From Barcelona I took the Renfe AVE train to Madrid. The train was really nice, and I had a comfortable trip. I sat in front of a couple who looked like they were backpacking too. How surprising when I saw the same couple when I arrived at the check-in desk for my accommodation in Madrid, Mola! Hostel. Turns out they were from Miami. What a small world!
The hostel is off of Plaza de Jacinto Benavente, a square with a lot of activity. There’s a theater, restaurants, and shops.
Another five minute walk from the front door of Mola, straight up Calle de Carretas, is Puerta del Sol, the main square in Madrid. Aside from being a landmark of its own you can use the Metro or Cercanías stations to get anywhere you need to be in the city.
When I checked into Mola Hostel I requested the top bunk because that’s always my preferred place to sleep. The guy at the front desk said, “Interesting. No one ever asks for the top bunk.” I probably should have taken this as a clue that maybe the top bunk wasn’t the best place to be.
I walked up to my room, which was really nice. I then saw how hiiigh the top bunk was. Yikes! I climbed up but did not feel comfortable. The steps seemed more like shelves in a bookcase that weren’t quite deep enough for my feet and didn’t have rails. I didn’t want to have to do this every day, so I went back downstairs and asked to be switched to a bottom bunk.
The bottom bunk is definitely the way to go. I generally don’t like bottom bunks because they’re cramped and there isn’t enough room to sit up straight. That is not the case at Mola. The bunk was sooo spacious. There was room to fully sit up straight and then some.
Each bunk has a shelf, outlet, and light. There’s also a light switch for the room in each bunk, so you don’t have to get out of bed when you want to turn off the lights.
I was in a six-person room. The lockers under the beds had plenty of space for my large backpack. The room also had windowed French doors that opened to a very small balcony.
I had been so frustrated with the cramped push button shower at my hostel in Barcelona that I wondered it it was even possible to find a good shower at a hostel at all. I found it at Mola! The ensuite bathroom at Mola was probably the best that I encountered on The Big Trip.
The shower had a rain shower head with good pressure and consistent flow so you actually felt like you were being treated to a good shower. Don’t underestimate the power of taking a great shower to make you feel better.
The shower itself was spacious so that you never touched the walls or the doors. I don’t know about you, but that tends to gross me out.
The bathroom overall is quite spacious. The toilet is separate from the shower, so someone can still access the toilet while another person is bathing. Outside of the toilet and shower space is a wide vanity and mirror with double sinks. These are really important when you’re sharing a room with multiple people.
In the basement level is a bar and lounge/dining area. They sell drinks as well as heat up meals and pizza. There’s a microwave available for use as well as dishes and utensils.
Mola Hostel has an overall good feel to it. There are activities for the guests, like tours and bar crawls, but it’s able to be social without being a party hostel.
One of my best experiences at Mola was having dinner with my roommates. I had gone to the Condis Express near the hostel to pick up some dinner: a reheatable seafood pasta for €2. I also found a bottle of wine for 93 cents (I love Spain!). I went back to the room and asked the women if they wanted to share it with me.
We all went down to the dining area, and they each brought something as well. We had all just met in our room: one from Texas, one from Brazil, and two from Chile, but we had a great time together. This seems to be the type of crowd that Mola attracts.
I enjoyed my time at Mola and would recommend it. A good location, clean rooms and bathrooms, and a good crowd make it worth your money. Just avoid the top bunk.