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#4090 - 05/09/02 08:44 PM Re: Madrid: reservation problems with Hostal López
minrik Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/24/02
Posts: 11
Loc: saginaw texas
Let me give you our experience with the Lopez.All e-mails answered promptly (we changed dates once)When we got there on 28 april at 9:00am I got a royal ass chewing from Mother Lopez.Seems we woke her up and they had canceled our 5 day res. because I had made it for the 27th!The nite train from Lisboa must have confused me.Even so-they had a room (just vacated) cleaned and ready for us by 11:00.By this time (and I understand no Spanish)Mother is extremely warm and friendly(she could see my wife was kinda tired)and the stay was great.We will return for this reason.They cuold have told us to get lost but took extra pains to accommodate us.

#4091 - 05/09/02 10:21 PM Re: Madrid: reservation problems with Hostal López
MadridMan Offline

Executive Member

Registered: 05/06/00
Posts: 9080
Loc: Madrid, Spain (was Columbus, O...
Hehehehe.. Sorry minrik. No offense, really, but I had to laugh when I read your posting. Mother López is VERY much a "Mother Figure" and it doesn't bother her to chew someone out for things like this. But, like most mothers, after they get it out of their system they're so sweet, charming, and caring. I've seen Mother Lopez "chew ass" before and WOW! You just have to smile at the sight of it. hahahaaha.. She gets very excited, but I love her for this as well as for many other reasons. Really, this is proof that these are real people, REAL FAMILIES running these places and they aren't there to KISS BUTT just to make $34.

I remember getting one email from someone who couldn't believe I recommended Hostal Lopez because the man of the hostel, "Papa Lopez" let's call him, who happens to be about 65 years old, didn't carry the guest's suitcases up 3 flights to stairs to their room from the front door. Just goes to show that some people expect to be treated like kings even though they're only paying a pittance. People/Families who operate hostels aren't wearing a tuxedo/tie and white gloves... they're wearing their everyday house dresses and work clothes and are always happy to help if the request is reasonable.

I, for one, enjoy myself more when I stay in hostels. It's much more home-like and the owners will chat with you about any little thing. You can really get a sense of their everyday lives and how much work is required to operate this respectable business themselves, just the 2 or 3 of them. This contrasts to employees at hotels which only work their 8-hour days, dress in suits/ties, and usually seem too bothered by your presence to answer a simple question.

Well then.. I think I've just vented! (everyone turn away!! hehehe..)

Saludos, MadridMan
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#4092 - 05/11/02 12:48 PM Re: Madrid: reservation problems with Hostal López
quime Offline

Registered: 05/01/02
Posts: 40
Loc: panama
when i read about this, i become to think that one of the attractions on visiting madrid must be, or has to be "the experience of madrid hostels". i am ready to feel and live that experience, and as MM says, i will enjoy thenself(the hostels).
sorry again for my english skill
just 8 days to meet Madrid!... :p for the first time, great!!!

#4093 - 05/11/02 01:12 PM Re: Madrid: reservation problems with Hostal López
taravb Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 02/22/01
Posts: 736
Loc: Ames, Iowa, USA
quime, I think you are right. Meeting hostel owners is one of the only ways some travelers interact with Spanish people living their "real lives."

Of course you see waiters/waitresses, shop clerks, etc., but they are all "on display" for customers. Hostel owners (and some small shopkeepers) work in their HOMES, and even though you're paying, you're (1) a guest in their home and (2) also (for a little while) a member of the family. That means you get treated well, in most cases, but also hear what the owners really think about things like coming in late! When I stayed at Antonio's Hostal Chelo, his mom lectured us every time we went out the door about being careful with our bags and cameras! smile

Some of my best travel memories from Spain (and also from other countries, like Italy and Ireland) are of staying in small, family hostels/pensiones and meeting the owners. Even though these people have new faces in their homes every night, they can be so warm and welcoming (I know I can hardly do that with my own mother-in-law!). Some of my experiences:

In the Netherlands, a hostel owner gave us directions to a fabulous "secret" restaurant, and the next morning, cooked us a lovely HUGE breakfast (better even than the legendary big Dutch breakfasts!)--I think because my last name is Dutch and it made him laugh to hear us try to pronounce it "properly."

