The Most Historic Hotels in Madrid

Benjamin Kemper | February 21, 2018

From converted palaces to grand old hotels, there's no shortage of historic properties in the Spanish capital. These are the hotels that tell the story of Spain—of erstwhile grandeur and silver-screen movie stars, of intricate architecture and sumptuous furniture. Book a room in any of these paradores, and you'll be transported to a bygone era.

Related Ultimate Guide: 28 Ultimate Things to Do in Madrid

#11

AC Santo Mauro, Autograph Collection

Why it made the list

This fin-de-siècle palace in the Chamberí district, first a duke's residence and later the Canadian embassy, is now an intimate luxury hotel (managed by Marriott), an oasis of calm removed from the city center. Hand-painted frescoes crown stately halls and soaring guest rooms, balconies jut out over a tranquil garden, and marble stairways spiral between floors. Despite the Old-World aesthetic, modern amenities abound including a gym area, complete with a sauna and steam room, and a Spanish nueva cocina restaurant.

This fin-de-siècle palace in the Chamberí dist Read More

#10

URSO Hotel & Spa

Why it made the list

One of Madrid's most stunning façades belongs to URSO Hotel & Spa, a luxurious modern property that occupies a turn-of-the-century municipal building. Don't forget to take a spin on the 100-year-old elevator, complete with carved mahogany flourishes and a scarlet-upholstered seat.

Housed in a regal turn-of-the-century municipal building, th Read More

#9

NH Collection Palacio de Tepa

Why it made the list

Situated on a cobblestone street in Barrio de las Letras, Madrid’s literary quarter, the NH Collection Palacio de Tepa occupies a converted 19th-century palace whose architect also designed the Prado Museum. Interiors are handsome and serious with dark-wood floors, marble bathrooms, and (in some rooms) beamed ceilings and skylights. Though some rooms feel a tad dated, our minor quibbles with the design don’t detract from the overall experience, and travelers of all ilks are sure to leave this property impressed.

Situated on a cobblestone street in Barrio de las Letras, Ma Read More

#8

Hotel Palacio del Retiro, Autograph Collection

Why it made the list

A palatial early-20th-century building, once owned by a noble family with extravagant habits (the elevator carried their horses up and down from the rooftop exercise ring), this spectacular hotel is a case in point that classical and modern décor can happily coexist when done right. Relics of the mansion's grandiose past include baseboards and fountains covered with ceramics from Talavera, Parisian stained-glass windows, marble floors and columns, and original moldings.

A palatial early-20th-century building, once owned by a nobl Read More

#7

NH Collection Madrid Suecia

Why it made the list

If only the walls of the NH Collection Madrid Suecia could talk: The 1956 building it occupies was once home to Ernest Hemingway and Che Guevara. Today’s guests are decidedly tamer, but the retro aesthetic lives on in the hotel’s brown velvet couches, towering tropical plants, and suave concierges.

If only the walls of the NH Collection Madrid Suecia could t Read More

#6

Hotel Único

Why it made the list

Situated on a quiet side street in the posh, tree-lined district of Salamanca, Hotel Único is a boutique property suited to travelers seeking a relaxing, cosmopolitan vacation. Its 44 rooms occupy a 19th-century palace complete with wrought-iron balconies, curved staircases, and a sunny courtyard. Though interiors could use a makeover, it’s the rare hotel that houses a two-Michelin-star restaurant (Ramón Freixa Madrid) within its walls—a boon to travelers with a penchant for la nueva cocina.

Situated on a quiet side street in the posh, tree-lined dist Read More

#5

ME Madrid

Why it made the list

In an unbeatable location, this ultramodern hotel bears a few reminders of the era when bullfighters would convene here before setting off to Las Ventas: Bulls' heads hang in the lounge and some abstract pictures of bullfighting are scattered around. But the old flair has been superseded by cutting-edge amenities; a typical guest room contains an advanced memory-foam mattress, international outlets, and a minibar that's triple the usual size.

In an unbeatable location, this ultramodern hotel bears a fe Read More

#4

Wellington Madrid

Why it made the list

Occupying half of a city block in Madrid’s posh Salamanca district, Hotel Wellington is an iconic, stately property founded by a bullfighting bigwig in the mid-1900s. Its guest list has included such luminaries and celebrities as Ernest Hemingway, Gene Kelly, the Dukes of Wellington, and (more recently) Matt Damon and Adrien Brody. Though millennials might wonder where the Bluetooth speakers, Nespresso machines, and pillow menus are, more traditional travelers will find most of their expectations met by this well-oiled machine of a property.

Occupying half of a city block in Madrid’s posh Salamanca di Read More

#3

Westin Palace Madrid

Why it made the list

The Palace opened in 1912 as the largest hotel in Europe, and in its heyday, catered to the likes of Salvador Dalí, Marlon Brando, Rita Hayworth, and Madonna.The property retains much of that Belle Époque charm today—though some say it hasn’t aged as gracefully one might hope.

An iconic hotel situated inside the “Golden Triangle” (the d Read More

#2

Gran Meliá Fénix

Why it made the list

A Madrid institution that once played host to the likes of The Beatles, Cary Grant, and Rita Hayworth, this hotel is a mere hop from the posh shops of Calle Serrano. An impressive lobby with marble floors, antique furniture, and a stained-glass dome ceiling define the style. We could spend hours unwinding over coffee in the lobby or over a well-made martini in the cocktail bar. That said, we miss certain modern perks that have become ubiquitous in most five-star hotels such as in-room speakers, smart TVs, and international power outlets.

A Madrid institution that once played host to the likes of T Read More

#1

Ateneo Hotel

Why it made the list

At Ateneo Hotel, sleep in an 18th-century building that was once home to the Ateneo, a club founded in 1835 to promote freedom of thought whose members included such luminaries as Miguel de Unamuno, Ramón María del Valle-Inclán, and Gregorio Marañón. But Ateneo appeals for more than just its storied past; it's decidedly unfancy, fantastically affordable, and meticulously clean—a winning combination.

Spacious rooms are offered in this restored 18th-century bui Read More

  • 11. AC Santo Mauro, Autograph Collection
    Calle Zurbano 36,Madrid,Spain,28010
  • 10. URSO Hotel & Spa
    Calle de Mejía Lequerica, 8,Madrid,Spain,28004
  • 9. NH Collection Palacio de Tepa
    Calle de San Sebastián 2,Madrid,Spain,28012
  • 8. Hotel Palacio del Retiro, Autograph Collection
    Calle de Alfonso XII 14,Madrid,Spain,28014
  • 7. NH Collection Madrid Suecia
    Calle del Marqués de Casa Riera 4,Madrid,Spain,28014
  • 6. Hotel Único
    Calle de Claudio Coello 67,Madrid,Spain,28001
  • 5. ME Madrid
    Pl. Santa Ana 14,Madrid,Spain,28014
  • 4. Wellington Madrid
    Calle de Velázquez 8,Madrid,Spain,28001
  • 3. Westin Palace Madrid
    Pl. de las Cortés 7,Madrid,Spain,28014
  • 2. Gran Meliá Fénix
    Calle de Hermosilla 2,Madrid,Spain,28001
  • 1. Ateneo Hotel
    Calle de la Montera 22,Madrid,Spain,28013

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