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#1607 - 03/04/01 10:55 PM Re: (Madrid) Hostal Cervantes: Thumbs definitely up! Hostal Lopez: thumbs somewhat down
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10011
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
Well, as joe z said himself:
Quote:
I guess the old saying is true – "You can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all the people all the time."
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#1608 - 03/04/01 11:21 PM Re: (Madrid) Hostal Cervantes: Thumbs definitely up! Hostal Lopez: thumbs somewhat down
aphra Offline
Member

Registered: 01/03/01
Posts: 65
Loc: New York City, USA
I need to say something here, and please--I do say this without meaning any disrespect to anyone.

Joe Z wrote, "Cervantes did give us a discount...Fabio came down from his ordinary rate of 6500 pesatas ($37) to 6000 pesatas ($34.25). We definitely would have stayed, even without the discount."

OK, here's my comment. PLEASE, before you accept such a discount, think about how much it will save you versus how much it will cost the person who offered it to you and whether you really need to save that small amount of money as much as the other guy needs to earn it. Assuming that Joe Z got that discount on each of two rooms over a full seven nights, that would save a grand total of $38. I'm guessing most of us on this board (students excepted) would scarcely notice such an amount, particularly in the grand scheme of the cost of a week's vacation in Europe for a family of four. I'm also guessing that same amount would have meant considerably more to Fabio.

If you've found what you consider a good deal, please think twice before trying to save a couple of bucks at the expense of people who are struggling to keep things together financially as it is. You DO want that charming hostal (or gift shop, or whatever) you loved so much to remain afloat until your next visit, don't you?

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#1609 - 03/05/01 08:59 AM Re: (Madrid) Hostal Cervantes: Thumbs definitely up! Hostal Lopez: thumbs somewhat down
joe z Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/01/01
Posts: 6
Loc: deerfield, ny usa
I lied. Here I am again. And it's because Aphra has helped me to see the error of my ways.

Here's some additional advice for you all for the next time you're in Madrid:
1) Even though kids are free on the city bus tours, pay the full fare for them.
2) When you get a price-fixed "meal deal" at a restaurant, add up the a la carte prices and pay that amount, even though it's more.
3) If a shop is having a sale, pay the original prices on all marked-down items.

After all, pesatas grow on trees that all we Americans have, don't they? And we wouldn't want our favorite bus tours, restaurants and shops to go under, too, because of our capitalistic tendencies, would we?

Thank you, Aphra. The next time I plan a family vacation on an extremely tight budget, I won't. I'll postpone it until we can save enough money to ensure that we can spend it the way you think all Americans should.

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#1610 - 03/05/01 09:12 AM Re: (Madrid) Hostal Cervantes: Thumbs definitely up! Hostal Lopez: thumbs somewhat down
rgf Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/20/00
Posts: 786
Loc: New York, New York
Here's my two pesetas. If something has a posted rate as FREE or REDUCED, you take it. If you are dealing with a big hotel chain, you always look for the cheapest rate, using any trick in the book to get it (they know how far they can go). If dealing with small family hostales, you pay the stated rate, and/but asking for an off-season descuento or multinight descuento is legit. Aphra has a really good point... many of these hostales are just making it, and if the price is reasonable and you are prepared to pay it, why ask for a further discount! One of my favorite things to do in Spain is tip the housekeeping staff very generously. Even when staying in family-run inns, I have been known to leave a thousand pesetas behind as a way of saying, you treated us so well, your prices for my budget are so reasonable, and I want to show gratitude. Oh, and about those fixed priced menus?? I make sure to tip MORE when I have them, because the price is so reasonable but the waitstaff work is just as hard!

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#1611 - 03/05/01 12:50 PM Re: (Madrid) Hostal Cervantes: Thumbs definitely up! Hostal Lopez: thumbs somewhat down
Carole Chiaro Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 01/29/01
Posts: 378
Loc: Danville, CA USA
Come on, folks. Let's give joe z a break. It never hurts to politely ask if a small discount is possible. In fact, this is often the rule in many countries (i.e. Costa Rica) where, just by asking via e-mail, we have received discounts of up to 50% on rooms (depending upon season, number of people in our group, etc.). And contrary to the popular and almost universal belief that we are all rich Americans, we are not. We're interested in VALUE and wanting to stretch our vacation dollar so that we can experience and better understand more of the world.