In Positano, Italy (on my honeymoon), the whole town was closed because it was the low travel season. Our pensione owner cooked us dinner every night (the same dinner his family had) and let his cat visit us in our room.

In Killarney, Ireland, my sister and I were the only guests in a bed & breakfast, and the owner sat and chatted with us over breakfast, telling us all about her family and her town.

In Naples, Italy, in a VERY COLD pensione, the owner brought us a pile of extra blankets and chatted away in FAST Italian for about 20 minutes (we don't speak Italian) about the weather, where to eat, where to shop, etc. I tried speaking Spanish to her, and we understood each other perfectly once she slowed down!

On the Gran Via in Madrid, I returned to a hostel I had been to three years before, and the owner REMEMBERED ME and told me she liked my hair better long (it had been short on the first visit).

There are so many more stories I could tell about the kindnesses of hostel owners. Although you can sometimes be more comfortable in hotels (which may have better mattresses, fluffier towels, etc.), you can't find a warmer welcome than in hostels.

Even the "bad" ones are memorable, if only because there is always something to laugh about (we stayed in one place in Salamanca where they turned the electricity off during the day, and the hostel owner came and yelled at us for trying to turn on a single light to read during siesta time!).

quime, you also have the advantage of being able to speak more easily with hostel owners--I am sure they will all give you a warm welcome to Spain!

#4094 - 05/11/02 09:04 PM Re: Madrid: reservation problems with Hostal López
wyndyl Offline

Registered: 03/08/02
Posts: 148
Loc: Dallas, Texas
Quime, I had a wonderful experience at Hostal Chelo . Although, I only stayed for a few short days...Antonio's mom was great! So, was Antonio, though I didn't get to see him much because of school...

I hope to stay there again next year, if they let me...I left in such a rush...leaving a few things cluttered! Sorry Antonio....getting picked up to leave for Barajas at 0410--not a great idea!

Wyndyl smile

#4095 - 05/12/02 07:14 PM Re: Madrid: reservation problems with Hostal López
quime Offline

Registered: 05/01/02
Posts: 40
Loc: panama
dear windyl
i will miss antonio´s mom, just because they has not vacancy for the days of my trip. i did reservations but it´s full these days.
anyway, i have read lot about antonio and his mom, and antonio did write me back very quicly. so i have an idea of how nice they could be.
thanks and i still waiting...just 7 days to be part of the family (madrid lovers)
arQUIMEdes :p

#4096 - 05/22/02 10:40 AM Re: Madrid: reservation problems with Hostal López
metrobilbao Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/01/00
Posts: 7
Loc: cincinnati, ohio usa
Hey all.... Cincinnati Ohio here and I have stayed once at hostal Lopez in Dec of 2000. It is a wonderfull little place. The Mama "lopez" and daughter"lopez" are accomodating and friendly. The chewing out stories I have read on this board are funny. To someone who doesn't know Spanish culture this chewings may seem harsh but these "Reñidos" rain yee does are just so typical... the are innocuous and harmless generally and arent really a balling out but a little reprimand. The drama and body language of spain is much stronger then in the USA and it makes whats happening seem more than what it is.
I'll be staying there again this summer and cant wait to get back and see them....

Rand in Cinci

#4097 - 05/22/02 01:31 PM Re: Madrid: reservation problems with Hostal López
rainspooner Offline

Registered: 02/21/02
Posts: 38
Loc: Phoenix
The Lopez' are very considerate folks...

When I stayed there just two weeks ago, I had rinsed out some t-shirts and shocks and hung them to dry on the line in the courtyard outside our room.

It started to rain later in the day and I was worried that my clothes would be all wet. When I got back the room that PM, the clothes had been pulled in off the line and were hanging in the room.

Little things like that are nice and unexpected.

PS: The worn-down wood steps leading up from the street to Hostal Lopez were so cool and lent lots of character.

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