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The Madrid Marriott Auditorium Hotel is an "affordable luxury" accommodation that offers wheelchair accessible hotel rooms within close proximity of Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport (MAD). And, when I say "affordable," I do mean that sincerely! I spent one night at the property (on Christmas Eve) before an early morning American Airlines flight to the United States. The hotel's wheelchair accessible airport shuttle made it easy to get to my flight, and I didn't have to worry about using public transportation.
I made my room reservation about a month before the stay, taking advantage of a special Cyber Week/Black Friday deal offered by Marriott. The discounted rate was just 64.90 EUR, inclusive of tax, or about $74 USD. My booking was completed via the hotel website.
My reservation was for a room with a roll-in shower, with two twin/single beds. I normally reserve a king size bed, but the hotel did not have roll-in showers in those rooms. It could be a Spanish thing, as the same was true during my earlier stay at the Courtyard Marriott Madrid Princesa hotel.
The discounted room rate did require prepayment. I typically avoid non-refundable hotel reservations, as unexpected delays and trip interruptions are a distinct possibility with wheelchair travel. But, since I was already going to be in Madrid, I didn't hesitate to pay for this room (on my last night in Madrid) in advance.
Airport Shuttle & Check-in
I don't typically stay at airport hotels when traveling abroad, unless they are connected to the airport terminal (see Le Méridien Cairo Airport Hotel) or easily accessible via public transportation (see Renaissance London Heathrow Hotel). This is because the complimentary shuttle buses are almost never capable of transporting wheelchairs. And, even in the United States, hotel shuttles are rarely wheelchair accessible, but the ADA requires offending properties to pick up the cost of your taxi ride. In a foreign country, you're likely to be on your own.
Thankfully, the Madrid Marriott Auditorium Hotel breaks the mold by offering a wheelchair accessible shuttle to/from the airport! After arriving to the airport (I came in on the Metro from Downtown Madrid), I made my way to the shuttle pick-up area outside of the arrivals hall.
Within about 10 minutes, I found the Marriott shuttle. The large van (or mini bus) had a manual ramp that folded out onto the curb. The slope was minimal, and I had no trouble maneuvering my power wheelchair into the designated space.
The ride to the hotel lasted only about 10 minutes, and I arrived to a hotel decorated for the Christmas season:
Check-in was a breeze and, within minutes, I was off to my wheelchair accessible hotel room. I was pleased with the seamlessness of the airport transfer and check-in, as I needed to rest before my long flight on Christmas morning!
Wheelchair Accessible Hotel Room #1365
Upon entering my hotel room, I discovered plenty of space to move about in my wheelchair comfortably, with no tight areas too difficult to navigate. The beds were the first thing I checked out.
Many hotel rooms in Europe with twin beds are arranged in the fashion pictured above. The two beds, though separate, are pushed up right against each other. This can be either awkward or frustrating, depending on who you are sharing the room with. Thankfully, I was staying in the room alone and didn't have to listen to anyone snoring just a few inches away!
There was more space for a wheelchair on the left side, so I slept in the leftmost bed. It was pretty high, several inches taller than the seat of my wheelchair. Thankfully, power outlets were positioned high and on the wall next to my bed, and I used these to charge my power wheelchair.
Power outlets in Spain supply electricity at between 220 and 240 volts. If you are traveling from the United States, where electricity is supplied at 110 volts, you'll want to protect your wheelchair and battery with a step-down power transformer.
In the far corner of the room was a round table with two chairs. Had I stayed longer, this would have been a great place to set-up my computer and enjoy some room service!
The room had a small rectangular-shaped window on the far wall, which did let in a surprising amount of light.
Looking back across the room and dow its interior hallway, you'll see the room's main door. It opened into the room. On the left is a great shelf on which to store bags, as well as a cabinetry area containing a refrigerator, safe and coffeemaker.
The room's thermostat was easily accessible on the wall to the left of the beds, and I was able to set it to a comfortable temperature (I like it chilly at night).
Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom
The hotel room had a large accessible bathroom, with plenty of space for my wheelchair.
The bathroom sink and roll-in shower were side-by-side, so I have included them both in the photograph above. The sink was wheelchair accessible, with plenty of space to roll underneath, but a glass shelf obstructed my chair to some degree. If I had stayed for more than one night, I would have requested that to be removed. I am certain the hotel would have been accommodating.
This next photo (above) provides a close-up view of the water controls, handheld shower nozzle and grab bar for the roll-in shower. The provided shower chair was actually a stool, and the shower's small size made it a tight squeeze. That said, if this shower were in a U.S. hotel, I believe the only ADA violations would have been the portable chair and the excessive distance between the grab bar and the wall.
The shower was ultimately easy to use, though it was not my preferred design.
The arrangement of the toilet was just about perfect, with space for a wheelchair to park alongside it, and grab bars affixed to the adjacent walls. I'd have liked to see the toilet paper roll hanging on the wall next to, rather than behind, the toilet. But it was still a safe toilet set-up and I was pleased.
Guests staying in a room on the hotel's club level, or who have Gold/Platinum status in the Marriott Rewards loyalty program, receive access to the club lounge.
The lounge was a lovely, large space. Sadly, I arrived late to the hotel and left early, which meant I wasn't able to experience the complete offering. There were some nice snacks available late in the evening, though, and breakfast is provided in the morning. A lounge attendant was on hand to assist me with whatever I need, but I was able to manage grabbing a few cookies and a soda pop on my own.
The Madrid Marriott Auditorium Hotel is a property I would be completely comfortable staying at again in the future. Unfortunately, the distance from downtown Madrid would limit its usefulness to me, but I'd be happy to book a room if arriving late to or leaving early from Madrid's International Airport. Although short, I had a fantastic stay at an affordable price - so there is nothing worth complaining about!