What it’s like staying at Hotel Indigo Madrid Princesa

My trip to Madrid was a trip of many firsts. From my first-ever international business-class flight over the Atlantic Ocean to my first adult solo trip, I had no idea what to expect, what to do, and what to see — especially in such a limited amount of time.

It was go-time as soon as the plane touched down at Adolfo Suarez Madrid Barajas Airport (MAD). I had five days and lots to experience. In the words of Lady Gaga, it was very much “bus, club, another club, another club, plane, next place.”

Before I dove head-first into the action and began to explore the city, I was eager to get to my hotel and drop off my bags.

After navigating my first time on Madrid’s metro system — which, thankfully, was not too complex compared to New York City’s — I found myself in the neighborhood of Arguelles. It’s a residential but lively area full of coffee shops and department stores where I learned a lot of Madrilenos call home. It would be my home for the next couple of days, too, as I stayed at Hotel Indigo Madrid Princesa.

From the adorable neighborhood to my experience navigating European adapters and lights (which required housekeeping to help me turn them on), here’s what staying at the Hotel Indigo Madrid Princesa was like.

Getting There

It’s quite easy to reach the hotel, thanks to Madrid’s robust and reliable transportation system. Sure, you could take an Uber or a taxi, which can be pretty affordable compared to other large cities, but if you want the true Madrileno experience, I highly suggest taking the metro. If you take an Uber or a Cab, you can expect to pay anywhere from 25 to 30 euros ($27 to $33) on average from the airport to the city center.

There’s a train station within the airport where you can pick up a Multi card; similar to a Metrocard in New York City, you can load and reload as much as you’d like onto the card.

Throughout my time in Madrid, I found the metro highly reliable. In fact, I never took an Uber or a cab due to the navigable transportation network and the walkability of everything.

Booking the Hotel Indigo Madrid Princesa

Since the Hotel Indigo chain is a part of the IHG family, you could use IHG One Rewards points to cover your stay. On average, you can expect to find redemptions anywhere between 20,000-30,000 IHG One Rewards Points per night, depending on the time of year you go, of course.

Typically, rates at this property fall somewhere below $200 per night; for a Full Bed Urban Standard room like mine, you could even find rates for as low as $102 per night, depending on the time of year you go.

For two nights, I paid a total of 332 euros (or about $365.23) using my Chase Sapphire Preferred card, which gives me 2 points per dollar spent on travel purchases, such as hotels for one. I didn’t think the price was bad for a two-night stay. Had I stayed at trendier, closer-to-the-action hotels like the Thompson Madrid or the Hyatt Centric Gran Via Madrid, I would’ve had to fork over much more for a two-night stay.

Standout Features

The location: Situated in the Arguelles neighborhood of Madrid, which is adjacent to popular neighborhoods like Sol or Callao, you’ll be right in the heart of the action. However, you can get a little breathing room when you need a respite from the busy streets.

The sleek, modern design made this boutique hotel feel like an upscale property for a significantly lower cost.

Every interaction I had with the hotel staff — from the kind front desk worker who surprised me with an early check-in to the friendly housekeeper who came to my aid when I couldn’t figure out the light switch — was positive. The people made my experience that much better.


The rooms are definitely on the smaller side, so it’s not the most remote-work-friendly. If you want to get some work done, you may want to utilize the business center downstairs or head to a nearby coffee shop.

The hotel’s amenities were minimal; the small gym could easily get overcrowded if more than three or four people used the equipment at once.

I found myself wishing the closet space was bigger and that there was more space for my belongings. For example, I could’ve hung more of my items if the closet rod was a bit longer.

Checking in

After a 40-minute train ride from the airport, I stepped outside the station with my little suitcase, and at that moment, it hit me that I had finally made it. “Toto, we’re not in New York anymore,” was the first thought that came to mind.

Luckily, I could spot the hotel from the metro stop, and after crossing the busy street, I found myself right in front of Hotel Indigo.

When I entered, I was greeted with a rich, citrusy bergamot scent, which I enjoyed. The lobby was modest in size and not crowded. In fact, it was very quiet, and the vibes were mellow.

