Review: Thompson Madrid–Is It Now Madrid’s Best Hotel?

by Shelli Stein

There are cities that become favorites even if you don’t actually live there. You simply enjoy them for all they have to offer and visit them as often as you can. For you these cities have a certain charm. You might even say they are magical. For a long while now, I’ve thought this way about Madrid, Spain. When I leave there is never a doubt that I will return. My usual hotel is the Hyatt Centric. I love that property. Recently though, the first Thompson in Europe opened in Madrid. It’s called Thompson Madrid. Even though so many travelers and Hyatt loyalists rave about Thompson hotels, I’d not yet stayed at a Thompson hotel. Okay then, a Thompson stay in one of my favorite cities seemed like a great combination. I now had another reason to return to Madrid and my curiosity piqued! Here is my Thompson Madrid review.

How I Paid and My Room Assignment at the Thompson Madrid

Don’t think for a minute that I’ll go easy on the Thompson Madrid as I pen this hotel and hotel room review. I may be a Hyatt fan girl, but that often means I hold Hyatt properties to a higher standard. After all, first impressions matter and if you’ve not yet stayed here I want you to have the best and most informed impression possible. I’m not writing to promote Hyatt. I’m writing to inform readers!

Specifics About The Hotel And Some Thompson Madrid Backstory

This is the first Thompson hotel in Europe! That was true of the Hyatt Centric in Madrid as well; first Centric in Europe. It’s not strange then that both the Centric in Madrid and the Thompson are owned by the same owners. According to the management folks I spoke with, the owners did look at different areas in Madrid for the hotel but this was their preferred location. You’ll notice that the Centric and the Thompson are only a few streets away from each other.

Only piece of artwork was on the living room wall

Thompson Madrid artwork in suite living room

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I’ve often wondered how Hyatt defines the Thompson brand so I asked people who work at the Thompson Madrid. The consensus was that it’s a 5 star luxury hotel yet the emphasis is in making guests feel like they are coming home when they stay at the property. Many 5 star luxury hotels can create a rather serious and formal environment. That’s not the environment this Thompson is looking to achieve.

The hotel is not really a great choice for kids/families. There are a few connecting rooms, but the property is not geared towards kids and creating a fun stay for them. I did not notice kids during my stay at all. Many families, though, but all adults.

Rooftop bars are popular in Madrid, and the Thompson rooftop doesn’t disappoint. It has two sections. One has a small wading pool area and a bar for guests. Then there’s a section of the roof for everyone else. The bars/restaurant are open from 6 pm to 2 am. The rooftop bar closes for winter season but a cocktail bar on the ground level will be open.

In total the property has 175 rooms. There are 21 suites, 7 of which are Junior Suites. It is a Hyatt category 5 property and has been category 5 since it opened. However, the points needed for an award free night stay have gone up.

The average stay at the Thompson is for three nights. Guests are mostly Americans and mostly Hyatt members. The property attracts travelers from the Middle East, Chinese tourists, and older travelers as well.

Apparently Madrid is seen as a stopover city, so many guests stay at the hotel when transiting through Madrid. The Thompson attracts both business and leisure travelers, and during my stay I did see both business meetings and leisure travelers in the lobby and around the property.

Why People Choose The Thompson Madrid

I wondered why people choose this property rather than one of the other Hyatt properties in Madrid. I was told that guests do favor the Hyatt brand, but more importantly it’s because it’s a Thompson hotel and the first Thompson in Europe. The hotel does get many Hyatt Globalist and Discoverist members as well. For 25-30 % of the guests it’s their first time in Madrid.

As a word of caution, there is construction on the street right outside the hotel because the city is building a parking garage and a plaza. The area is called Plaza Carmen. Make sure to check on your room and potential noise interference!

My recent stay at the Thompson Madrid was for four nights. I could have used a World of Hyatt free night award. Rather than doing that, and because I caught a great points rate when the hotel first opened, I booked my stay with Hyatt points. The all cash rate was well over $500 USD a night.

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The Thompson Madrid is a World of Hyatt Category 5 property, meaning free nights start at 23,000 Hyatt points per night. You can catch some off-peak rates of 20,000 points a night. I paid 17,000 a night which was a super good deal.

Because of my Globalist status with Hyatt I was proactively upgraded to a suite. I did not know this ahead of time. I also did not know ahead of time that I’d be upgraded to a King Suite City View!

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Using my Hotel Room Scorecard I broke down the individual elements of my Thompson Madrid room which scored a 26 of 40 points.

