The best boutique hotels in Madrid

Totem Madrid - one of the best boutique hotels in Madrid - Belen Imaz

Totem Madrid – one of the best boutique hotels in Madrid – Belen Imaz

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Staying in a small, stylish hotel adds something special to a stay in Madrid, as you have a more personal, insider experience. My recommendations include those with the best rooftop bars, restaurants and spas. Some have the atmosphere of a private club and offer an oasis of calm from the hectic city atmosphere. They are all centrally located in upscale neighborhoods such as Salamanca and Salesas – with many shops and places to eat and drink – or near Retiro Park and the Prado Museum. Here’s our pick of the best boutique hotels in Madrid.

The best boutique hotels in Madrid at a glance

The Heritage is a hotel where you can relax in beautiful interiors, drink champagne and eat oysters on the secret rooftop terrace, then head to Madrid’s best restaurants and boutiques. The interior design is inspired by the hotel’s glamorous heritage and location in the affluent Salamanca district. A blue and gray palette is used in some rooms and soft greens in others, with hand-painted gold wallpaper, antique furniture and smart lamps creating unique and unusual environments. Guests feel completely at ease. The Haroma restaurant, overseen by Mario Sandoval, who has two Michelin stars at Coque in Madrid, is excellent value for money and there is a lovely conservatory-style bar for afternoon tea and drinks.

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The Urso is located in Madrid’s elegant Salesas district, a few minutes’ walk from the ultra-trendy Malasaña and Chueca districts. Designed by architect Antonio Obrador, the early 20th-century palatial building retains many original features, such as the tiling on the facade, a mahogany lift and the stained glass windows in the stairwell. Decorated in soothing shades of champagne and teal, the rooms have luxurious beds and high-quality sheets. The Natura Bissé spa is everything an urban spa should be, with a hydromassage bath. Restaurant Casa Felisa is a popular and trendy place to eat, serving Spanish specialties with a contemporary touch.

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For those looking for one of the coolest places to stay in the city, this beautiful hotel has you covered, with effortless interiors and a great location in the bustling Chueca district. The hotel is located in a former palace dating back to the 19th century, all arched windows, juliette balconies, shutters and awnings. Expect an eclectic mix of large lamps and vases, retro sofas, art books and enviable 1970s-style coffee tables in the public areas. The chic rooms have studded bed frames, navy blue walls and old maps of Madrid on the walls. The restaurant has a romantic setting for a tapas dinner, while the warm, wood-paneled bar is a great place for a classic cocktail on a night out.

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The Santo Mauro is grand, tasteful and popular with celebrities who want to keep a low profile. The former palace is located in Chamberí, a quiet, leafy neighborhood frequented by locals for its numerous tapas bars and restaurants. The hotel is surrounded by peaceful gardens with chestnut and eucalyptus trees, ideal for enjoying a long drink in the shade. All rooms look different and are divided between the palace, the former stables and an outbuilding. Abstract artwork and wooden floors create a contemporary luxurious atmosphere. Renowned chef Rafa Peña is at the helm of La Biblioteca Gresca restaurant in the oak paneled library. You can also eat in the Art Deco-style Gresca wine bar.

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Exuding discreet urban chic, the Tótem is located in one of the most chic corners of the city in the Salamanca district and is one of the best boutique hotels in Madrid. Charcoal, teal, dusty pink, cerise, navy and purple all play a part in the color scheme, popping against a palette of shimmering neutrals. Bedrooms are cocoons of minimalist luxury, where all materials are of high quality, from the soft honeycomb bathrobes to the mid-century style dressers with built-in Nespresso machines and minibars. Restaurant El Pimiento Verde specializes in Basque cuisine and is a favorite with those working or shopping in the area.

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In a city of long days, late nights and riotous fun, the Orfila is an oasis of calm to relax in before it all starts again. Family owned, and with only 32 rooms, you feel like you are a guest of an eclectic old Doña who lives there, but is rarely seen. Its location, on the edge of three districts, is perfect for seeing Madrid from all sides. It is within walking distance of Retiro Park, the Prado Museum and the chic shopping streets of Goya and Serrano. The rooms are decorated in a traditional style – even the lower categories are spacious and have balconies overlooking the gardens. Much of the guests’ time will be spent in the beautiful terraced garden. A particular highlight is the breakfast buffet, brimming with Spanish tortillas, cheese, jamon and crisp, dry cava.

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At Único everything revolves around good design and good service. The hotel enjoys a chic location in one of Madrid’s most exclusive streets, surrounded by the chic shops and chic restaurants of Salamanca. The aesthetic is nothing short of dramatic, with swirling black and white mosaic floors that combine different types of marble, and a striking red sculpture hanging in the stairwell. The rooms have been given a similar contrasting look; the best category to book is a character room on the top floor, with sloping ceilings and skylights. Ramon Freixa’s restaurant has earned two Michelin stars for its elegant, modern Spanish cuisine, making this a top choice for foodies. He is also responsible for breakfast, which is served in a part of the restaurant and on the attractive covered terrace in the garden.

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The Principal is popular with a media and fashion audience, as well as anyone who wants to be able to walk everywhere. With comfortable rooms and a calm color scheme, it is a convenient retreat at the beginning of the Gran Vía, the main thoroughfare through the center of Madrid. The high ceilings and large windows in the rooms have a calming effect as soon as you enter, as does the elegant charcoal gray and black color scheme. The chic rooftop terrace is one of Madrid’s most coveted spots for summer drinks – 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 in the Único.

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The 7 Islas are a refreshing change from chain hotels, thanks in part to Triball’s refreshing location, part of spruced-up Malasaña that’s home to some of the city’s coolest bars and boutiques. The staff is committed to helping you have real authentic experiences, rather than the usual touristy activities. Everything in the rooms is custom-made, such as the braided leather and steel headboards designed by Matías Carbia and the bronze wall hooks, which are small sculptures of babies’ hands and feet, designed by Ignacio del Toro. Don’t leave without enjoying a drink at 7 Craft Bar: where the cocktails are made with distilled spirits macerated with botanicals to create unique flavours.

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In this elegant, discreet boutique hotel you feel like you are in an art gallery, where the emphasis is on attentive service. The prestigious Álvaro Alcázar Gallery has filled the hotel with exquisite contemporary art, including works by renowned artists Rafael Canogar, Guillem Nadal and Simon Edmondson. It’s a favorite of regular Madrid visitors, particularly those from the creative industries, given its convenient but non-touristy location (just off Plaza de Colón) and well-designed rooms, which include references to historic Madrid scenes, abstract paintings and lithographs . Book a suite on the top floor for the large terraces with stunning views of the city.

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This handsome 19th-century mansion is a chic retreat where you can escape city life. It overlooks the Puerta de Alcala, one of Madrid’s most important monuments, and is blissfully removed from the hectic center with its location opposite El Retiro Park. The distinctive cornices and moldings in the bedrooms are relics from the days when this was a large private residence; the Duplex room has a sleeping area under the eaves and is ideal for a romantic getaway. The pleasant Bodyna Spa has a relaxation pool and steam room, and an extensive menu of treatments. The best place to relax after a massage is the hotel’s Malvar restaurant and tapas bar, with patio tables in the square.

Contributions from Jade Conroy

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