Lessons on the Road: Madrid

Here is an understatement: Southern Europe is hot during the summertime. Weather, culture, timing, activities, decorating… they all influence one another. How can you cope with the heat and have a great time?

AM: Eat breakfast early! Aside from the fact that breakfast is meant to be the most important meal of the day, it is comforting to know that when away from home, you can saunter down within the building to start the day right. It’s a treat to enjoy the local specialties, such as: fresh squeezed orange juice, tortilla de patata, manchego sheep cheese and even olives. I like going early while it’s still below 80 F / 20 C so I beat the crowd and still have an appetite before the heat comes.

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MID-DAY: If you aren’t taking a siesta, you might as well find the pool or ocean. Sometimes it’s best just not to fight the heat. If there is a chaise lounge and towel provided, guests are more than happy. A bonus would be a glass pitcher of water with citrus slices, such as lemon or lime, made available at no charge.

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EARLY EVENING: A table in the room for a snack before going for late night tapas. Restaurants and terraces don’t start serving until close to 9 PM / 21:00, so having a space to get your fruits and vegetables before all the potato, egg and seafood small plates is well worth it. Not to mention a little water before the sangria…

 

PM: The right linens and access to light switches make all the difference. During the hot months, guests don’t need more than a good variety of pillows (firmness and size) as well as a sheet and lightweight blanket. However good looking the Pottery Barn layering effect is, it just isn’t practical to place extra bedding on when it’s going on the floor at bedtime.

 

This particular hotel wasn’t the newest, but it certainly had it’s charm. There was easy access to all main lights in the room and hallway from the bed. That meant that after a cup of tea and light reading, there was no need to fumble around in the dark.

Between the fun light switches, breakfast options and even the artwork, you know that you’re in Spain. I would argue that the most important thing for any guest is to feel clean, but a close second is to have the charm of wherever you are. Viva Madrid!

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