|Photo by Freeimages.com/Pablo Rodriguez|
by Annie Bennett and Jade Conroy, The Daily Telegraph, April 1, 2016
An insider's guide to the top boutique hotels in Madrid, featuring the best for rooftop bars and pools, Michelin-starred restaurants, spas and stylish sensibilities.
Urso Hotel & Spa, Alonso Martínez
The Urso is in the elegant Alonso Martínez area of Madrid, a few minutes’ walk from the oh-so-trendy neighbourhoods of Malasaña and Chueca and the boutiques along Calle Fuencarral. The early 20th-century palatial building, designed by architect Antonio Obrador, has conserved many original features such as the tiles on the façade, the fabulous mahogany lift and the stained-glass windows on the staircase. Although it is in the centre of the city, a muted palette of cool green, grey and cream tones and delicate Japanese prints create an air of calm and discreet chicness. The Natura Bissé spa is everything an urban spa should be, with no fussy nonsense.
Read the full review: Urso Hotel & Spa
Only You Hotel, Chueca
Get over the slightly incongruous name of this beautiful hotel and you’ll find effortless interior design and a great location in the thumping barrio of Chueca. For those seeking one of the coolest places to stay in the city, you can’t go wrong. The hotel is in a charming former palace that dates back to the 19th century, all arched windows, Juliette balconies, window shutters and awnings. The original central courtyard is now a quadruple-height lobby which, under the vision of Barcelona-based interior designer Lázaro Rosa-Violán, is the centrepiece of the hotel: expect an eclectic mix of oversized lamps and vases, retro sofas, art books and enviable 1970s-style coffee tables.
Read the full review: Only You Hotel
The Principal, Gran Vía
The Principal is popular with a media and fashion crowd, as well as anyone who wants to be able to walk everywhere. With comfortable rooms and a calm colour scheme, it is a handy haven in the heart of the city. The chic roof terrace is one of the most coveted spots in Madrid for a drink in summer. It has the feel of a private club in New York or London. The restaurant is overseen by Ramon Freixa, who has two Michelin stars for his restaurant at the Único (more on this below).
Read the full review: The Principal
Dear Madrid, Plaza de España
The Dear is at the end of the Gran Vía, the main avenue through the centre of Madrid, on the corner of Plaza de España. Leading interior designer Sandra Tarruella has created a calm haven above the hectic street using a palette of pale greys and natural tones. Floors are oak and furniture is the clean-cut Scandinavian style that is so in vogue these days. There is only a small reception and lobby area at ground level as everything happens up on the top-floor terraces, including the rooftop plunge pool where you can gaze across the skyline as you cool off.
Read the full review: Dear Madrid
Barceló Emperatriz, Salamanca
The five-star, ultra-stylish Barceló Emperatriz takes inspiration in its style and colour scheme from Eugenia de Montijo, a 19th-century empress who was a staunch supporter of equality for women. The hotel is feminine without being girly. Interior designer Ernesto de Ceano has gone for modern glamour – it feels grand and palatial but not at all fussy or stuffy. Violet tones crop up throughout the hotel: Montijo loved the flowers, the colour and also the Violeta sweets that are still made in Madrid today. There is a small pool on the roof terrace.
Read the full review: Barceló Emperatriz
Hotel Único Madrid, Salamanca
The Único is on one of Madrid’s most exclusive streets in the swish Salamanca district, and is surrounded by smart shops with lots of restaurants nearby. Housed in an elegant 19th-century building, it is all about good design and great service with no daft gimmicks. Ramon Freixa’s restaurant in the hotel has two Michelin stars, making this a top choice for foodies. He is also in charge of breakfast, which is served in part of the restaurant and on the attractive covered terrace in the garden.
Read the full review: Hotel Único
Hotel Orfila, Alonso Martínez
In a city of long days, late nights and riotous fun, the Orfila is a quiet haven in which to relax before everything starts up again. Family-owned, and with just 32 rooms, you feel as though you are a guest of an eclectic old Doña who lives there, but is rarely seen. The location, on the edge of three districts, is perfect for seeing the many sides of Madrid. For business travellers, it’s close to the Paseo de la Castellana; for weekenders it’s within walking distance of Retiro park, the Prado museum and the upmarket shopping districts of Goya and Serrano. Much of guests’ time (in spring and summer) will be spent in the beautiful terraced garden, which has a grand, centrepiece fresco.
Read the full review: Hotel Orfila
Hospes Puerta de Alcala, Retiro Park
This handsome boutique hotel is a chic sanctuary that allows you to escape from city life (especially in its great Bodyna spa). Overlooking the Puerta de Alcala, one of Madrid’s most important monuments, and opposite the Retiro park, the Hospes is handily located without being in the thick of the hectic downtown area. You can walk to the major museums and are right by the upmarket shops of the Salamanca district. The distinctive cornicing and mouldings in the bedrooms are vestiges of the days when this was a grand private residence.
Read the full review: Hospes Puerta de Alcala
This article was written by Annie Bennett and Jade Conroy from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.