Location (4/5)

The Thompson Madrid places you in a central location. You’ll have easy access to a few different metro stops. It’s within walking distance to Gran Via (a main street and shopping area). In the old town Madrid direction you can walk to a few different Madrid plazas. Parque Retiro, which is one of my favorite parks in the world, is a 20-30 minute walk. If you’ll be visiting museums and feel up to walking, that’s a fun thirty minute walk through a few different neighborhoods.

Madrid is a great walking city! For me, the Thompson Madrid’s location meant being able to walk in all directions and easily get to my destinations and the areas and parks I wanted to explore. I loved the location because I walk everywhere. You might not. The areas tourists would typically enjoy are no more than a 30-minute walk, so take that into consideration.

Lighting (2/5)

The room did have natural lighting, with three floor-to-ceiling windows. One was in the bedroom and the other two were in the living area. However, the poor lighting in the suite was a big issue for me.

The lighting is awful. Why? Way too much under lighting giving off a weird orange-ish golden color. The bar area lighting was on the same switch as the main living area. Why not separate those lights so a guest can at least turn those lights off?

Beverage and snack area with plenty of shelves too

Sometimes you don’t realize how lighting can make or break a room until you have awful lighting. I’ve never seen a room with such a glowing golden experience. It’s like the designers were trying too hard to create an ambience. It didn’t work for me.

Window Access (4/5)

The Thompson Madrid is located on a busy street with both car and general street noise. Because of the hotel’s location, I would imagine that most of the rooms have a city view. Because I had a corner and side street view I had good window access and some natural light.

The suite actually had doors that opened onto a small balcony. But not a balcony that you’d sit out on. It was nice to be able to step outside, get fresh air, and see what was happening on the streets.

There are two levels of window shades, one for sun/privacy and one for black-out darkness. I know it can be unrealistic to expect hotel windows that open, but for me that’s always what makes window access a winner.

Bed Comfort (3/5)

The bed was too hard for me so not particularly comfortable. That surprised me because I’ve heard people rave about the beds at Thompson properties. Liking a hotel bed’s firmness level is such an individual choice, right? If you like super firm beds, you’d like these.

Bedroom in Thompson Madrid suite

The pillows worked well and there were already different pillow types on the bed, so I was able to choose which worked best for me. Too often all the pillows are the same, but not in this case.

The bedroom had plenty of shelves and drawers, and I liked the wood decor.

Spacious closet in suite at Thompson Madrid Abundant drawers and shelving in bedroom

Bathroom (3/5)

The bathroom design had some strange, quirky, and missing features.

The toilet was in a separate area with a small sink but no hook for a towel. It felt like the toilet was oddly placed in between the bedroom and entrance hallway.

View of sink looking into bedroom

Shower buttons are my new favorite shower style. I’m seeing that in newer Hyatt hotels. There are two showers; an overhead one and a hand-held which you could easily direct from the wall. There was a shower wall seat, so lots of room for sundries.

Main bathroom double sink Bathroom sinks in suite

I don’t know about you but ever since hotels started going to big canisters of shower gel/soap and shampoo, I bring my own supplies. In most showers there are still trays on the wall where you can place your own supplies. This shower had a built in wall seat, so it was the perfect place for sundries.

Interior Appointments and Furnishings (4/5)

The hotel is only a year old so I was surprised by some of the design misses in the suite.

There were decorating features that didn’t make sense to me.

My room faced the street and was directly across from buildings where people could look into my room. Not sure if other rooms would provide more privacy. Certainly some would. This meant I had to keep my curtains pulled closed, which very much restricted not just my view but airflow into the room.

Were people looking in all day? No, of course not. But when I look back at my hotel stays and compare rooms, even in big cities I haven’t had to pull curtains closed for privacy.

Flowers in Thompson Madrid living room View of living room from entry way Overview of living room area in suite

There’s a large mirror on the wall in the dining room. Given the other mirrors in the suite I’m not sure why this one was necessary. Surely a plain wall with some artwork would be nicer than seeing mirror images reflected from wherever you were in the living space.

Dining room area in suite

The full-length blackout curtains in the living area could only be opened and closed together. Why not one or the other?

The wall unit area opposite the couch was handsome but there was nothing much on it. It could use more decorating. It’s built-in but seems like no thought was given to what to do with the space beyond sticking a huge TV against the unit.

