Madrid is home to some of the most extravagant boutique hotels in Europe. Tucked away above street level or sprawling in former palaces, these hotels offer more than just a place to sleep for the night.
When it comes to places to stay, Madrid is spoiled for choice. While Spain’s capital is home to many large international chains, the smaller boutique hotels nestled in some of Madrid’s most vibrant neighbourhoods can add a certain charm and warmth to your city break.
7 Islas Hotel
Boutique Hotel, Hotel
7 Islas Hotel boasts Mid-Century Modern decor and a distinctive industrial warehouse feel | Courtesy of 7 Islas Hotel / Hotels.com
With a name that’s a nod to the seven islands of the Canary Islands, it’s no surprise that its founder Juan Rosa is from Lanzarote. Opening the hotel in 2002, he envisioned it as a haven for fellow islanders when visiting Spain’s capital. In 2012, Rosa’s three granddaughters took over the operation and updated it to appeal to a wider crowd. The family-owned hotel even has its own art gallery, a gastrobar and a luxurious penthouse complete with a private terrace. Redesigned by Kikekeller design studio, 7 Islas boasts Mid-Century Modern decor and a distinctive industrial warehouse feel. It’s situated right in the heart of Madrid’s hip Malasaña neighbourhood, so you can browse vintage shops and sip on craft beer and coffee at any number of popular bars in the area.
Historic 19th-century architecture collides with contemporary design at this cosy boutique hotel in the La Latina neighbourhood. Artworks by local artists decorate the bedroom walls, while exposed wooden beams give the space a rustic feeling. Posada del León de Oro is perfect for those who want to be right in the hustle and bustle of the city. The hotel is a stone’s throw away from Madrid’s iconic Plaza Mayor and the city’s busiest public square, Puerta del Sol. Inside the boutique hotel, while away an evening at the in-house restaurant, La Enotaberna, and enjoy one of over 300 bottles of Spanish wine served in the establishment’s personal cave. Make sure to sample a traditional dish of cocido madrileño, a hearty stew consisting of chickpeas, sausages and sturdy vegetables native to the city of Madrid.
Located next to one of Madrid’s most popular and historic squares, Plaza de España, Dear Hotel offers comfortable accommodation in the heart of the city. Just a short walk from the hotel, you can visit the Royal Palace and even watch a musical at Madrid’s Lope de Vega Theatre on the Gran Vía. Inside, bedrooms are elegantly designed using harmonious colours, natural wood and modern finishes. The neutral decor turns the space into a relaxing retreat away from the noise of the big city. To make your stay extra special, swim in the hotel’s sky pool at sunset and marvel at the 360-degree city views. The rooftop terrace offers restaurant dining and a DJ at the weekends, making this hotel a place for both rest and play.
Madrid is known worldwide as an LGBTQ-friendly city, with over 2 million people visiting the capital every summer for its Pride celebrations. Located in Madrid’s historic Las Letras neighbourhood, Axel Hotel is aimed specifically at LGBTQ travellers, while also describing itself as hetero-friendly; the staff create a welcoming atmosphere for all sexual orientations. Bedrooms are stately and glamorous, while the rest of the hotel is inspired by the 1980s with striking designs, bold graphics and pop colours. The ’80s decor references La Movida Madrileña, a time in Madrid’s history when the gay rights movement was in full swing. After a long day, lounge by the pool on the rooftop terrace or enjoy a late-night cocktail in the underground cave-bar.
Set in a 19th-century building in the upscale neighbourhood of Salamanca, the Relais and Châteaux Hotel Orfila stays true to its historic roots. Decorated with hand-picked period furniture, every room is unique, setting Hotel Orfila apart from the cookie-cutter chains. The hotel’s dining option is as decadent as the decor, with the Michelin-star El Jardín de Orfila on-site. If you’re looking to really relax, head to the private and serene back garden.
In a city that allows dogs on trains and in many bars and restaurants, there is no reason to leave your pet behind on your next trip to Madrid. For a small daily surcharge, pets are welcome at Hotel Hospes Puerta de Alcalá. Handily, the hotel is situated right next to Retiro Park, one of Madrid’s largest green spaces, so you can go on a scenic dog walk before grabbing lunch at one of the nearby terraces. After exploring Madrid, hit up the hotel’s elegant full-service spa, which offers guests massages, facials and a large Jacuzzi.
Live like royalty at the former residence of the Duke of Santo Mauro, a member of Madrid’s elite during the late 1800s. Once the site of the Canadian embassy, the Hotel Santo Mauro has been restored to its former glory. Guests can relax in decadent common areas such as the Red Room, or dine in the building’s former library, which has since been turned into a lavish dining room. If the bustle of the city gets overwhelming, escape to the lush garden terrace for a drink or two.