AC Santo Mauro
Zurbano, 36, Chamberí
Spread out over three elegant buildings that used to serve as the home of the Duke of Santo Mauro, this recently renovated boutique hotel is a love letter to the decadence and splendor of old Madrid. Inside, the former ballroom has been turned into a sweeping lobby and the library became La Biblioteca Restaurant, where you'll find an excellent menu of traditional Spanish cuisine. Meanwhile, the spacious guestrooms are done in comforting earth tones for maximum relaxation.
Calle Gran Vía, 80, Centro
This year-old, 162-room boutique hotel is housed in a beautiful neoclassical building and is the perfect example of how perfectly contemporary design elements—minimal furniture, museum-white walls, and lots of high-tech gadgetry—can lend themselves to a traditional space. The rooms are kept purposefully stark, with the street-facing windows and scattered pops of grey serving as the sole decorative elements. Upstairs, on the 360-degree terrace, you’ll find the small but incredibly Instagrammable Sky Pool and the Nice to Meet You restaurant, which in addition to great tapas, cocktails, and music, offers the most intense sunsets and panoramic views of the Madrid skyline. Also worth mentioning are the very reasonable room rates.
Plaza de la Lealtad, 5, Retiro
Occupying a massive Belle Epoch palace mere steps from the Prado that speaks to Madrid's illustrious history, the Ritz actually belongs to the Mandarin Oriental family of hotels, despite its name. The grand lobby, champagne bar, English-style tea room, and excellent Basque restaurant are all decked out with the grand flourishes of the early 20th century. The rooms are equally opulent, with rich tapestries, ornate rugs, and period furniture that oozes old-world charm.
Calle de Mejía Lequerica, 8, Centro
If you book a room at Hotel Urso, consider carving a day out of your sightseeing itinerary to spend exploring everything this five-star property has to offer. Start with breakfast in bed—or, if you splurge on the terrace room, on a private balcony—then head down to the Natura Bissé spa for the kind of groundbreaking treatments (magnet-assisted massages, diamond-dust facials) one wouldn’t normally find at a hotel spa. For dinner, The Table is a revolving pop-up experience that invites chefs from various world-class restaurants around Spain to take over both the kitchen and dining room, meaning that the menu, vibe, and décor change monthly (reserve your spot as early as possible). Meanwhile, The Conservatory is ideal for a more traditional meal and its downstairs Urso Bar the perfect spot for a nightcap. Take note: the hotel doesn’t allow kids.
Calle de Velázquez, 8, Centro
While it has all the grown-up trappings of a posh boutique property (a well-stocked bar, gorgeous décor, a Clarins spa), this grand, old-school hotel is surprisingly well equipped to accommodate the 12-and-under crowd, too. The rooftop organic garden alone—it’s one of the largest of its kind in Europe—is enough to keep fleeting attention spans occupied for hours at a time, and the same can be said of the outdoor pool. Food-wise, there’s around-the-clock room service and enough on-site dining options—from sushi to classic Basque to veggie—to please even the finickiest of palates.
Calle Marqués de Valdeiglesias, 1, Centro
As far as location goes, the intersection of Gran Via and Marqués de Valdeiglesias can’t be beat—the best museums, squares, parks, and shopping streets are literally steps away, though once you step inside the plush lobby, you may never want to leave. In stark contrast to the Art Deco façade, the guestrooms are all shades of grey, slick mid-century furniture, and the occasional burst of jewel-tones—clearly a testament to hotelier Pau Guardans penchant for marrying the old with the new. Conveniently, there are two restaurants on site: laid back Atico, the brainchild of two-Michelin star chef Ramón Freixa, is open 24/7, while La Terraza is the lush indoor-outdoor garden terrace attached to the hotel’s prized solarium—complete with lounge chairs and outdoor showers for cooling off. In place of a spa there’s an intimate two-person wellness suite and sauna, just make sure to book your massage or facial ahead of time.
Villa Magna Hotel
Paseo de la Castellana 22, Salamanca
A great choice for an extended stay, this former royal residence underwent a massive top-to-bottom revamp to turn it into the grand and welcoming city retreat it is today. Paired with exceptional service, the elegantly turned out guestrooms are meant to serve as a home-away-from-home; Tse Yang restaurant, with its tufted booths and elevated Chinese comfort food menu, also helps the cause. Traveling with kids? Let the staff know in advance and they’ll kit out the room with games, playpens, baby monitors, crayons, and whatever else their (and your) little hearts desire.
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