Situated on a cobblestone street in Barrio de las Letras, Madrid’s literary quarter, the NH Collection Palacio de Tepa occupies a converted 19th-century palace whose architect also designed the Prado Museum. Interiors are handsome and serious with dark-wood floors, marble bathrooms, and (in some rooms) beamed ceilings and skylights. Though the hotel could use a minor facelift, above-and-beyond guest services help make up for the sometimes-bland visuals.
Minimally decorated with gray and taupe accents, rooms are businessy and stylish all at once. Upper-floor digs overlook a charming pedestrianized street, and all rooms come with Nespresso machines, kettles, and a variety of pillows.
The property has been known to provide upgrades at no additional charge. Ask for one at check-in—you have nothing to lose!
Modern, luminous bathrooms, some with bathtubs and others with walk-in showers, are roomy and well-stocked with towels and toiletries. Complimentary slippers and robes in every room make you feel fancy.
The lobby may not be the buzziest, but it is bright and inviting with fresh flower displays and a skylight ceiling. Complimentary refreshments upon check-in, such as cava and iced tea, are a nice touch.
The windowless gym, while equipped with dumbbells and a couple of cardio machines, could use some sprucing up.
Healthy “antiox” breakfasts include a panoply of pastries, à-la-carte eggs, gluten-free options, and fresh-squeezed juices.
YOU SHOULD KNOW At €30, unless you wake up with a voracious appetite, it pays to have breakfast elsewhere.
Most of Madrid’s main attractions are within walking distance, but if your feet get tired, you can hop on the metro at Antón Martín (Line 1) or Sol (Lines 1, 2, and 3).
NH Collection Palacio de Tepa is dangerously close to Madrid’s most fabled churro spot, Chocolatería San Ginés (7-minute walk), a 24-hour café where towering platters of crisp-fried doughnuts are served piping hot by white-clad waiters. Churros con chocolate are the perfect way to end a tapas crawl on and around Cava Baja (7-minute walk), the city’s most archetypal—if slightly touristy—tapas street. Seek out stalwart old-school restaurants like Casa Lucio; Casa Lucas; and Botín, the oldest restaurant in the world founded in 1725.
A 9-minute walk from the hotel, La Coquette, Madrid’s premier blues bar, offers a terrific—and free—nightly show from Tuesdays to Thursdays in an arcaded brick cellar. Although the venue’s size might be likened to a sardine can, the upside is that every seat is front-row— it’s always a thrill to watch the talented musicians jam out right in front of you. When the show winds down, keep the night going at El Amante, a discoteca around the corner frequented by Spanish celebrities.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Sojourning in a palace overlooking a cobblestone street in the heart of a charming neighborhood—if that’s not the European vacation dream, we don’t know what is. NH Collection Palacio de Tepa strikes a balance between luxury and style, professionalism and amicability. Though some rooms feel a tad dated, our minor quibbles with the interior design don’t detract from the overall experience, and travelers of all ilks are sure to leave this property impressed.