As someone who has recently visited Madrid for leisure, I can tell that you get a lot for your money: the weather is (mostly) great, the place is full of history and art, the food rocks and everything is within walking distance. There's plenty to see and do whether you are there for a city break or a week-long visit. It's a short flight from London and tickets are generally cheap. The city is full of design led hotels and restaurants and the service one of the best I have seen across Europe.
While our family travels often outside the UK, it is very, VERY rare that we will travel without the youngest member of the family (and I don't mean the dog).
This Easter, however, we decided to send George to Greece, for him to spend 3 weeks with his grandparents while we escaped for a week to Madrid.
I will not bore you with the details of me shedding tears at Heathrow while George went through security on his own (O.M.G - traveling solo for the very first time! Thank you Aegean Airlines - and I highly recommend them for any trip you make to Greece, they are very highly rated for their service!).
But once he was safely delivered to my mom, I was finally relaxed enough to start thinking about my own trip. I had never been to Madrid before. I was actually quite excited about the whole thing. I prepared a capsule wardrobe for the trip
Location was important.
Hotel Design - I wanted something instagrammable.
WHERE TO STAY and EAT IN MADRID
ME MADRID, a MELIA hotel
I found this hotel on Mr & Mrs Smith and decided to book it as the location seemed perfect - we wanted to be where the bars and restaurants were (and not so close to the VIP shopping). The building itself is an Art Deco design that towers over Plaza Santa Ana. Bonus: the exquisite roof garden.
Check in was quick - they have at least 3 check-in desks open and fresh water and orange juice is offered upon arrival. The lobby is spacious and there is a direct entrance to the restaurant next door (Ana La Santa). The hotel also has its own dedicated lift to the roof top bar which it shares with Radio Madrid.
Santa Ana Plaza and ME Madrid, Photo: Jenny Kakoudakis
Unlike what you may be used to in other hotels and cities, the rooms in Me Madrid are spacious and modern, with great attention to detail. There is a fully stocked mini bar of course and a flat tv and USB plugs everywhere. There are plenty of lights (and switches) to ensure you have as much or as little light as you want (and to confuse you sometimes!).
Although we got a room with side view, the windows are massive and you can see the side square, which was still beautiful (it also fills up with tables once the sun is out. Loved hearing the buzz down there).
The bathroom is full of marble with Grohe products. You get robes and slippers and all their products are from Greek beauty company Apivita. Quality all around.
It's all in the detail
Fresh bottles of water are delivered to the room every day and in addition to the evening chocolate at the bed turn down service, we also found delicious small deserts waiting for us in the room. We loved the fresh strawberries ready to dip in chocolate but also the macaroons!
Restaurant - Ana la Santa
The restaurant on the ground floor of Me Madrid is a trendy spot around 9pm and until 1am. It has a DJ after 9pm and food is served until very late. People were sitting for dinner around 11pm!
More hotels and restaurants!
URSO HOTEL & SPA
Nestled in the Alonso Martínez area of Madrid, the Urso Hotel and Spa is close to trendy Malasaña. A building designed by Antonio Obrador, this is the place to stay if you want to be close to boutiques in Calle Fuencarral.
Close by you will also find this amazing - Havana inspired restaurant: Habanera.
Above: Urso Hotel and Spa. Below: Habanera
This design-led hotel is located in a totally refurbished, classic-style building, and is the best for business stays as it is in the heart of Salamanca district where most hedge funds and financial services firms have their offices. Salamanca is the equivalent of our New Bond Street or Sloane Street and it's where you will find the VIP boutiques - D&G, Gucci, Hermes etc.
Enjoying a privileged location in the heart of the boutique shopping area, the hotel is perfectly placed for a walking tour of some of Madrid's most famous spots. La Cibeles, the Prado Museum, Retiro Park and the Botanic Gardens. With 67 fully equipped rooms it features flat screen televisions and complimentary wireless internet access.
It is also home to Hermosos & Malditos restaurant and cocktail bar with its trendy blue booths and floral wallpaper.
Vincci The Mint
Designed by Jaime Beristain, this hotel features a stunning terrace with views of Madrid's most emblematic buildings and is close to Puerta del Sol, the heart of the touristy-Madrid, located on the Gran Via (similar to our own Oxford Street).
A fun and original accommodation with on-site gastrobar serving special à-la-carte gourmet breakfasts and with modern and fresh-looking rooms.
I will keep adding the places that caught my eye while there, but in the meantime, if you know of any really nice places, please share them in a comment below!