From its perch overlooking the iconic 18th-century Puerta de Alcalá, at the northwest corner of the verdant Parque del Retiro, the Hospes Madrid appears to be a traditional institution of the Spanish capital. Built for a widowed duchess in the late 19th century by renowned architect José María Aguilar, the red brick townhouse is a prime example of Bourbon Restoration architecture, but, when the luxury Hospes chain took it over, the design team transformed the onetime private apartments into an ode to minimalist modern style, complete with frameless mirrors and clean-lined white leather sofas. The ground-floor café, too, was once a landmark for the upper echelons of Madrileño society; the new owners reimagined the Cafetería Independencia as a sleeker version worthy of a design magazine spread.
But lovers of tradition and design need not fear. The Hospes team didn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. They preserved original architectural details such as ornate crown moldings and wood beams, alongside the café and restaurant’s acclaimed cuisine and prime sidewalk views. And they even improved a few things, too, converting the old stables into a luxury spa and turning the top floors into duplex-style suites overlooking the park. So maybe the Hospes Madrid isn’t quite the beacon of old Madrid it seems, but that’s not a bad thing.
Have you been here? Share a tip or a photo with fellow travelers.
Thanks to its perch right on the Plaza de la Independencia, looking out on the iconic Puerta de Alcalá from both its sidewalk tapas bar and many rooms’ large windows, the Hospes Madrid has one of the most enviable central locations in the Spanish capital. The sprawling Parque del Retiro—Madrid’s Central Park—spreads out on the other side of the plaza, a lush garden filled with winding walkways, pretty palaces, outdoor theaters, art galleries, and pools with rowboats for rent. One of Madrid’s most desirable shopping avenues, the Calle de Serrano, lined with designer boutiques, chic cafés, and international brands, runs up from the north side of the plaza. Many of the city’s major sights unfold to the south and west of the plaza, along the Gran Vía and the Paseo del Prado, putting icons like the Puerta del Sol, Prado and Reina Sofía museums, and the CaixaForum within a stone’s throw.
Need to Know
Rooms: 41 rooms, six suites. From $199. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Once Madrid’s iconic Independencia Café, the Senzone Tapas Bar is a classic Spanish café that occupies one of the city’s most desirable pieces of real estate. It sits on a tree-shaded sidewalk terrace overlooking the Plaza de la Independencia and the Puerta de Alcalá. Trendy Madrileños vie for tables—indoors and out—at which to sip cafés con leche, nibble churros, and dine on tapas. Indoors, the slick, fine-dining Senzone Restaurant blends the traditional and innovative in both its modernist decor and acclaimed cuisine. The mezzanine lounge bar is a sultry, wood-and-leather affair where well-dressed locals and guests sip Rioja and vermouth while admiring views of the Puerta de Alcalá from their perches on overstuffed Chesterfields. The see-and-be-seen atmosphere fades away on the more secluded back patio, a greenery-fringed deck with cushioned sofas and a bubbling fountain that extends both the restaurant and bar. Drinks and bites can also be ordered to the airy lobby, with its silver furnishings and large skylights. Spa and gym details: Originally the townhouse stables, the building holding the signature Bodyna Spa has underground access from the hotel’s main building and overlooks the serene back patio. In addition to a well-equipped fitness center, the three-story haven of relaxation has a Turkish hammam, sauna, hydrotherapy pool, hair salon, and full range of luxury spa treatments.
Who's it best for: Trend-conscious couples on romantic weekends, and other fans of modern luxury. Our favorite rooms: Each of the 41 rooms and suites is distinctively luxurious, but the Deluxe Alcala rooms have not only soaring ceilings and spacious sitting areas, but also tall windows that open onto private Juliet balconies overlooking the Puerta de Alcalá and the Parque del Retiro beyond. Quick bites: Should the mood to snack strike, check out the minibar, which is stocked with gourmet Spanish treats.