A hip, vibrant hotel off the bustling Gran Vía thoroughfare, Hotel Índigo is best known for its stunning rooftop lounge and outdoor infinity pool, rare features in Madrid. Rooms, on the other hand, are comfortable yet decidedly less chic with passé colored backlighting, satiny throws, and antediluvian iPod docks—minor quibbles that seem to go unnoticed by the models and fashionistas who frequent the property for its exclusive pool and see-and-be-seen vibe.
Anything but subtle, rooms at Hotel Índigo are awash with bold colors and loud patterns. With such eclectic—verging on gaudy—décor, you’d forget you were in Spain were it not for the blown-up photographs of Madrid street scenes fixed above every headboard. Nespresso machines, safes, double-glazed windows, and jacuzzis (in some upgraded rooms) make up for rooms’ compact size.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Entry-level “Deluxe” rooms, particularly those on the lower floors, receive very little natural light.
Black-and-white bathrooms come stocked with bathrobes, slippers, and Aveda toiletries.
The lobby has an urban feel with sleek white desks and floor-to-ceiling street photography, though you’re better off lounging on the cozier, more scenic rooftop.
The 12th-floor infinity pool, though smaller than photos would lead you to believe, is Hotel Índigo’s raison d’être. Kick back in one of the outward-facing chaises longues, and catch some rays as beachy music flows over the speakers.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The pool is open in the summer only.
While many hotels of this size (85 rooms) don’t even have a gym, Índigo boasts a surprisingly complete one with treadmills, weight machines, stability balls, and more.
On the surface, El Gato Canalla—with its chintzy décor and buzzword-ridden menu—looks another dime-a-dozen “fusion tapas” restaurant, but with well-executed dishes like oxtail meatballs and prawn croquettes, it punches above its weight.
The 12th-floor Sky Lounge, adjacent to the pool, is the hotel’s most striking space with pastel-colored armchairs, low gold tables, and an enormous flat-screen TV—ideal for watching Real Madrid soccer matches. Sunsets over the city are even more memorable with a gin-tónic in hand.
Most of Madrid’s main attractions are within walking distance, but for adventures further afield, hop on the metro at Santo Domingo (Line 2).
Avoid the tourist traps along Gran Vía and instead stroll over to Conde Duque, Madrid’s hottest new neighborhood, known for its eclectic mix of trendster tapas spots and dusty abuelo bars. Get your caffeine fix at Federal Café (12-minute walk), an American-owned spot that has the only decent coffee (and American-style brunch) in the vicinity. Come nightfall, head to El Maño (12-minute walk) for old-school tapas (garlicky white anchovies, Spanish-style meatballs, and spicy fried potatoes), or post up at La Carbonera (11-minute walk), a pocket-size “cheese bar” known for its hard-to-find quesos and funky wines by the glass.
Beer lovers will geek out at Fábrica Maravillas (7-minute walk), Madrid’s only city-center brewpub. Choose from a dozen draft beers that were brewed just steps from your barstool. If cocktails are more your speed, duck into La Bicicleta, a retro café one block up that transforms into a low-key, dimly lit bar by night.
WHY WE LIKE IT
For scenesters looking for a place to unwind in the summer, Índigo can’t be beat. Its glamorous rooftop pool, unexpectedly good food, and well-equipped gym have earned this hotel a solid reputation. That said, when the pool is closed for the season, the property loses its main draw, and with it, much of its vitality.