This refurbished late-19th-century property feels more like a village guesthouse than a metropolitan hotel. It was built atop the remains of a stone wall that encircled the city in the 12th century—revealed through glass floor panels at the hotel entrance and in the restaurant. Rooms have white tiled floors, headboards with historical prints of the city, and high ceilings with exposed wooden beams. In addition to the inexpensive restaurant, there is also a tapas bar facing the street that pours more than 400 wines by the glass. Enjoy a breakfast buffet in the restaurant, or you can opt for a more basic breakfast at the hotel bar-café. The owners have another, slightly cheaper hotel next door (Posada del Dragón), well-suited to couples.
Entry-level “Corrala” rooms are cramped and awkward in layout with sinks situated directly next to beds. You’re better off splurging on one of the “Cava” rooms, which are more spacious and feature balconies. Tile flooring, cold on the toes in winter months, makes spaces feel far less homey than they could be.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Noise is a problem in this hotel; interior rooms catch the echoes from the courtyard, while exterior rooms are exposed to honks and raucous crowds.
Grohe rain showers are a nice perk, though they leak onto the floor in certain rooms. All bathrooms offer basic toiletries and a hairdryer.
If you like pampering yourself with long baths, book the “Buhardilla” room, which has an in-room deep-sink tub.
There’s a sore lack of communal space in Posada del León de Oro with no lobby or lounge to be found—just a check-in desk and adjacent bar.
The hotel has an “Enotaberna” (wine tavern) on the ground floor boasting a list of over 300 Spanish wines and a menu of stick-to-your-ribs Spanish fares like braised pork in Pedro Ximénez sauce and roast suckling pig.
Start your evening with some hand-sliced jamón ibérico at the hotel bar, and wash it down with a glass of sherry at one of the high-top tables.
You’re in the heart of Old Madrid at Posada del León de Oro, which means many of the city’s sights—such as the Plaza Mayor, Rastro fleamarket, and Puerta del Sol—are at your fingertips. The Golden Triangle of museums is a scenic 20-minute walk (or 11-minute taxi) away. For adventures further afield, catch the metro at La Latina (Line 5) or Sol (Lines 1, 2, and 3).
Posada del León de Oro is dangerously close to Madrid’s most fabled churro spot, San Ginés (6-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, the street on which the hotel is located and the city’s most archetypal—if slightly touristy—place for tapas. Seek out stalwart old-school restaurants like Casa Lucio; Casa Lucas; and Botín, the oldest restaurant in the world founded in 1725.
A 7-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 nearby discoteca frequented by Spanish celebrities.
WHY WE LIKE IT
As Madrid becomes more and more overrun with personality-less corporate hotels, it’s crucial to keep patronizing independently owned properties like Posada del León de Oro—not only because they’re an endangered species, but because they also offer guests a far more intimate and genuine sense of place. Though Posada del León has its pitfalls, particularly in the design department, it wins us over with its countrified charm and honest food and wine.