And what is most important to me is a lack of surprises, especially of the negative variety. If I know up front that the room will be small (our room in a well-recommended hotel in Venice was so tiny that only one of us could be up getting dressed...the other had to remain in bed!!) or difficult to get to (on the seventh floor with no elevator or an upstairs room in a guest house accessed via one of those metal spiral staircases) or noisy (on a lower floor on Madrid's Gran Via) or without electricity or limited hot water (in a rustic lodge in the rainforest), I want to know ahead of time so I can prepare accordingly, both physically and mentally.

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#1612 - 03/06/01 02:25 AM Re: (Madrid) Hostal Cervantes: Thumbs definitely up! Hostal Lopez: thumbs somewhat down
SpainSpud Offline
Member

Registered: 01/12/01
Posts: 37
Wow! I thank joe z for sticking around long enough to answer some of my questions......I'm sorry we wore him out, though :-(...

What is important to us (my mom and me) are:
1. Access to the rooms (meaning elevators)
2. Relative quiet (given the location and that during the first day or two you want sleep)
3. Warmth (blankets are ok...but so are radiators)
4. Relatively clean air
5. Convenient location

Points 1 and 2 are selling points for Cervantes. I wasn't aware that the city turns off the heat in April....! (I hope the evenings are warm enough by then!)

Thanks, again......MM, I hope I wasn't putting you out. I was just trying to get a few more impressions from joe z. Thanks for your comments, though. :-)

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#1613 - 03/06/01 06:36 AM Re: (Madrid) Hostal Cervantes: Thumbs definitely up! Hostal Lopez: thumbs somewhat down
MadridMan Offline


Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 10011
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
SpainSpud, not putting me out at all. It's essential to get ALL points of view in order to satisfy people's different requirements. I/We shouldn't be (nearly) so narrow-minded to think that we're right and they're wrong or that we're all in the same financial situation. At the same time, I'm proud many gave their opinions about the statements above.
Personally, I wouldn't haggle with a hostel owner over the price as I know from personal experience that these VERY hard working people live very simple lives, rarely ever able to leave the "house"/business just to go out to dinner or to have a family outing because someone always has to stay at home to "take care of business". But room size and amenities are important to some and not to others. I too am glad joe z returned with more info... in fact, he may still be lurking about somewhere...

Saludos, MadridMan
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#1614 - 03/06/01 07:15 AM Re: (Madrid) Hostal Cervantes: Thumbs definitely up! Hostal Lopez: thumbs somewhat down
nevado Offline
Member

Registered: 06/11/00
Posts: 620
Whether or not you agree on asking for a discount, the recommendation joe z made has just doubled business for Fabio!

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#1615 - 03/06/01 10:47 AM Re: (Madrid) Hostal Cervantes: Thumbs definitely up! Hostal Lopez: thumbs somewhat down
Carole Chiaro Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 01/29/01
Posts: 378
Loc: Danville, CA USA
It looks like joe z has been vindicated! I think he's secretly working for Hostal Cervantes. (joe z, you know I'm joking!) But really, we are looking for "feedback" about the various hostales, etc. Right? So let's not be critical. Enough said??

And I STILL haven't heard from anyone who has stayed at Hostal Andorra , Gran Via 33! (See post below.)

[This message has been edited by MadridMan (edited 03-06-2001).]

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#1616 - 03/21/01 12:58 AM Re: (Madrid) Hostal Cervantes: Thumbs definitely up! Hostal Lopez: thumbs somewhat down
roses Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/07/02
Posts: 169
Loc: Beverly Hills, CA
This is a great site. Joe Z thanks for your comments... don't be so defensive, though. People are just trying to find a nice and safe place to stay when they arrive in Madrid. Who wants to be totally pissed off when they get off of a 14 hour flight and find their accommodations to be totally dissapointing (especially if they are there for a month). At least if someone goes to Hostal Lopez and is dissapointed, they'll remember they heard it from you first... and they'll know to go over to Hostal Cervantes. Chau...

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