Hotels Reviews Travel

Review: AC Hotel Madrid Carlton by Marriott

While looking for hotels for my stay in Madrid over the last few days, I came across a reasonably priced AC hotel by Marriott.  Because of the fact that Marriott owns SPG now, and you can transfer points, I always look for Marriotts , but honestly they are my 3rd choice.  Marriott is having a MegaBonus promotion now, where if you stay 2 stays you get a free night at any category 1-5 hotel.  This is pretty generous, but I only did it because this hotel was fairly Cheap, less than $100 dollars a night.

I had never stayed in an AC hotel and really didn’t know what to expect, but as Marriott and SPG Platinum, I assumed it would be OK, being that its a full service hotel, boy how assumptions can point you the wrong way!



I booked this hotel , using cash via the Marriott App at around $100 a night.  This seemed like a good deal being that any other hotel in Madrid I would consider was at least 50% more than that, and up.  I always like to try new things so I said why not.  I noticed that before I arrived the room was not upgraded via the app, but I didn’t think anything of it.



When I arrived at the hotel, I noticed the people at check-in were indifferent and seemed like they could care less.  When the agent checking me in  never said welcome, or thanks for being platinum or anything I started to realize the culture at this hotel.  After checking me in and handing me the keys I asked if I was upgraded and she said no its a king.  I of course, hemmed and hawed a bit and she started checking, acting very put out and surprised id ask.  The agent informed me that because the hotel was in Spain and because it was an AC hotel, normal Marriott rules applied.  I was “upgraded to an “enhanced” king, and I say enhanced lightly.

The Room

When I arrived in the room I was so taken back at how ,simple, outdated and dark it was.  It was basically a king that was slightly bigger than normal but nothing at all special.  For the price I dont guess I expected much, but it just had a drab feeling about it.  It was clean enough, and everything worked so to speak, but it just gave off bad vibes.

Sitting Area in Room
Sleeping area of Room

After Check-In

I am usually pretty good at not loosing my iPhone charger and even better at bringing more than one, but this time I was bad on both.  I left my charger at my previous hotel in Paris, Hotel Indigo Paris Opera.

The few times I have run into this issue, I have been very surprised in a good way that hotels, from SPG to Hilton , provided me one, either new or one someone left, and told me to keep it for the airplane trip home etc.  Being Platinum with Marriott, I assumed that at least if they had one I could borrow it, and the fact that I have spent thousands at their hotels (SPG) this year, was enough to trust me.  When I asked for the charger the lady looked and found one that someone left, but then grabbed it back and said, you’ll need to leave a 20 euro deposit !  I didn’t know what to say, I didn’t have 20 euros, as I needed to go to the ATM and I just instantly got a feeling of Motel 6, like leaving a deposit for a remote or something.  I told her to notate my account that I had it but I found her request as tacky and distasteful.  She handed me the charger and shrugged.

I had every intention on returning the charger, I always do, even if the hotel doesn’t expect me to, but for a very high deposit to be requested for a lost and found charger…  no that was tacky!  I returned the Charger at check-out BTW.


As expected check-out was just as disappointing.  The guy that checked me out didn’t ask how my stay was or thank me in any way.  As a matter of fact the guy handed me the receipt and walked away.  I walked over and asked if we were finished and he looked surprised and said yes, I of course couldn’t help but to say, “well you didn’t say thank you or goodbye or anything so I wasn’t sure”.


I can for sure say I would NOT recommend this hotel to anyone!  Being a budget hotel is one thing, this was not supposed to be be , but being a bad hotel is another.  Sometimes you run across a hotel that the entire culture of it is bad.  I assume it comes from management , who knows, but I felt disdain and negativity, not thankfulness and appreciation.

Sometimes , little things, like thank you, or how was your stay, goes a long way.  If the hotel is not the best, a good staff can more than make up for it.  My stay at Sheraton Sharm el Sheikh in Egypt was this way, the hotel was run down but the staff were over the top excellent!!

At least I will get a few points to transfer to SPG, and one out of 2 stays for the MegaBonus promotion.

If you find yourself in Madrid, I highly recommend you look elsewhere, if I would have know I would have paid a little extra.  I am not sure if all AC hotels in Madrid are this way or not, there are many, but stay away from Carlton.

Thanks for reading and please, TRAVEL MORE!!!

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