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. The property underwent massive renovations in 2016, and rooms feel stylish and sumptuous with evocative wall art and neutral tones. Get a bird’s-eye view of the city from the expansive rooftop bar, a destination in itself.
Awash with soft whites and grays and accented by occasional splashes of red, rooms strike a pleasing balance between luxury and minimalism. The best seats in the house are the exterior-facing Junior Suites on the upper floors, which boast well-appointed lounges and stunning views. There are Nespresso machines in every room.
Immaculately lit bathrooms combine gray marble, frosted glass, and stained woods.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Bathrobes and slippers are only provided in rooms designated Premium and above.
The wood-paneled lobby is homey and inviting with cushy L-couches, eye-catching magazines, and lush potted plants. There are usually complimentary snacks and beverages for the taking, and if you’re lucky, you’ll catch some live music as well.
The windowless gym is adequate for basic training with cardio machines, dumbbells, and benches.
A swanky gastrobar with a brasserie feel, Casa Suecia offers an eclectic (if overpriced) menu of international-inflected tapas such as Hasselback potatoes with smoked salmon, warm scallop salad, and steak tartare.
Enjoy a well-made martini or glass of albariño at Casa Suecia’s jet-black bar, which exudes stately Americana with its wainscotting and high stools. If the weather is warm, don’t miss the rooftop bar, whose views over the city’s sea of terracotta might be the highlight of your visit.
There’s a “hidden” bar in the basement that boasts one of Madrid’s most impressive whiskey lists.
Most of the city’s top sites are within walking distance of the hotel, but if your legs need a rest, the metro (Line 2) is just minutes away at Sevilla station.
The neighboring Salamanca district boasts two of the city’s best spots for tortilla de patata, Spanish potato omelette: Casa Dani (8-minute taxi), an abuelo bar tucked in the back corner of Mercado de la Paz, and Estay (8-minute taxi), a stylish restaurant with one of the best breakfast deals (€2.50 for pan con tomate and coffee) in town. After sundown, embark on a tapas crawl through the neighborhood, hitting La Máquina (cocktails and finger food), Cinco Jotas (premium jamón ibérico), and Ultramarinos Quintín (rawbar and flatbreads).
The quiet side streets north of the hotel belie a number of hopping nightlife venues popular among locals. There’s Ten con Ten (10-minute taxi), the sleek “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 (12-minute taxi), a buzzy bar and discoteca that heats up on the weekends with international DJ sets.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Come for the location—steps from Puerta del Sol and Retiro Park—and stay for the rooftop cocktails, rare whiskeys, and newly renovated rooms. While most high-end hotels in the neighborhood feel dated and stuffy, the NH Collection Suecia stands out for being anything but. The property is a true people-pleaser, a place where hipsters and grandparents alike will feel at home.