Madrid: hotel and food recommendations

Old Jun 30th, 2024, 04:07 PM
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Madrid: hotel and food recommendations

My husband and I will be ending a 3-week trip to France and Spain with 4 nights in Madrid in early October. We were last there in 2016 and stayed at the now-closed Adler in Salamanca. We loved that hotel and its location, and are looking for something similar in Salamanca. I've reserved a deluxe exterior room at Hotel Totem and requested a balcony overlooking Calle Hermosilla. I'd love to hear your thoughts on Hotel Totem, our room choice and perhaps other hotel recommendations I could explore. We'd like to keep it under 500 euros/night.

Following Ekscrunchy's conversation with Maribel on her Madrid thread, I've made reservations at Taberna La Catapa for our second night and at Lakasa for our fourth (a Monday). I need recommendations for our first (Friday) and third (Sunday) nights. I'm considering Arzabal (we loved it in 2016), Sacha, La Ancha. Thoughts? Are these restaurants too similar? We may be exhausted at this point in our trip and want something more on the casual or simple side rather than a tasting menu, but delicious. We don't mind walking or taking a taxi, so location isn't that important.

Thanks so much!
Leslie
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Old Jun 30th, 2024, 11:22 PM
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Vonse,
It's a shame that the Adler closed. It had a superb location.

The Tótem for many years has been our hotel of choice in the Salamanca district. We've stayed happily in that deluxe corner room and also in the top floor dormer room, which is huge. The rooms that we find just too small are the entry level rooms. The location absolutely cannot be beat. And I love being so close to the Mercado de la Paz.

The reason we don´t stay there regularly is that the rates have increased and exceed our usual budget, but in the late summer, when rates are more reasonable for us, we do enjoy it immensely. And the breakfast is superb, the cocktail bar excellent and their limo service to the airport a relaxing way to go.
We still send our friends there and have a very good relationship with the guest relations manager. Since it falls within your budget for your dates, go for it! It´s a member of Small Luxury Hotels.
The other option we like in the Barrio de Salamanca is the 5-star Unico, also a member of SLH.

For your Sunday night I would chose Arzábal, the original, on Menéndez Pelayo, across from Retiro Park. Sunday nights are difficult. You also have El Paraguas, Lobito de Mar, La Máquina, all on Calle Jorge Juan, but if you loved Arzábal the last time, then you should repeat it. It´s had a décor change since your last visit. I would book on the early side, however, as the bar area gets very crowded and noisy later on at night (been there, done that).

For your first night, Friday, Sacha and La Ancha are different. Ekscrunchy's description of Sacha is spot on. Sacha will be probably a more memorable experience, in the sense that it's so completely unique. Also a hard table to reserve.
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Old Jul 1st, 2024, 09:46 AM
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Apologies to take time on this thread.
Maribel, I am looking for a hotel to stay at in December .
I would prefer a larger hotel this time. Salamanca, of course.
Unico is above my grade… Wellington or Melià ?
Thx .
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Old Jul 1st, 2024, 09:55 AM
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No, not the Wellington! It's really showing its age. We were in there recently and remarked that it really needed a face lift. However, there is going to be a second Restaurante Lhardy there soon in the space that was once the La Llave de Oro restaurant directly on Calle Velázquez. Nonetheless I would prefer the Meliá Gran Fénix if choosing a larger hotel in the Barrio de Salamanca.

For a larger hotel, the Meliá Gran Fénix would be a better choice, although our favorite Dry Martini bar by Javier Muelas has moved (boo hoo) to the Casa Gallardo on the Plaza de España, next to Club Allard. But there´s still great bar there, just not "The Dry". And you know the location on Calle Hermosilla and very close to the Plaza de Colón and 3 blocks below the Hotel Tótem.
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Old Jul 1st, 2024, 12:02 PM
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Thank you for taking the time to respond Maribel! I'm checking out your recommendations now.
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Old Jul 1st, 2024, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Maribel
No, not the Wellington! It's really showing its age. We were in there recently and remarked that it really needed a face lift. However, there is going to be a second Restaurante Lhardy there soon in the space that was once the La Llave de Oro restaurant directly on Calle Velázquez. Nonetheless I would prefer the Meliá Gran Fénix if choosing a larger hotel in the Barrio de Salamanca.