It was noon when I arrived, so I was not expecting my room to be ready. I had prepared to kindly ask if the front desk would hold my bags while I started on some sightseeing. To my surprise, though, the helpful front-desk agent informed me that my room was ready and I could check in if I wished.

Eager to drop off my luggage and maybe wash the airplane scent off, I excitedly took my room keys and took the small elevator to the third floor.

For those of you new to Europe like me, the hotels do things a little differently than we do here in the U.S. For starters, the ground floor, which I would call the first floor, is, in fact, floor zero. The second floor is the first, and so forth. So in theory, back home, my room would be on the second floor.

The Room

When I first entered the room, I panicked. No, it wasn’t that the hotel had given me someone else’s room key, but rather I was faced with my first dose of culture shock.

The room light switch wasn’t working. After spending five minutes trying to figure out the light situation, I was about to head back downstairs when I came across a friendly housekeeper. I explained my situation and my ineptitude with European light switches since this was my first time on the continent (let alone traveling solo to a place I’d never been before).

Kindly, the housekeeper followed me into my room and turned on the light in two seconds. All it took was placing my hotel keycard in a slot next to the door and there was light, a fan, the whole works. Because of my limited travel experience, I was unfamiliar with this procedure, but it is much more common than I realized.

Once I figured out the lighting situation, I was able to enjoy the space. My room faced the rear of the building, so I didn’t necessarily get any jaw-dropping Madrid views. Unfortunately, that also meant it didn’t have much natural lighting.

Entering the medium-size room, I felt like I was back home in my East Village bedroom. It was small but comfortable and had enough space to lounge, relax, and get some rest.

At just 172 square feet, it’s safe to say the room’s compact size encourages one to get out and explore the city rather than lounge around.

The closet, which was less of a full closet and more like a utility cart, had many hidden drawers and spaces for storing my belongings. Although I wished there was space to stow my suitcase there, it was functional enough to get the job done.

At first, I had a hard time locating the room’s safe, which was cleverly hidden behind a full-length mirror. Once I found it, I was able to store my valuables and feel secure throughout my stay.

The bathroom was small but well-appointed. It featured a rain showerhead and a selection of toiletries from Aveda. The shower had good water pressure and the temperature was easily adjustable.

Overall, the room provided a comfortable and cozy space to rest after a long day of exploration.

Amenities and Services

While the Hotel Indigo Madrid Princesa may not offer extensive amenities, it does provide some services to enhance your stay.

The hotel has a fitness center equipped with treadmills, ellipticals, and free weights. While it may not be the largest or most comprehensive gym, it offers enough for a quick workout or to maintain your fitness routine while traveling.

Additionally, the hotel has a business center for those who need to get work done. It offers computers, printers, and free Wi-Fi, making it convenient for business travelers or those needing to catch up on emails.

The hotel also offers laundry services, ensuring that you can keep your clothes fresh and clean throughout your stay.

Dining Options

The Hotel Indigo Madrid Princesa features a restaurant and bar called Restaurante El Índigo. It offers a variety of dishes inspired by traditional Spanish cuisine with a modern twist. The restaurant has a cozy and inviting atmosphere, making it a great place to enjoy a meal or grab a drink.

In addition to the restaurant, the hotel also offers room service for those who prefer to dine in the comfort of their room.

Exploring the Neighborhood

One of the highlights of staying at the Hotel Indigo Madrid Princesa is its location in the vibrant Arguelles neighborhood. This area is known for its lively atmosphere, with numerous coffee shops, restaurants, and shops to explore.

The neighborhood is also conveniently located near popular attractions such as Sol and Callao. This allows easy access to iconic landmarks like the Royal Palace, Plaza Mayor, and Puerta del Sol.

Overall, staying at the Hotel Indigo Madrid Princesa was a pleasant experience. The hotel’s convenient location, friendly staff, and comfortable rooms made it a great base for exploring the city. While the amenities may be minimal, the hotel offers everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable stay in Madrid.

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