What to do in Madrid? where to eat what to visit

Calle Huertas, a pedestrian street lined with trendy restaurants and bars, bookstores and old shops, rises from the Paseo del Prado to the magnificent Plaza Santa Ana, with its historic buildings and crowded terraces.

A must on any visit to Madrid, it's right here in the heart of the Las Letras district, in a 17th-century bourgeois building.e century “Madrid of the Habsburgs”, where the Hotel Alba is located, from the small, modern Spanish hotel group Room Mate. Opened in 2019, this establishment oozes charm with 80 stylish rooms decorated in baroque style. A buffet breakfast – very good Iberian cold meats and pastries – is served in an elegant lounge that transforms into a cocktail bar in the evening. Antiques dealer and interior designer Lorenzo Castillo chose a thick rug, regent-style armchairs and draped curtains to frame the floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the street. The best part: Breakfast is served until noon, allowing heavy sleepers (and party people) to have fun in bed. Some rooms have a balcony overlooking the street. Unless you want a mezzanine with a view of the city's rooftops.

Room Mate Alba, calle de Las Huertas, 16. From €170 per night. room-matehotels.com/fr/alba/

Only You, a boutique hotel owned by the Palladium group, is located in the elegant and quiet district of Sales, between the lively streets of Chueca's gay district and the luxurious buildings of Paseo de Recoletos. It is a small gem located in the former XIX century. in the palace.e century.

The hotel is set around a central covered courtyard which houses the reception, a large wrought iron booth surrounded by azulejo walls, welcoming lounges, a cocktail bar and a restaurant with an inner garden where breakfast is served in the morning. Open since 2013, it has expanded over the years and no longer has the 'boutique' name as it now has 125 rooms.

To access it, the elevator awaits a surprise: the inner walls are a stack of books recovered from the purchase of the old El Padrino bookstore. Some will see it as a tribute to literature, like the many libraries and bookshelves scattered throughout the hotel. Be careful, the sight of some books cut to fit the walls may offend sensitive souls. However, the hotel is highly recommended.

Only You Boutique Hotel, calle del Barquillo, 21. From €250 per night. Onlyyouhotels.com

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Georgie Collins

"Falls down a lot. Writer. Passionate alcohol maven. Future teen idol. Hardcore music practitioner. Food fanatic. Devoted travel fan."