The Hotel One Shot 23 has got to be one of the hippest hotels in town, at least that’s how many guests have qualified its clean lines and designer furniture. Original artwork adorns the walls and visitors describe a certain art-gallery sense of chic to the interiors, which could well be inspired by the hotel’s location just a short walk from Madrid’s major museums. Rates start at a very reasonable £58, and while there is no breakfast served at the hotel, guests report that the friendly staff are happy to recommend cafés and restaurants in the immediate area. Another trendy hotel that makes an effort to be different is the La Posada del Dragón (from £54). The rooms, which span out from the central courtyard of a traditional building, each present an individual, quirky design with arty headboards, fantasy mirrors and contemporary bathroom suites. The posada is particularly successful with young couples, who enjoy the fun, contemporary spirit of the hotel, its location in a lively area, and the quaint views across the rooftops.
Impressing guests with its unique concept, the Hotel de Las Letras (from £75) has a subtle literary theme, its walls inscribed with lyrical quotes and stanzas. The character of the historical building shines through the otherwise sleek design, emphasizing original features such as the parquet floors, antique doors and wrought-iron staircase. Those lucky enough to stay on one of the top-floor suites have been thrilled with their terrace fitted with a private Jacuzzi, but those on a smaller budget have not been disappointed either, seen as most rooms feature ornate stone balconies with views onto the elegant surrounding buildings. The leafy rooftop bar restaurant is also a unanimous hit.
Classic with a contemporary twist: the following two hotels are recommended for their updated approach to luxury, mixing old-fashioned glamour with contemporary design and offering outstanding service. Enjoying a truly privileged location in an area of smart, leafy avenues, the Hospes Madrid (from £160) is the only hotel to be found on the historic plaza of Puerta Alcalá. Set within a building that dates back to 1883, the 41 guestrooms retain many charming period features, accentuated by a pristine colour palette that combines pearly whites and oyster greys that results in a dreamy neoclassical style. A boutique hotel per excellence according to many satisfied customers, guests report that the efficiency of the staff exceeded their expectations and that the spa and breakfast also maintain high standards.
In the same category in terms of price and facilities, the Hotel Unico (from £155) has earned itself an equally devoted following. This elegant hotel set within a 19th-century building was given an avant-garde facelift in 2009 that has left every inch of marble flooring, every chrome fitting and every panel of dark wood gleaming. Certain customers don’t hesitate to class it among the best hotels of Madrid, not least for its restaurant Ramon Freixa Madrid, which holds two Michelin stars.
Charm and Elegance.
For splendid romanticism and classic charm, customers recommend the AC Santo Mauro.
The next step up from a stately mansion is a palace – which is how the AC Santo Muaro (from£130) has been described by many thrilled guests. Here, the notion of living like nobility is emphasized even further by the grandeur of the building and the sheer sumptuous luxury of the public areas. The rooms themselves feature a more restrained, modern style, which some guests have found disappointing given the decedent, royal splendour of the décor elsewhere.
Style on a Budget
In the 2-star category, the Madrid City Rooms (containing just nine rooms), has won the hearts of travellers with its hydro-massage showers, excellent beds, cleanliness and warm welcome. Each room has a colourful theme and guests appreciate the extra attention shown by the staff, citing small but valued details such as flowers on the beds. Its central location adds to the value for money (from £36 for a small double) that people feel they obtained.
With prices starting at just £40, the Main Street Madrid guest house is a big success for two main reasons: its location on the Gran Via, a short walk from two metro stops and many of Madrid’s major sights, and the effort made on interior décor, which has something of a beach-hut vibe. At this price, the hotel is judged a welcome alternative to the usual, impersonal rooms available at this price. Be aware that the Gran Via is a very lively street – the noise has discouraged certain travellers from returning.
Chains with a Difference
In central Madrid, the Room Mate chain operates four design hotels – the Oscar, the Alicia, the Mario and the Laura – that offer contemporary rooms at attractive prices (from £50). Bright colour schemes, bold design and pop-art décor combine with extremely sleek furniture and fittings, providing the city with a chain of mid-range hotels that really packs a punch.