The recently opened Generator Hostel Madrid is a modern hostel located just off Gran Via in Madrid’s city centre. Housed in a converted 1930s gas station, this five-storey hostel is seriously spacious – with a large rooftop bar, hostel bar and cafe area plus a range room types, from eight-bed all-female dorms to private twin rooms. This is Generator‘s latest European hostel – you can see my reviews for some of their other properties here. I stayed here for four nights in October 2018 and this is my review of my visit. To give you a real feel for the hostel, I’ve included my own video above plus images below. If you find my Generator Hostel Madrid review helpful, be sure to leave me a comment below and let me know! 👇
The Generator Hostel Madrid is seconds from bustling Gran Via, one of the city’s most iconic avenues. Located in the heart of Madrid, it’s a popular shopping area and is the divider between the north and the south of the city. In terms of location, this hostel is one of the best. There are multiple Metro stations nearby that can be easily reached within a few minutes’ walk. The airport was also easy to reach from here by Metro, even at the late hour when I arrived.
The area around the hostel is vibrant, as you would imagine by its location. However, the hostel is tucked away from the main street and is actually in a really quiet location – so, this isn’t a noisy place to stay, thankfully. The handy thing was that you can walk almost
📍 Address: Calle de San Bernardo, 2, 28013 Madrid
☎️ Phone: +34 910 47 98 00
The Generator Hostel Madrid features a range of room types. Their private rooms are around €100/night for two people, whilst the dorm rooms are as cheap as €10/person/night (but are more like €20-€30 usually).
Are there any benefits to booking directly with Generator? Not really. Their website claims that they guarantee the best rate and free Wi-Fi when booking direct, but the rate was never better than elsewhere and the Wi-Fi is free for everyone anyway, so I say shop around on the links above. Generator does offer some discounted experiences and rates (especially during the winter) so it’s always worth checking. Otherwise, no real benefit.
I stayed in an 8-Bed Female Dorm for four nights. This room is usually slightly more expensive than the standard mixed dorm rooms of this size and come with the same features of an in-room ensuite, a hairdryer and full-length mirror. The room was clean and spacious, never feeling too packed even when all the beds were full.
Each bed has one European power point plus a reading light. Underneath each set of bunks is a really large locker, lockable with your own padlock. There is also an additional hanging space and my locker contained one hanger on arrival, so at least there was somewhere to hang a jacket. The pillow and bed linen were clean and of a decent quality, and everything including the mattress and pillow very comfy. There was a sliver of a decent view from the bedroom window – it was partially blocked by the building next door, but you could see out across the city in one section which was nice. This window did open, which meant air flow was never an issue and there was also air-conditioning but I can’t remember if there was a control for this in the room.
The sink, hairdryer and mirrors are in the room, which actually works well in a dorm room this size as it meant no one had to hog the bathroom when making themselves beautiful for the day.
If you’ve read my other hostel reviews, you’ll know that I pay a lot of attention to the bathrooms. Even the smallest amount of dirt or mould makes me reconsider whether I recommend a place or not. Thankfully, as this hostel is super new (it opened in May 2018), the ensuite bathroom in my room was super fresh and not even remotely gross yet. Having stayed in some of their other properties, I know that it may not stay that way but for now, it’s perfectly fine. Also, the water in the shower was always hot and strong, so overall it got a thumbs up from me.
The toilet and the shower are in two separate rooms, which makes sense for a shared dorm of this size, but it also meant they each had their own issues. The door to the toilet never locked, which is kind of terrifying when you’re sharing it with 7 other people. It also was located next to the front door, which made the idea of both doors opening at the same time even more terrifying. With the shower, it had a sensor light so it could switch on and off if anyone wasn’t in the room. Makes sense, right? Except, the sensor isn’t pointed towards the shower, so the light would go off every 30 seconds while you were trying to shower and you’d suddenly be plunged into complete darkness (as there is no window). So, trying to shower here involved opening the shower door twice a minute a waving your arm around to make the sensor realise you were in there. Such a silly design flaw.
Breakfast is served every morning at the Generator Hostel Madrid in the main cafe area next reception. It’s a pretty glam and gorgeous space, which makes you wonder why they don’t run it as an actual cafe during the rest of the day as it was pretty dead otherwise. I didn’t try the breakfast here but it received mixed reviews from my roommates. The options are served buffet style for about €7.50 per person, but the selection seemed to vary a lot depending on what time you visited. As with most places like this, the earlier you went the more options you had (such as croissants and eggs). However, some of my roommates went down for breakfast in the last hour one day and there was pretty much nothing left, which makes it quite an expensive disappointment if you’re expecting a decent meal. Thankfully, Madrid has some great brunch spots nearby (like the two Federal Cafes) so if you’d prefer a proper brunch, I would go elsewhere.
The Generator Hostel Madrid has plenty of space to chill out. As I mentioned above, the cafe space where breakfast is served is large and stylish and totally empty throughout the rest of the day. So, if you’re looking for somewhere to work or just kick back while you wait to check-in or out, then it has plenty of space for you to do this. There’s also a mezzanine level above this with a foosball table that seemed to be referred to as the “sports area”, which was stretching the name a little.
There is free Wi-Fi available throughout the Generator Hostel Madrid, which was always strong everywhere I went inside. There didn’t appear to be a kitchen or a laundry on site, but there is a laundry right around the corner that you can use during the day.
The Generator Hostel Madrid has a fantastic rooftop bar – which was a bit of a surprise to me as there was barely any promotion of it in the hostel itself. With a great view and no buildings overlooking the space, the rooftop terrace has sunshine all day through until sunset. Also, it is huge with seating for about 100 people and what looked like a hot tub or two (they looked like they might still be under construction). This is a big selling point of the hostel I think and a really great feature if you happen to be visiting in the warmer months, especially with a group of friends.
The hostel bar, which is only accessible via the reception next door, is also very large… and completely soulless. There was never more than five people in there at any time of the evening and the general vibe was pretty lame. The space itself is amazing but was clearly intended as a restaurant originally but now feels completely underutilised. Perhaps it was the fact that it was always so brightly lit, or playing terrible music (Robbie Williams’ greatest hits anyone?) or the fact that there was no happy hour advertised? Either way, everyone staying here seemed to avoid the bar entirely.
Or perhaps it says more about the people staying at the “hostel” too. Generator has recently dropped this word “hostel” from their branding, probably in an attempt to position themselves alongside other chains like Selina and Freehand who seamlessly mix the best of poshtels and cool hotels together in the one property. When this works, it’s great, with affordable shared rooms, plush private rooms and social spaces like bars and pools that you actually want to hang out in. When it doesn’t work, you get the Generator Hostel Madrid. The people staying at this property the weekend I was there were not the people you would usually expect to see in a hostel: lots of families with lots of children, couples who kept to themselves and even a few business people. Do these people create a fun, social vibe? Not at all.
The Generator Hostel Madrid is a brand new beautifully designed hostel in the city centre. It features an amazing rooftop bar and clean shared rooms. It’s a great place to stay if you’re travelling in a group or just need somewhere central and chilled to stay for a few nights. However, if you’re travelling solo or with a friend and are looking to meet other travellers, you may find this hostel a little soulless and boring. Aside from that, the Generator Hostel Madrid is a lovely place to stay and a great base for exploring the city.