We read with much amazement Beverly and Walter Mathews's recommendation May 17 of their "favorite three-star hostal (in Madrid), the Lope de Vega (where) accommodations are basic but the common rooms are beautiful." We wonder when the writers were there last. If guests plan to sleep in the common rooms then the surroundings are, indeed, commendable. But the guest rooms (with only two or three exceptions) are really miserable: impossibly sagging beds surrounded by very depressing dilapidation; filthy, decaying draperies, walls that haven't been painted since the Civil War (ours, not theirs), crumbling plaster, dirty ceilings, peeling paint. . . .
On the other hand we can unreservedly recommend Madrid's Hotel Londres, Galdo 2. Very pleasant, extremely well-kept two-star hotel two blocks from the Puerta del Sol and next door to the wondrous El Corte Ingles department store. But skip the poor breakfast; go around the corner to Cafeteria Armenia.
BOB ARLOW and