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 Though the hotel boasts a thrilling two-Michelin-starred restaurant, Ramón Freixa Madrid, the outdated lobby and unremarkable rooms lag behind in the luxury department.
Hardwood floors, high ceilings, and blackout curtains are welcome comforts here, but rooms are surprisingly dark and cramped for a five-star hotel. Amenities include slippers, robes, and chocolates on your pillow at turndown.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Views from the courtyard-facing rooms are unattractive. Opt for an exterior room for sunlight and pleasant street scenes.
Small and in need of refurbishment, bathrooms at Hotel Único are nothing out of the ordinary. Boxy bathtubs are more suited to children than adults.
Once you get past the labyrinthine columns between the entrance and the lobby, check-in staff are friendly and efficient. A complimentary beverage offered upon arrival is a nice touch.
There’s a cozy lounge behind the lobby ideal for quiet conversation or curling up with a book.
The Natura Bissé spa offers a range of massages, facials, and other individualized therapeutic treatments.
This compact fitness center features cardio machines, jump ropes, dumbbells, and exercise balls.
Though the hotel doesn’t have a bar, guests are welcome to enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine in the lounge or via room service.
Hotel Único is less than ten minutes from Serrano (line 4) and Retiro (line 2) metro stations. Count on taking a taxi back to the hotel if you’re out after 1:30 a.m. as the metro closes at that time.
The Salamanca district boasts two of the best spots in the city for tortilla de patata, Spanish potato omelette: Casa Dani, a noisy bar tucked in the back corner of Mercado de la Paz, and Estay, a stylish restaurant that doubles as a café before noon. After sundown, embark on a tapas crawl through the neighborhood, hitting Babelia (cocktails and finger food), Cinco Jotas (premium jamón ibérico), and Ultramarinos Quintín (rawbar and flatbreads).
The quiet streets surrounding the hotel belie a number of exciting nightlife venues. There’s Ten con Ten, the swanky “gin bar” that incited the gin tónic frenzy a decade ago that hasn’t abated since. After a cocktail there, make your way to Arts Club, a buzzy bar and discoteca that heats up on the weekends with international DJ sets.
WHY WE LIKE IT
You may not have Madrid’s main attractions right outside your door at Hotel Único, but you’ll thank yourself later: Getting off the tourist track and experiencing a true-blue Madrileño neighborhood will show you an intimate side of the city that most vacationers don’t get to appreciate. Though the property’s interiors could use a makeover, it’s the rare hotel that houses a two-Michelin-star restaurant within its walls—a boon to travelers with a penchant for la nueva cocina.