I'd try Hotel Maestre one more time before giving up. It is a very nice hotel and very conveniently located, in terms of public transportation (on the #3 busline which runs to the train station) and proximity to the Mezquita and Plaza Tendillas. Hotel Albucasis was just reopening after being closed for the month of January, so they may just be getting back up to speed.
The fellow at the front desk did speak English -- our conversations alternated between English and Spanish, and I heard a group of Japanese students ask for (and receive) assistance in fractured English.
[ 02-14-2002: Message edited by: jmcarr ]