As prestigious locations go, it doesn’t get much better than this. It is across the road from the Retiro park, only a few minutes’ walk down the hill to the Prado and other major museums, and the upscale boutiques of the Salamanca neighbourhood are a short distance away too. This is a good choice if you think the frenetic downtown vibe might be a bit much 24-7 and would prefer to dip into it - and step out of it - when you feel like it
The 50 rooms and suites are all a good size, and combine period architectural detail with sleek contemporary fabrics and furniture, and a lot have views of the park. The ones on the second and third floors are the grandest and most spacious. There are Acqua di Parma toiletries, and a free mini-bar for water, soft drinks and beer.
Inside, the grand staircase is made for sweeping down, while you could just imagine Hercule Poirot stepping daintily out of the wrought-iron lift. These features have survived from the building’s origins as the grand home of an aristocratic family, as have the Parisian-style stained-glass windows, which were made by the renowned company Maumejean.
There are paintings by Julio Romero de Torres and Roy Lichtenstein, which is quite a clash of styles, but actually illustrates rather nicely how the hotel manages to be both traditional and contemporary. The luxurious carpets and rugs were made at Madrid’s Royal Tapestry Factory, which is just down the road (I really recommend visiting it – much more interesting than it sounds!).
Eating and drinking
The lobby bar serves great snacks and tapas, while Índice, the formal restaurant, specialises in Mediterranean cuisine.
After your run around the park, relax in the sauna and steam room in the spa, where terrific treatments are also available. There is also a small gym, with tailored fitness programmes and personal trainers available on request.
The staff, in chic uniforms, are renowned for their discreet service.
Who stays there
They get a lot of celebrity guests here - particularly film stars - but the kind who want to keep a low profile.
This is one of Madrid's loveliest five-star hotels, so while not exactly cheap, rates are not extortionate for what you're getting for your money. Breakfast is 29 euros.
- Business Centre
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Business travellers
- Culture vultures
- Families with younger children
- Mature travellers
- Design and architecture
Pros & Cons
- Pleasant location
- Great service
- Not right in tourist centre