good heating (it was very cold when I visited) , which suggests the air con will be equally efficient. They all have tiny balconies which are, nevertheless, big enough to stand upon. Rooms at the front overlook the busy Paseo del Prado and the botanical gardens. But they have excellent double-glazing which cuts down the traffic noise substantially...and the view of the many trees will be especially lovely when they are in leaf. Rooms at the back only have a view of the Caixa Forum, a sort of arts centre, so it's better to be at the front or the side imo. Ear plugs are always useful when visiting big cities!
My single room was reasonably-sized, with wardrobe, desk, TV, safe, free wifi and very comfortable bed (extra pillow and blanket provided). The ensuite always had plenty of hot water, although the shower was small: fine for most people but perhaps difficult for those who are very large.
There's a small lift (a tight squeeze for two people and two suitcases) but I mostly used the stairs to go down.
Staff were courteous and efficient, although I would have appreciated being told about the need to get a key for the safe from them *before* I went up to my room!
The Mora does not offer breakfast but the adjoining hotel cafe, accessed through a door in reception, was very pleasant and had very reasonable prices (coffee and a croissant at 2.50 euro, for example). It was also very busy with local people, for breakfast and at lunch and dinnertime: a very good sign, imo.
As well as the breakfast foods (tostas, churros etc etc) the cafe provides menus del dias for lunch and a range of other dishes throughout the day/evening. And alcoholic drinks, of course.
I was very pleased with this hotel. There are probably cheaper hostales in the city centre but the sheer convenience made it ideal for my stay.
Definitely worth investigating. I booked through www.booking.com
Directions: From the airport bus stop, turn left. Cross the road in front of the Ministry of Agriculture building, then cross Paseo del Prado. Walk to your right: the hotel is about 3 minutes' away, just after the Caixa Forum and the vertical garden.
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Address: Paseo del Prado 32, Madrid, 28014, Spain