On the outskirts of Madrid, the Valley of the Fallen stands as an ominous reminder of the torture and murder of tens of thousands of Spaniards during Spain's Civil War. The Valle has long been viewed as a monument to General Francisco Franco, the winner of that war and dictator of Spain for nearly 40 years, who is buried there.
As the BBC reports in a news story and video, Spain is now struggling with how to present the monument in a way that recognizes the pain of those on the losing side of the Civil War, while being faithful to the history of the monument.
Madrid's airport is well-connected to the city center by subway and frequent buses, and even taxi rides are relatively cheap, so I see little reason to spend the night outside of town near the airport. The only time it makes sense is if you've already been to Madrid, and have an early flight out the next morning. The area around the airport is something of an urban planning nightmare, but land must be cheap because there are a dozen or more business-style hotels nearby, all clean, modern and dirt cheap.
Apartamentos Suites Aeropuerto
c/ Campezo 8, 28022 Madrid
✆ 91-305-9055 fax: 91-312-1835
300 rooms. Singles: €55 Doubles: €80 All major credit cards accepted.
Location: F for Madrid, but C for airport access
Technically classified as a 'residence' and not as a hotel, the Kris Suites are short stay, serviced apartments. Each suite includes a bedroom with closet and safe, a bathroom, separate living area with couch, TV and desk, and a kitchenette with refrigerator, freezer, stove, microwave and plenty of cupboard space. While the hotel will never win any awards for charm and ambiance, it's hard to beat the price and space for a night before departure. There is secure parking under the hotel, free wifi in all the rooms, and a free shuttle to and from the airport.
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