Destination Guide

Madrid

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The crown jewel of the Iberian plain, Madrid deserves a place on every sophisticated traveler’s itinerary. Spain's capital teems with proud history and a certain enthusiasm that pervades all aspects of the culture. You can see it in explosive Real Madrid matches, on plazas in trendy neighborhoods, and outside old-school tapas bars on warm evenings.

Stay

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Rosewood Villa Magna

A favorite of discerning business travelers, Rosewood Villa Magna is an elegant hotel with bold Art Deco influences and traditional touches.

hotel room with light tones, a crystal chandelier and views of Madrid

Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid

Madrid’s first luxury hotel, (now owned by Mandarin Oriental) renowned for impeccable service, is also the place to see and be seen.

Loft Suite at Hotel Urban, Madrid, Spain

Hotel Urban

The 101-room Hotel Urban opened in 2004 and remains one of the city’s most popular spots with travelers who want a contemporary, well-designed property in the middle of everything. Situated blocks from the Prado, Reina Sofía and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums, the Urban is a striking, five-story metal-and-glass tower that contrasts starkly with the historic buildings in the area. The bedrooms are equally modern, with minimalist platform beds, leather-paneled headboards, dark-wood floors and dim mood lighting, creating a groovy lair-like atmosphere. All bedrooms have wi-fi and LCD televisions, as well as marble baths with rain showers and double sinks. Despite the Urban’s location on a busy street overlooking the Spanish Congress of Deputies building, street noise is largely absent, thanks to double-pained windows and heavy blackout blinds—a serious plus given that most guests patronize the hotel’s hip rooftop bar and recover from the evening’s festivities by sleeping in.

The Urban reflects the passions of its owner, the Catalan archaeologist Jordi Clos, who spent three years designing it. The end product combines his interest in art with his drive to create one of the city’s most vibrant five-star hotels. His personal collection fills the building, starting with Egyptian galleries in the basement. Clos has even placed an artifact in each guest room, displayed with museum-quality lighting and a note explaining its background and origin. The pieces may not be as fine as those in the Prado, but they certainly beat the boring works in most hotels.

On the downside, the Urban’s rooms tend to be small, and their dark walls and floors show even small scuffs and scratches. But given its fantastic location near the heart of the city and the hotel’s own trendy restaurants and bars, guests spend so little time in their rooms that the lack of square footage and tiny signs of wear and tear hardly matter. These few flaws are more than compensated for by the hotel’s unique combination of modern construction, convenient location and a rooftop swimming pool – a blessing on a hot summer day in Madrid.


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