Finding a good hotel in the centre of Madrid, Seville or Barcelona to stay with the entire family could be a real odyssey. In general, urban family hotels experience, more than any other type of hotels, the problems of space limitations imposed by the city centres and that, often, force them to choose between providing the best location or the widest accommodation.
Many opt for moving away from the old quarters and are located in areas close to the shopping and leisure centres with a good offer of family activities and well connected with the public transport that directly take you to the heart of the city. So, you can find family hotels in Arturo Soria, Madrid, and hotels in Poble Nou, Barcelona, trying to give a really interesting plus for families, not offered by the most central hotels.
It is a good way of competing, but not all of them give up the location. In fact, the first ones that do not want to give up the location are usually the travellers: even though we travel with 3 children, we want a hotel in Las Ramblas, a hotel right in Puerta del Sol, in the old quarter of Seville or next to the Cathedral of Valencia. For all of them, the main urban hotel chains in Spain have tried to adapt services, although the challenge is still difficult to meet and it is not easy to satisfy to the maximum extent the guests’ needs.
Following this trend, there are more and more family hotels in Madrid and Barcelona with adjoining rooms, fulfilling the need of space for family rooms or special rooms for groups, which is very usual in the centre of the large cities. Other hotels have bet on offering an added value experience to their guests, increasing the value of the accommodation and limiting the number of rooms, in this way they give to their guests what they are looking for: space and services for children.
Amenities and DVDs for children, welcome gifts, simple and safe furniture, compartmentalized spaces, full bathrooms, free internet connection… Services become more and more specialised. Some hotels even adapt a space to offer a playground, emulating one of the star services of family resorts in the coastal areas.
Even so, fulfilling all the needs is difficult. Very few hotels in the centre of Madrid offer garage and, although many of them make up for it with a discount in a nearby public car park, we must accept that when you travel with family, moving the luggage from one place to another is really a problem if distances are long.
The same, (or worst) happens in smaller cities: family accommodations in the old quarter of Malaga or hotels in the centre of Palma de Majorca have big limitations when handling in great detail the requests of those travelling with children. In these cases, many of these hotels end up abandoning the concept of families or leaving it as a minor sector, betting on more interesting sectors in accordance with their characteristics: couples, singles, groups of friends…