For a larger hotel, the Meliá Gran Fénix would be a better choice, although our favorite Dry Martini bar by Javier Muelas has moved (boo hoo) to the Casa Gallardo on the Plaza de España, next to Club Allard. But there´s still great bar there, just not "The Dry". And you know the location on Calle Hermosilla and very close to the Plaza de Colón and 3 blocks below the Hotel Tótem.
Thank you very much.
I was hoping the Wellington has had a “ face lift”. I know some rooms have been redecorated. We stayed there for a couple of nights ,on the way from Valencia , same years ago. Even then the hotel looked “ tired “. Such a fabulous location. Too bad.
When a friend and I stayed at The Pavilions we went to Melià’s bar several times. Very comfortable.
I like Icona C. and The Pavilions , but this time I would prefer the place where one can see people at the bar and around the lobby, .stay inside ( not in the room) at night if the weather turns miserable, and “ feel” the Season.
I’ll take a look !






I
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Old Jul 1st, 2024, 11:37 PM
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Hotel Orfila is not in the Barrio de Salamanca. It sits in the Almagro sub barrio of the Chamberí district.
The other Relais & Châteaux Heritage, which I know, simply does not have the same great location as the Tótem.
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Old Jul 1st, 2024, 11:54 PM
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danon,
Speaking of "feeling the season" at the Meliá Gran Fénix, we went last Christmas (not knowing that the El Dry by Javier Muelas had left and had been substituted by their own bar) and we did really feel the season, as the drinks came with little Christmas treats (polvorones, mazapán, etc), it was packed with visiting families, and the hotel was beautifully decorated. This is when we stayed at The Pavilions, since it doesn't have a lounge/bar.

We also walked the short distance to the surprisingly welcoming Rosewood Villamagna (not in the least stuffy), which was super festive and beautifully decorated. I love what Rosewood has done to this hotel (it's where Taylor Swift and Bruce Springsteen stayed during their recent tours). I'd urge you to go in for a drink or afternoon tea or something.
They had erected a skating rink for families, a hot chocolate stand and even a cozy Swiss Alpine looking hut, where one could enjoy a raclette.
The Rosewood has a great Christmas-New Years package, and we wanted to sample just a tiny bit of it.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2024, 12:01 AM
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If you feel like dining on a terrace, I suggest Hevia for Friday (it is closed on Sunday). https://www.heviamadrid.com/
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Old Jul 2nd, 2024, 02:18 AM
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Agreed! Hevia on the terrace on Calle Serrano is great! It's a classic.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2024, 07:31 AM
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Thank you for the valued suggestions.

Last edited by danon; Jul 2nd, 2024 at 07:35 AM.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2024, 10:51 AM
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Hevia sounds perfect for our Friday, thank you.
On another note, when I went to reserve online at Arzabal I was prompted to choose between interior 2 or interior 3. What is the difference?
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Old Jul 2nd, 2024, 11:14 AM
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I haven't the slightest idea! This is a new one on me! Interior 1, 2 or 3? I would suspect, and only suspect, that Interior 1 would be the far back dining room, away from the (often crowded) bar area where there are also high tables, but I'm actually stumped. The next time I pass by, I'll go in and ask! Or perhaps send them an email. You don't want to have to sit on the high tables on the outdoor terrace.

Just to add that I've known Hevia for years, since it sits around the corner from my former home on María de Molina, a wonderful classic since 1964 in Salamanca now in the hands of the 2nd generation and with impeccable service.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2024, 11:42 AM
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Thanks Maribel! I didn't see an email on Arzabal's website so I made a reservation for interior 3. Then in the space for special requests (at least I think that's what it was for - my Spanish is dreadful) I asked for a table in the main dining room. I'll ask the hotel to confirm it for me as we get closer to our date.

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Old Jul 3rd, 2024, 03:07 PM
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I am placing Hevia on my list for near future.

