The Vibe: Contemporary luxe setting while retaining much of the traditional character.
The Area: Barrio de Las Letras, one of the city’s most characterful neighbourhoods. It is five minutes’ walk to the Puerta del Sol, the epicentre of the city, and 10 minutes to the Prado museum.
The DNA: When it opened in 1886, the landmark Gran Hotel Inglés, originally designed by Juan José Sánchez Pescador, was history in the making: not only was it located on the first street in Madrid to receive electricity, it was also the first hotel to feature a restaurant. To revive the neglected building, Rockwell Group Madrid set out to “celebrate the hotel’s past in a contemporary way”. Upon arrival, guests are immediately drawn to a glistening oval bar beckoning from the entrance. An Art Deco vision in ebony and gold, it’s flanked by original uplit cast iron pillars and antiqued mirrors with vinyl decals of Belle Époque ladies and gents. Wood flooring laid out in a chevron pattern, velvet draperies, silk area rugs, leather sofas, and restored chandeliers all contribute to the residential-style gathering space. That elegant but relaxed feeling continues in Lobo 8 restaurant. Informed by a grand British country estate, it is outfitted with blue and gold tones and both modern and antique-inspired lighting.
Suite-Me-Up: In contrast to the drama in the public areas, the 48 guestrooms are symphonies in white anchored with jewel-toned accents. That’s not to say there aren’t surprises: a slipper clawfoot bathtub presents itself as an objet d’art in the bedroom. Yet, some are meant to be discovered, like replicas of vintage hotel postcards with beautiful handwritten notes that the designers found and transformed into wallpaper—a clever moment in the closets.
Seen: archilovers, Architectural Digest, Top Hotel Design, Wallpaper*
Accolades: Wallpaper* Best Urban Hotels 2019
✅ free Wi-Fi • size matters: 43 rooms (27-40m2) (291-431 sq ft) & 5 suites (50-125m2) (538-1,345 sq ft) • hotel opened: 1886, renovated: 2018 • architecture: CMV • interior design: Rockwell Group • parking possible nearby (charged) ✅ pet friendly, no charges • 24-hour front desk • wheelchair accessible