Room Mate Mario

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  • Room Mate Mario Hotel Madrid
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Any hotel worth staying at has a personality of its own, almost by definition — avoiding the bland and the soulless is, after all, the reason you’re here in the first place. Some one-off hotels, literally unique, can’t help but have a personality; meanwhile some chains develop something of a house style that ties all their disparate offerings together. And then there’s Room Mate, the new Spanish chain, which takes the idea of personality somewhat literally, inventing a character to act as your fictional host.

In this case your host is Mario, a “vanguardist composer of contemporary music,” which, for all its pretension, actually puts a fairly definite image in your head: arty but quiet, hip and cultured, one imagines, as opposed to people you probably wouldn’t want to stay with, like “hard-drinking rock singer” or “deadly boring actuarial trainee.”

It doesn’t get too terribly personal; you won’t find unfinished symphonies lying around, and Mario’s taste (what a coincidence) tends slightly toward the minimalist international style that’s familiar from designer hotels the world over. That said, it’s well done, a blend of comfortable monochromes and vivid graphic surprises — Mario is no revolutionary, but he does have an eye for interiors.

He’s a pretty hands-off host as well; dinner parties and late-night drinking sessions, seemingly, are not his style. Thus there’s no restaurant, no bar scene, just a library, well stocked with CDs and DVDs. But no matter — you’re free to come and go as you please, and just outside you’ll find a wealth of shops and restaurants. Maybe you’ll even spot the real Mario on his way to the opera.

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