Thompson Madrid living room bookcase

Living room bookcase too sparsely decorated, don’t you think?

The bedroom artwork above the headboard didn’t go across the whole wall and really was not even needed. Either nothing on the wall or one simple piece of art would work better.

The dining table only had three chairs, while clearly the table was chosen as a space to seat four.

Dining area view from entry way of suite

Okay, let’s look at some of the positives!

The entry way area was quirky in the shelving design and with a faux closet area. I really liked it and found it useful and creative. It provided great shelving for hats/keys/daypacks etc. Closet with no doors——perfect!

Very creative use of entry way area as a closet with shelving

Very creative use of entry way area as an open closet with shelving

The dining room table and chairs were comfortable. Since there was no desk and I worked while at the hotel this was a plus. For me the table and chair match were a good height.

View as you enter the suite

The couch was comfortable. The room design featured subdued colors using browns and tans. I do think in the rain or perhaps darker times of the year all the dark wood would make the room seem much darker than what I experienced.

Light switches were easy enough to use. Given some of the complicated systems we find in hotels, this is always helpful.

The coffee and beverage area had good shelving so lots of room for your snacks.

Thompson Madrid suite beverage and snack area

Coffee and beverage area in suite

Well-stocked area for drinks and snacks

As an aside, I did see a huge presidential style suite. I also saw a regular room and was impressed with the standard rooms. They are fine and well-designed and appointed and I wouldn’t hesitate to book one of those rooms.

Just so you know, the standard rooms start at 258 square feet and come with either city views or courtyard views. In addition, these rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows, a custom honor bar, a sitting area with a lounge chair, a desk, and a flat-screen TV equipped with Chromecast.

For lots of reasons I felt the room design showed a less than optimal use of space. I felt the design and appointments could have been done both more thoughtfully and creatively.

Without a doubt, this will be the area of disagreement between people who either do or do not appreciate the design and layout of a hotel room.

Come on Thompson Madrid………put your thinking cap on and use the space you created!

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Electronics (4/5)

As expected in a hotel that’s so new, plugs and outlets were plentiful. There were outlets near the bed and universal plugs and USB charging ports, as well. I needed to borrow an adapter. I recognize it’s on me to carry my own, which I do. Just needed an extra one this time around. The hotel found me one that worked, so I appreciated that.

Amenities (4/5)

I’ve started requesting Yoga mats when I stay in hotels. Yeah Thompson Madrid! Yoga mat, and a great one at that, delivered to my room.

During the week the hotel offers an early morning Yoga class. I did not join in, so can’t comment on the class. It’s great to know, if you’re an early morning yogi, classes are available.

The property provides water, and it was super generous with providing water. It was also generous with whatever supplies you needed.

Thompson Madrid Breakfast Options

Let me begin by saying, “Don’t miss breakfast at the Thompson Madrid!”

Breakfast is at Omar, the restaurant just off the lobby. Omar is owned in partnership with the owners of the Thompson. It costs 35 Euro and is well worth it.

Because of my Globalist status with Hyatt, for me breakfast was complimentary.

As you can see from the first photo below, the restaurant has a full-service bakery. I tasted everything, and I do mean everything they bake, and it was all delicious!

Take a look at the fourth photo below. That’s the other unique feature of breakfast at Omar. It’s called Set De Bienvenida. Instead of a traditional buffet, the staff brings you a traditional Spanish buffet to your table.

If you’ve never had Pan Con Tomate (Spanish Tomato Bread) or even if you make it every day for breakfast, you must enjoy it at Omar. And don’t be shy. Ask the staff to show you how to make Pan Con Tomate and you’ll be a pro in no time.

All the items I ordered from the breakfast menu were creative, delicious, and beautifully presented. The truffled egg jar, if you have an adventurous palate, is wonderful.

While I could go on and on raving about the fun breakfast experience at the Thompson, I can easily switch to raving about the breakfast staff. Fun, patient with my Pan Con Tomate clumsiness, and eager to let me practice my Spanish. The staff is so warm and welcoming. It was super fun to interact with the staff.

Fresh bread baked daily at the Thompson Madrid

Fresh bread baked daily at the Thompson Madrid

Breakfast menu Thompson Madrid

Thompson Madrid breakfast menu

Breakfast menu Thompson Madrid

Thompson Madrid breakfast menu

Breakfast menu Thompson Madrid

Fresh baked sweets at the Thompson Madrid

Thompson Madrid sweets baked daily

When writing hotel reviews I often review the minibar and available snacks. The minibar and coffee area was well equipped with a kettle and Nespresso style coffee maker. There was no fridge, per se. I did remove some of the beverages from the fridge to create space for items I had that needed to be kept cold. And let me say, as you can see from the photos, that there were plenty of beverage options! In fact, it was the largest assortment of mostly alcoholic offerings I’ve ever seen in a hotel room.