BUT: Maribel and Revulgo: Is the Wellington not the hotel that was famous as a haven for the toreros of decades ago? I thought itt had been redone; am I thinking of another hotel?

This not important and I am sorry for barging in about this; I always had that hotel on my list, before I found "my" place..

I think my sister was the one who adored the Villa Magna.....but the prices are out of sight....they seem to be twice (or more) the price I pay at the ORFILIA.
And now the TOTEM? I've never heard of that hotel!! Every time I come to Fodor's, Maribel offers more and more information about fabulous places to stay, to visit, and to dine!!!

Here is my thought:

Danon. myself, and a few others will chip in and purchase a small studio in Almagro or anywhere in the vicinity.......then we just share the place........honestly, I can sleep on the floor in one of those cosy sleeping bag/mattress things....and I always have my Iberia eye masks..... IF we are all there at the same time, with Maribel the guest of honor, of course, think of the fun we could have!!!

Ok...I must have had a dream and have now woken up...
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Old Jul 3rd, 2024, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by ekscrunchy
i am placing hevia on my list for near future.

But: Maribel and revulgo: Is the wellington not the hotel that was famous as a haven for the toreros of decades ago? I thought itt had been redone; am i thinking of another hotel?

This not important and i am sorry for barging in about this; i always had that hotel on my list, before i found "my" place..

I think my sister was the one who adored the villa magna.....but the prices are out of sight....they seem to be twice (or more) the price i pay at the orfilia.
And now the totem? I've never heard of that hotel!! Every time i come to fodor's, maribel offers more and more information about fabulous places to stay, to visit, and to dine!!!

Here is my thought:

Danon. Myself, and a few others will chip in and purchase a small studio in almagro or anywhere in the vicinity.......then we just share the place........honestly, i can sleep on the floor in one of those cosy sleeping bag/mattress things....and i always have my iberia eye masks..... If we are all there at the same time, with maribel the guest of honor, of course, think of the fun we could have!!!

Ok...i must have had a dream and have now woken up...
🇪🇸😀🍷
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Old Jul 4th, 2024, 07:36 AM
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Yes, eks,
This is the hotel where the matadors have traditionally stayed during the Fiesta de San Isidro. The matadors are quite superstitious and tend to stay in the same hotel, even the same room, if possible, during San Isidro.
Some also stay, or used to stay, I should say, at the Me Meliá Reina Cristina on the Plaza de Santa Ana when it was just the Reina Cristina.

But the last time we visited the Wellington we both remarked that it really needs a facelift. We didn't see the rooms, but we did have a drink in the very dated lounge, which simply can't compete with the other 5-star hotels at all. The latest news about the Wellington is that sometime in the near future, another or a second Llhardy will take the place of the dining venue, La Llave de Oro, facing Calle Velázquez.

https://www.elmundo.es/loc/famosos/2...e4e8b45c6.html


I remember that your sister adored the Rosewood Villamagna. But the prices may climb even higher now that Taylor Swift and Bruce Springsteen stayed there in the enormous suite, the Anglada House.
https://www.revistaad.es/articulos/taylor-swift-hotel-rosewood-villa-magna-madrid
https://www.abc.es/summum/living/ocio/hotel-taylor-swift-elegido-madrid-precios-25000-20240529112629-nt.html.

I think we should all 3 share that pied a terre in Almagro.

Last edited by Maribel; Jul 4th, 2024 at 07:50 AM.
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Old Jul 10th, 2024, 07:22 AM
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New Beer Spa to open at the end of September in La Latina.
https://beerspain.com/en/spa/beer-spa-madrid/
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Old Jul 10th, 2024, 11:16 AM
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Oh Revulgo, that does sound . . . . interesting. I didn't know beer spas are a thing.
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Old Jul 10th, 2024, 11:49 AM
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A beer spa?


Bathing in a tub of beer?

Vonse you can never go wrong with Lakasa.

And take a look at the HUNGRYONION.ORG . Maribel and I both post there (me just blabbing while she offers insanely great info!) and there is lots of sane advice, with photos of restaurants in Madrid......I guess that site is the alternative for the much-lamented ChowHound.....,.

Maribel, any word on Haramboure?
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