Detailed review by morgenhund
I stayed in the Gran Hotel Conde Duque for five nights when attending a conference which I had been organising in Madrid last October. As I work for a non-profit organisation, my remit was to ensure that my accommodation was not overly expensive - no easy task, as well as being one of the official conference hotels. By booking on Activehotels.com I was able to get a single room for EUR 91 a night coming out at just under EUR 98 a night including the mandatory sales tax. This was substantially cheaper than the "reduced rate" of EUR 135 excluding tax being offered for single occupancy of a double room by our conference partners.
It should of course be noted that as with nearly all hotels in Madrid, prices are exclusive of breakfast for breakfast you will pay approx EUR12 (ca. GBP 8) extra. I did have breakfast on the Sunday morning after the conference it was very filling and well worth the money, although as it was only available from 7am (very common in Spain), it was too late for me on the mornings of the conference. For people wanting to save money, there are a number of reasonably priced cafés - I was paying about EUR 2.50 (ca. GBP 1.75) for a coffee and croissant in the cafés around the corner.
My room was comfortable - although a little on the small side my single room was dovetailed into the corner of the building and was hardly spacious. The double rooms, however, were decidedly more spacious - and had a sitting area. Facilities-wise the room had everything that I could have wanted - given that I was only really sleeping in the hotel and otherwise was spending time elsewhere in Madrid or nearby.
There was a fully stocked minibar with the usual high prices I refrained from indulging, for the thrifty the supermarket around the corner is a far cheaper bet (2 minutes walk from the hotel!). The rooms are well heated you might feel the need to turn the heating down a bit I found it too hot without turning the heating down.
The bed was comfortable and of a standard single width this was a slight shock to the system after having a queen-size bed at home. I had no problems sleeping, and would say that the hotel is in a quietish neighbourhood - despite being relatively central, and being set away from the main road it is not to noisy during the night.
The bathroom had a bathtub with power shower at one end the bathtub was not, however, a full length one, so unless you were about 56 or smaller you might be hard-pushed to relax in it. There was a good selection of cosmetic products (soaps, shampoos, conditioners, cotton wool balls and buds provided) as well as the emergency sewing kit. There was also a decent hairdryer.
There was a wide range of channels available on the television with about 20 free-to-air channels and the usual pay-TV channels (films, erotica etc.) although I didn't have time to watch anything other than the news. I don't tend to visit hotels in order to watch television. I can't comment on the prices of the pay TV services, as I didn't use them during my stay.
There was a code operated safe which I used for my passport and similar effects that I didn't need during my stay in Madrid. This was in the wardrobe, with hanging space perfectly adequate for moderate needs a couple of suits and a few shirts went in comfortably. There was a laundry service, although I didn't make use of it. It would have been nice to have had a trouser press although this was not something available in my room.
There was a comfortable sitting area by the reception and there was table service from the bar available. The reception were very helpful, they had a concierge service and would look after items securely (in a locked room for you) which was useful. The hotel bar served light snacks at lunch time a club sandwich cost a princely EUR 8 (GBP 5.50), and whilst being good would have struggled to justify the somewhat hefty price tag, given the prices in the Tapas bars around the corner. The drinks were similarly of inflated prices in comparison to the surrounding area.
Location-wise the hotel is very centrally located you can reach the airport with only a single change from the hotel on the underground, and taxis are permanently at the rank outside the front door of the hotel. The underground station, San Bernardo is on underground lines 2 and 4, which can take you directly into the city centre. San Bernardo is about 200m down Av. Alberto Aguilera. I needed to grab some cufflinks after a wardrobe malfunction (Superbowl tie-in reference there!!!) and was glad there was a Corto Ingles only about 300m away. There are also a veritable plethora of cash machines in easy reach. The hotel is in a relatively quiet square and there are a number of bars and restaurants in easy walking distance.
There are lifts to all floors, although with the corridors being somewhat narrow, not all rooms are easily accessible for wheelchair users. It might be adviseable to ensure that the hotel knows that you are disabled when you book, to ensure that you have a room that is suitably accessible.
Payment-wise the hotel accepts credit cards as well as Maestro, and of course also accepts cash. For people with a Star Alliance frequent flyer card, then if you have a non-discounted room, your stay will earn you Star Alliance miles sadly I didn't qualify due to the promotional rate, but at the end of the day EUR 100 rather than EUR 150 including taxes was worth the saving.
All in all, the hotel served its purpose very well, was clean and comfortable, even if the room I had was a touch on the small side. I would happily stay there again, and would recommend it to other people.
Gran Hotel Conde Duque