There are a few common space areas at the hotel.

There is a bar area just off the lobby, a restaurant that serves lunch and dinner, but no particular work areas. These common areas are well used by people in the community as well as hotel guests.

Because of the natural lighting and easy-going environment of the hotel staff, the bar counter area worked well for me the few times I sat there to work. There was no pressure to buy a drink, so even if I sat there and worked without buying a beverage, it was fine.

There is a Guest Services concierge in the lobby! Good to see as so many properties now expect front desk people to be concierges as well.

There was one glitch with Guest Services, though. The Thompson Madrid gifts Hyatt Globalists a welcome amenity. I never received mine and they never realized it until I brought up the topic. I thought it odd because there wasn’t even a “welcome to our hotel note” in my suite. Even if there isn’t an amenity, there’s always a welcome note from management or guest services. I asked about this and that’s how I found out Guest Services messed up. The hotel did apologize and said they won’t miss next time and encouraged me to return to the Thompson. Hmm, does that mean next time I’ll get two gifts of chocolate covered strawberries :))

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Thompson Madrid: Most Common Complaints

When I review a hotel I always wonder what complaints hotel guests have, so I ask the hotel team.

In the case of the Thompson Madrid, guests complain about the views. Ninety percent of the complaints are about the views.

The other concern people have is about available parking for cars. The hotel is located on Plaza Carmen and right now there is major construction happening. They are building both a parking garage and a new plaza.

These two additions will really help to make this location better if you have a car and for sure a more lovely location with a plaza just outside the front entrance.

Hotel Service at the Thompson Madrid

While you can tell I wasn’t super thrilled with the hotel room and thought the design and layout detracted from my stay, I can’t help but mention the service because it really does tie into my being generally impressed with the hotel.

The Thompson staff is excellent—top notch for sure.

Service is spot on. The staff gets wonderful reviews and I understand why. They are helpful, energetic, and the check-in and lobby area are VERY well staffed. The concierge team is excellent and staffed with locals who know their city and make great recommendations!

The service team in the restaurant and bar areas are great too. Service was very personalized with attention being paid to every guest. Even though breakfast is busy and the wait staff hustles, the vibe at breakfast was still a relaxing one. No rush, no pressure to dine fast because other guests were waiting.

If you choose to engage the hotel staff in conversation they are a fun bunch to chat with. There was never anything I asked for from housekeeping, the front desk team, or the hotel management team where the staff didn’t happily oblige.

I thoroughly enjoyed the friendly, warm, and very Spanish helpful environment.

When they say they want to create a hotel environment that feels like home, they mean it!

Final Thoughts On The Thompson Madrid

This is complicated for me to think through. Madrid has three Hyatt properties I highly recommend. The Hyatt Centric has long been my favorite property in Madrid. I’ve stayed there many times. The Hyatt Regency is in a totally different location. It’s not near the main tourist areas but rather in a residential/business section of Madrid. I have seen the hotel (not stayed there yet) and really liked the lobby and Club Lounge areas. Now I have a Thompson stay under my belt for comparison sake.

It’s a great dilemma to have…… many options that would make a visit to Madrid even more wonderful.

The Thompson Madrid can be a good value and a great value on points. What it offers and the service were both spot on, even though the room itself did not work very well for me. I realized it’s a matter of quantity vs. quality, and sometimes less is more.

The location puts you close enough to everything you’d want to see. I would absolutely stay here again. Putting together this review was fun because it brought back memories of an outstanding hotel stay in a city I’m quite fond of. I’m thrilled I tried something different when needing a hotel in Madrid and glad Hyatt made the move to open a Thompson property in Spain.

I think of the Thompson Madrid as a hotel for people who enjoy mixing their hotel stay with spending time in a super touristy area. At times that certainly includes me and if it includes you, by all means gather up your travel gear and give this hotel a try and see what you think for yourself. I really don’t think you can go wrong with any of the Hyatt properties in Madrid. They are all unique and offer great service.

Hey, I’ve got an idea——plan a trip to Madrid and try all three hotels. Why didn’t I think of that sooner?

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