Hi rusty2k! Welcome to the Spain-Loving group!
Sorry to hear you couldn't get into Hostal López
. Seems to be a common problem these days.
That is to say, it's a problem for travelers, but it's GREAT for the owners!
Okay. If *I* had to choose between Hostal Gonzalo
(which does not take reservations via email, by the way) & Hostal Martín
, I'd choose Hostal Martín even though I've never seen it for myself and I'll tell you why in a moment.
In October 2000, while making my rounds, visiting more of Madrid's hostels (those with websites), I visited Hostal Gonzalo and took notes in my journal. Here's what I wrote:
Spoke with la dueña de la casa (the female owner of the hostel) - does NOT speak English, but her son, Javier, does (but I didn't meet him).Very very nice entry & salon, & bigger, brighter bedrooms, double than I've seen in other hostels. I watched the cleaning lady cleaning the room while I waited.... (for Javier, but he never arrived, but I did take some photos and video of the place).
I remember the woman-of-the-house being a bit "gruff" but got much nicer when I told her who I was
and why I was there.
I've never seen Hostal Martín, but they (and Hostal Cervelo
) and Hostal López were THE FIRST hostels in Madrid to have websites on the internet. Since the beginning, I've really ONLY heard wonderful things about them -- I mean, I've received and read dozens and dozens of emails/postings of positive feedback about them.
Both places are located in Huertas: MadridMan's PREFERRED area of Madrid in which to stay if I'm not staying with my ladyfriend across town as was the case in October 2000 (well, I WAS staying there, but wanted to test a number of the hostels for myself so I did!).
As for their prices, check their website. As for their "niceness", since I haven't seen Hostal Martín for myself I really can't say, but would be willing to bet they're very similar. I EXPECT to visit Hostal Martín, Cervelo, and about 10 others during my time in Madrid around Semana Santa (next month!).
Re: Noise. I'd say they're both similar in noise level. But in February, you won't have SO MUCH street/pedestrian noise in either. You COULD get yourself an interior/patio/airshaft room, but I've heard there's always the possibility of having noise from neighbor's radios/TVs/dishes-clattering/whatever. I'd say get yourself that streetside room with the mini-balcony and ask for a room as high UP and away from the reception/entry as possible to give yourself more solitude. (you might want to read the "ear plugs" thread in the PACKING forum if you're a light sleeper)
So that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!
Good luck and enjoy your time in Madrid and throughout Spain!
[ 02-15-2002: Message edited by: MadridMan ]