0.21km from Cafe de los AustriasEscala Opera Hotel, Madrid, - A review The photographer who took the publicity pictures for the hotel deserves a prize! The hotel was presented as a cross between Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Sheik Abdul Badibu in the Emirates. Unfortunately a comparison with a Calle Luna (Madrid) streetwalker would be more accurate. Peel away the paint and underneath you see the real thing. The Escala Opera is advertised as a “Botique Guest House with luxury rooms and individual décor. It has views of the Oriente gardens and the Royal Palace.” Perhaps from he building roof but not from the rooms. It’s not a ‘hotel’ but a mishmash of rooms, probably an old apartment (and I mean OLD) creaky floors and ill-closing doors are standard. My room was separated from its neighboring accommodation with a rickety screen type device through which the light could be seen shining where it didn’t quite meet the ceiling. The air conditioning didn’t seem to be cooling until I realized it was underneath a table. That had to be moved to the other side of the room before any semblance of cooling took place. Then it made the room livable, but not cold. Obviously the management knew about the temperature because no blankets at all were provided, just a very thin sheet on the bed. Two large and one small pillow were to be fought over by sleepers. One outlet only in the room and another in the bathroom. Ah! The bathroom. A large hand sink was welcome but pressure in the shower did not always allow the button controlling release of water from the overhead shower head to work. On the floor rested a mat with a large “U” shaped piece either cut out on purpose or eaten by a wide-mouthed animal. Strands of the stringy material sprouted everywhere. Grout filled the spaces between the bathroom tiles. Not a good sight. The room was quiet when the library located immediately outside, was not occupied by chattering guests. The walls of the room were hung with drapes. Flimsy, dusty long drapes that hung from curtain rods and served to disguise the ugly walks beneath. We found clothes left by a previous guest and reported these to the front desk. They responded by removing my soiled clothes in a plastic bag, from the room. This set of a search that lasted an hour before the bag was located, stored by the cleaning person somewhere in the depths of the maze. Getting in and out proved difficult, downstairs was very dark and difficult to see where the door release button was. The elevator, another antique and unless, unless one shut the two sets of door tightly. It would not move and could not be called from another floor if this wasn’t done. The staff, I admit, very willing to assist and allowed us access to the computer to print boarding passes. However, I would not return and would not recommend this establishment to anyone.