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—a few 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heads hang in the lounge and some abstract pictures of bullfighting are scattered around, but the old flair has been superseded by cutting-edge amenities.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. The hotel has a very popular restaurant (Ana La Santa), and its roof boasts one of the city's fanciest and busiest bars, with 360-degree views of the city.
Minimally decorated with white linens, taupe headboards, and blond wood panels, rooms evoke a sense of calm that offsets the hotel's center-of-the-action location. An overflowing minibar goes beyond the usual snacks and nips to include cashmere socks (€65), portable cell phone batteries (€39), Agent Provocateur thongs (€39), and sensual massage candles (by Lelo, €22). But you don't need to pony up any extra cash to experience ME Madrid's most memorable perk, its cloudlike bedding that envelops you like a soft cocoon. Our only gripe is the in-room technology: TVs are smallish and low-def, remote controls and phones are counter-intuitive (the "on" button doesn't turn the TV on), and wifi could be faster.
Rooms facing the quaint Plaza de Santa Ana are far and away the most scenic—and also the noisiest; between the buskers, weekend revelers, and garbage trucks, it can be hard to get a good night's sleep without earplugs.
Black marble-clad bathrooms are stocked with bathrobes, slippers, and paraben-free Apivita toiletries—including a terrific facial cleanser worth snatching up. Inspirational quotes, by the likes of Bob Dylan and David Bowie, are hand-written on the mirror every day. (Not to split hairs, but the towels could be whiter and fluffier.)
Synthy DJ beats, dim lights, and limited-edition designer furniture (by such cutting-edge Spanish designers as Moanne, Kettal, and Vibia) make this lobby feel like the entrance to an exclusive club. But any suggestion of pretentiousness is swiftly mitigated by the warm front-desk staff, who greet you with a glass of cava. We love how concise they are at check-in, a rarity in a city where most hotel stays begin with 15-minute lectures on the facilities.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Key cards demagnetize easily (ugh); the front desk will gladly reissue new ones.
Guests seeking personalized spa treatments can book these services at the neighboring Club Metropolitan Palacio via concierge. Turkish baths, saunas, and a jacuzzi are available free of charge.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Bathing suits are required for common areas.
ME Madrid has a partnership with the adjacent Club Metropolitan Palacio, an Equinox-type fitness center with state-of-the-art machines and ass-kicking classes.
Ana La Santa, an indoor-outdoor restaurant overlooking Plaza de Santa Ana, serves eclectic modern Spanish fare in the same vein as the establishment's sister restaurants in Madrid, which include Bar Tomate and Luzi Bombón. Breakfasts, best enjoyed in the sun-dappled veranda decorated with lush plants, feature well-made (read: not overcooked) omelets and fresh sourdough bread. We only wish the coffee weren't a DIY Nespresso operation.
Celebrity sightings are frequent at the rooftop Radio ME Madrid Rooftop, whose panoramic views, daily DJ sets, and well-made cocktails draw both local and international crowds. Mediterranean-inflected menus by young chef David Fernández were part of a 2017 revamp of the space. Heat lamps keep the venue open year round.
Most of Madrid's main attractions are located within walking distance; for adventures further afield, hop on the metro at Sol (Lines 1, 2, and 3) or Antón Martín (Line 1).
ME Madrid 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, 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.
The best way to wile away an evening in Madrid (weather permitting) is on an outdoor terraza, and the adjacent neighborhood of La Latina is home to some of the most desirable alfresco spots. Start your evening at Bahiana (12-minute walk), whose cocktails, tapas, and beachy vibes lure local celebrities. Then make your way to the newly opened Federal Café Conde de Barajas (9-minute walk) for a round of ice-cold beers, and round out the night at Leka Leka (9-minute walk), a "gastrobar" with irresistible finger food.
WHY WE LIKE IT
ME Madrid feels young and current in an unforced, unaffected way—in a word, it's fun. Even the elevator music sounds like a track from a RuPaul voguing dance-off. Rooms, on the other hand, are tranquil, all gauzy neutrals and soft lights, functional enough for business travelers and romantic enough for honeymooners. Equidistant from Puerta del Sol, the Prado Museum, and the Plaza Mayor, the property's location is optimal for visitors who have limited time in the city but want to see (and eat and drink) as much as possible.