Ok Hostel Madrid is a large, modern hostel constructed within an existing building (a purpose conversion), which is almost unique in our experience. Unique, too, is the staff training -- at check-in, the warmth of the welcome and interest shown in newly arrived travelers is highly unusual, and clearly designed to make you immediately feel at home. The delicious breakfast (admittedly, it's at additional cost, but still very cheap), and the evening dinner served at the long, communal tables act positively to facilitate meeting fellow travelers.
The hostel is located in the bohemian Barrio La Latina Quarter, very close to the historic centre of Madrid and only a four-minute walk away from metro stop Tiros de Molina on Line One (light blue). The easiest way from the airport is to use Line Eight to Nuevos Ministerios, change to Line Ten in direction Puerta del Sur, and make one more change to Line One at Tribunal in direction Congosto. Youre looking at an overall journey time of less than an hour.
The hostel is well situated for access to the main attractions, such as Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor and the world-renowned Prado Art Museum, the Queen Sofia Art Museum, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza.
Rooms and Bathrooms
The dorms are brand new, with comfortable, sturdy, well-secured wooden bunks (no creaking) and a small en suite with toilet, bath, and shower attachment. The shower is powerful and hot. Sadly, the sink (in the dorm itself) only provides cold water, so wet shaving is uncomfortable. Each bunk has its own individual power sockets and lights, and a very large under-bunk lockable drawer (bring your own padlock). There are plenty of hooks, and a small desk. The opening window can be obscured completely at night by a roller shutter blind. Each room has a combined air conditioning and heating unit with individual room controls. There is ample space between bunks to dress and change, and there a single comfortable reading chair, complete with art-moderne standard lamp. The feel is airy, clean, and slightly utilitarian. Mattresses are comfortable, and bedding is clean and soft. Duvets ensure a warm nights sleep. On hot nights, duvets can be removed from their covers and the covers can be used as a top sheet.
The reception area is permanently staffed and building access is strictly controlled to guests only. The entrance lobby broadens out to the bar area, a small relaxed seating area, and long dining tables lining the perimeter. A self-catering kitchen leads off, as does a staircase leading down to the basement with laundry and WC facilities; tucked away is a small, quiet reading corner with bookshelves and chairs. Three state-of-the-art Mac desktops are available for guests use. A widescreen TV plays in the bar. Leaflets on local attractions are in the entrance lobby. There is free Wi-Fi throughout, and download speeds are perfectly reasonable.
Breakfast is continental in style, but offers a range of items by way of cereals, breads, jams and spreads, teas, coffee, juices, cold meats, eggs, and cold breakfast vegetables. Dinner is a three-course affair, prepared and cooked by a chef employed specifically for the purpose, and served at long tables, perfect for initiating conversation.
Ok Hostel Madrid is a well run and brand-new hostel clearly set up by a team that is aware of what attracts backpackers, both in terms of the practical facilities, but also in terms of knowing how to facilitate contact and interaction. As it's well located, it provides a perfect base for exploring Madrid.