I'm so glad this thread was just begun, as I just returned from 2 weeks in Sapin and Portugal and wanted to review the hostals I stayed in too. This message board was so helpful and I wanted to share my experince in return.
Barcelona: Hostal Gat Raval . We flew in here and made reservations through hostelworld.com/ It was VERY clean and the staff was EXREMELY helpful. Great location too in the Raval district close to Plaza Catalunya and La Rambla. High recommendation. We did a private double with a shared bath here for about 45 Euros a night. The bathrooms re very clean and there are many of them. Great English spoken here too.
Pamplona-We went for running of the bulls and booked well in advance at Hostal Bearan. Pamplona doesn't sleep this week and neither did we. It is very centrally located and located on top of a disco. We were just glad to have a bed. Met great folks there but bring earplugs... actually earplugs are a MUST no matter where you travel in Spain to insure quiet sleep. TRULY!
San Sebaastian- We also stayed at Hotel Niza
and it was well worth it. We actually paid more (about 110 Euros for a double with two beds) But we got a penthouse beach view and it was phenonmenal! Yummy breakfast included, maids, laundry service, very helpful and right on the beach. I give my strong recommendation to splurge here! (also, eat many tapas in San Sebastain and to really spoil yourself get a 45 euro hour massage at a place near Hotel Niza called La Perla.. worth it!)
Madrid- Hostal Martin
was a good accomodation. Coming from plaza Mayor at night is a littel dark at night... but don't neglect the area nearby Huerta for nightlife. Hostal Martin had AC which was good b/c Madrid was 35 degrees C- around 95 ish F. The bathrooms were renovated and you could come and go as you please 24 hours. The staff was very helpful. Important... they only accept cash even though they accept Credit card to reserve the room.
Seville- Hostal Atenas
: Actually this could have been nice, but MAjor construction goign on. Our AC (yikes July in Seville) and phone didn't wrok b/c the construction. They gave a us a discount b/c we pressed the issue. Also, it is in an area that is wuiet and cute, but windy roads that made it tricky to find our way back. I wouldn't recommend this if you are a woman alone or if you like to wander home late at night without your senses.
Lagos, Portugal- Residencial Solar- This was fine, b/c we weren't in our rooms too much. But it had no Ac and our private bathroom constantly had a funny smell. We got stuck in Lagos by choice... what a great laid back beach town.
Lisbon, Portugal- Hostal Florescente. Extremely helpful staff that responds quickly to email. (you can do a serach on the web.. sorry don't have the email or website handy) Our room was on the street and noisy, but ask for an inside room and you should be good.
Hope this was helpful! -LMK