Hilton Madrid Airport opened in 2008, and with 284 rooms plus 15 meeting rooms and a ballroom, it is by far the Hilton group’s biggest property in the Spanish capital. The other is a boutique-style Doubletree in the centre.
In those 11 years the hotel has established a reputation as a leading conference and events venue, with its extensive facilities and more upmarket suites meaning it can host everyone from sports teams to politicians as well as large-scale business gatherings.
Where is it?
Though closer to the airport than the city centre, it’s still around 5km from Madrid-Barajas. A free shuttle comes roughly every 30 minutes between 0600 and 0100. If you’re arriving at Terminal 4 like I did, the drive can take up to 30 minutes since you’ll stop at the other terminals. On the way back I was in a rush so took a taxi, which took around 10 minutes but cost €15, so it’s really cost vs convenience.
The hotel will arrange taxis for you into the city centre, or nearby IFEMA conference hall and Wanda Metropolitano stadium. I also took the metro into town, though bear in mind it’s a 15-minute walk from the hotel to the first stop and then about 15 stops into the centre.
What’s it like?
Spacious – there is a main entrance and reception hall which leads into a breakfast area with enough space for every guest. This extends up to form an atrium surrounded by the guest rooms of ‘tower one’. A short walk along a large corridor leads to ‘tower two’, which has another event space, its own lift, and also a second reception in case businesses book out the entire tower for an event.
It’s worth remembering which tower you’re staying in so you don’t (as I did) emerge from the gym and find yourself baffled as to why everything looks the same but your room seems to have disappeared.
The 284 keys are divided into king and twin rooms at 37 sqm, deluxe rooms at 45 sqm and suites at 69 sqm. The deluxe tier is further divided into corner rooms, executive rooms and relaxation rooms with whirlpool baths. There is also a Presidential Suite that can be used for events as well as VIPs.
All rooms have desks, although the deluxe rooms are a step up from the semi-circular glass tables of the entry-level rooms, featuring corner nooks with a long working space, desk light, plugs, phone and supportive chair.
A King room desk
A relaxation room desk
All rooms also have a chaise longue, tea and coffee making facilities and big windows with good soundproofing, even if you’re facing the road.
The bathrooms are large and feel luxurious, with a lot of marble. They have sliding doors which don’t quite close, so it’s quite an intimate setup even though the toilet and shower have their own separate doors.
My relaxation room was great for a three-night stay, especially the desk setup and bath. The decor had a kind of vintage Hollywood/Bond villain feel, in a good way.
Standard rooms feature original artwork and similarly retro chairs, though aren’t as large.
The furniture in all rooms has been updated every three years since the property opened.
Food and drink
Breakfast is an additional room cost and is an extensive buffet selection, including freshly-made omelettes and waffles. Hilton Honors Diamond Members can also eat in the Executive Lounge from 0600, though the spread is smaller.
Also in tower one is Reserva Grill Restaurant, which is open for lunch and dinner. The atmosphere is fairly relaxed, though the setting is smart and the service is sharp, and there were a couple of lunch meetings taking place when I ate there.
The menu rotates regularly, but focuses on meat and seafood dishes, while Spanish classics like paella are always available.
Opposite Reserva is the hotel bar, which is large – in fact, so large that it feels a tad corporate. However the staff are friendly and it’s a good place to meet or wait for a taxi.
The first floor has a pool with a retractable roof, a gym, sauna and steam room. Though I initially thought it looked like quite a small space, it was never too busy during my stay even though the hotel was at around 80 per cent occupancy.
Next to the gym, which can also remove part of its roof, is a little outdoor area for sunbathing or just relaxing. Personal training sessions and massages can be booked on request, and the trainer looked like he had near-constant appointments.
This is clearly where the hotel excels, with 1,700 sqm of meeting space which can be configured in various ways. The Isabella Ballroom can fit 600 people and also has smaller rooms coming off it than can be opened up. Its main doorway can fit cars through it (and has done), and it is directly in front of the second entrance and reception, meaning companies can book out the whole tower for a big event.
There are 15 meeting rooms named after different cities, all with large windows and access to the outside. The hotel staff are clearly very experienced at hosting events, and have arranged everything from boxing matches in the ballroom to smoothie-making bikes in the lobby.
Downstairs there is also a business area with several desktop computers and printers.
Although I believe it’s a general Hilton principal, I do think it’s odd that only Honors members get complimentary wifi.
A clean, large, modern hotel which will suit leisure travellers looking for quick airport links (it was certainly convenient when my flight home was cancelled and I was booked onto a new one early the next morning) as well as business travellers who appreciate facilities like a hot tub-style bath and personal training option.