Fodor's Expert Review
This swanky designer property, reopened in April 2018 as a five-star, has Madrid's old-guard luxury hotels shaking in their boots. Interiors, gutted and refurbished by renowned architecture firm Rockwell Group, scream opulence with plush fabrics, bespoke furniture, and museum-quality lighting. The hotel's location, down a hip side street in Barrio de Las Letras, lends it an air of hidden-gem exclusivity—and local flavor. You'd never know Hotel Inglés is considered to be the oldest hotel in the city, opened in 1886.
You Should Know It's a shame that, unlike other high-end hotels in the area, Gran Hotel Inglés doesn't have any outdoor public areas.
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You might as well be sleeping between two clouds: The sheets are so silky-smooth at this hotel that you'll never want to leave your bed—until the in-room clawfoot tub beckons, that is. Some rooms afford quaint views over the terracotta roofs, and all exude a self-assured urban vibe—think gray suede headboards and hand-selected contemporary art—that's tranquil and never over the top.
Tip Gran Hotel Inglés is pet-friendly—at no additional charge—and can provide (small and medium) beds upon request.
Shower enclosures bigger than some New York City apartments are a treat, as are the top-quality toiletries by L'Occitane. Our only quibble? There are no dimmers, which means your relaxation session has to unfold in darkness or under bright lights. Robes and slippers feel soft and plush.
Rockwell Group killed it: They created a soaring, twinkly space that's as cozy as it is sumptuous with velvet wingback chairs, low designer tables, and cushy banquettes. Reception is discreetly off to one side, which means you can unwind with a coffee or cocktail without watching guests check in.
Tip Even if you're not a hotel guest, you can still decompress (or get some work done) in this tranquil space.
Bearing the imprimatur of Manuel de la Garza, a multi-award-winning spa professional, Egoïste offers a wide-ranging menu of treatments using Anne Semonin Paris products.
Tip There's a small, peaceful pool area that's complimentary to all guests; just let reception know what time you'd like to visit.
What the gym lacks in natural light (it's located in the basement) it makes up for with the latest Technogym equipment that lets you watch Netflix as you work out. Complimentary fruit, towels, and infused waters are appreciated.
Lobo 8 puts modern spins on rootsy Madrileño dishes like "broken eggs" over potatoes (they add truffles), braised Iberian pork cheeks (fragrant with sesame), and sliced tomato salad (topped with avocado ice cream). Unlike other Madrid hotels that mail in their wine program, Lobo 8 offers thoughtful, unexpected pairings.
You Should Know Desserts aren't as delectable as the rest of the menu.
Sidle up to this round, Art Deco-style bar for standout cocktail creations that range from martinis to flips to old-fashioneds.
Most of Madrid's top attractions are outside your door, but for adventures further afield (or if your legs need a rest), hop on the metro at Sevilla (Line 2) or Sol (Lines 1, 2, and 3).
Gran Hotel Inglés is a scenic 9-minute walk from the posh Mercado de San Miguel, a renovated turn-of-the-century market whose bustling tapas stalls sit beneath a glass dome. After an aperitivo there (skip the overpriced food), meander down to stalwart restaurants Casa Lucio and Casa Lucas on Cava Baja, Madrid’s most archetypal, if slightly touristy, tapas street, or dine closer to home at Cervecería Alemana (1-minute walk), a Hemingway favorite specializing in fried squid a la romana and saucy meatballs.
Pop into one of Hemingway’s old haunts called La Venencia (across the street), a sherry-only bar that hasn’t changed a lick since the Spanish Civil War, from its no-tipping policy, to its salty waiters, to its chalked bar tabs. Follow your aperitivo with an exhilarating flamenco performance down the road at Cardamomo Tablao (buy tickets to the show in advance).