Don’t settle for a boring hotel in Madrid. Groovy new hostels and revamped palaces have cool roof terraces, top restaurant chefs and cocktail lists so tempting that you may never leave the bar.

Wherever you choose to stay, you can drop into any of the places on this list for a drink or dinner and get some inspiration for your next visit – Madrid tends to become a bit of a habit for many people.  

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Best for luxury: Gran Hotel Inglés 

Neighbourhood: Barrio de las Letras

Gran Hotel Ingles may be one of Madrid’s oldest hotels, but it retains a contemporary feel (Gran Hotel Ingles)

Madrid’s first proper hotel – dating back to 1886 – reopened in spring 2018 with a glamorous new look and the feel of a private club. Located in the centre of the Barrio de Las Letras, one of the city’s liveliest and most characterful areas, this five-star hotel has sumptuous rooms and suites with free-standing baths and local craft beer chilling in the minibar. Renowned chef Willy Moya is at the helm in the Lobito 8 restaurant and the afternoon cocktails in the lobby bar are always a good idea. 

Doubles from €284, room only
granhotelingles.com

Best for art lovers: The Pavilions Madrid

Neighbourhood: Chamberí

The black bear chair and artwork in The Pavilions’ lobby (The Pavilions Madrid)

The first thing you see when you walk into The Pavilions is a huge black bear lying in the lobby. Fear not – it’s actually an artwork that doubles up as a squashy sofa. The Álvaro Alcázar gallery provides changing selections of paintings and sculptures in this new boutique hotel, which is just beyond the more touristy areas but still walking distance for shops, restaurants and museums. Raspberry, teal and tangerine tones dominate the rooms – no bland minimalism here. 

Doubles from €165, room only
pavilionshotels.com/madrid

Best for budget travellers: Generator Hostel

Neighbourhood: Gran Vía

With one of the nicest rooftop bars in the city – with drinks at sensible rather than silly prices – located in the heart of Madrid, the Generator gets you straight into the swing of the Spanish capital. If you like the hostel buzz but want a bit more comfort, opt for a private room instead of a dorm bed. But, if a gang of you are going to Madrid for the weekend, up the fun factor by staying in the eight-bed party dorm on the roof.

Doubles from €65, room only
generatorhostels.com

Best for panoramic views: VP Plaza de España

Neighbourhood: Plaza de España

Ginkgo Restaurant & Sky Bar (VP Plaza España Design)

It’s all about the 12th floor at this massive new luxury hotel, where both Madrilenians and guests love the wraparound terrace and huge restaurant and bar spaces with 360° views across the city to the Sierra de Guadarrama. Rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows too, so you can also take in the cityscape from your bed – the best are on the 15th to 17th floors. At ground level, you can gaze across the Plaza de España from the hydrotherapy pool in the Biloba spa or grab a bite in the Botania bistro.  

Doubles from €200, room only
plazaespana-hotel.com

Best for cocktails: 7 Islas

Neighbourhood: Malasaña

Kick back in the contemporary confines of 7 Islas (7 Islas)

Swerve by the bar as you enter the industrial-style lobby and prepare to get seriously distracted by the potions created by Narciso Bermejo. He likes to customise his range of gins, matching each guest’s taste with herbs from the mountains near Madrid – the perfect way to kick off a night trawling the bars of Malasaña. Book one of the top-floor Ático rooms to get a terrace with sunbeds and yoga mats.  

Doubles from €95, room only
7islashotel.com

Best for a romantic break: Heritage Madrid

Neighbourhood: Salamanca 

The Detalle Junior Suite at Heritage Madrid (Heritage Madrid )

The city’s newest five-star hotel, in an elegant Belle Époque building in Madrid’s smartest area, has exquisite interiors by coveted designer Lorenzo Castillo. Blue silk panels adorn the walls in the Haroma restaurant, which is overseen by Mario Sandoval, who has two Michelin stars. Rooms have hand-painted wallpaper in olive and gold and are furnished with antiques and original artworks. If you happen to have a special question to pop, the flower-filled roof terrace of this luxury hotel should fit the bill. 

Doubles from €240, room only
heritagemadridhotel.com

Best for nightlife: Room Mate Óscar

Neighbourhood: Chueca

Room Mate Óscar’s rooftop pool area is one of the most fashionable summer hang-outs in Madrid (Room Mate Óscar)

Tired of taupe temples? The Room Mate Óscar will bring a bit of zing back into your life, with an emerald and blue lobby and orange, black and white rooms. The rooftop pool is one of the most fashionable spots to hang out in summer and the cocktail bar up there stays open all year round. Overlooking a square in Chueca – Madrid’s main gay area and one of the coolest neighbourhoods – the Óscar is surrounded by cafés and restaurants.     

Doubles from €90, room only
room-matehotels.com/gb/oscar

Best for shopping: Tótem

Neighbourhood: Salamanca

Contemporary chic is the order of the day at Tótem (Tótem)

The Tótem is on the corner of two of the loveliest streets in Madrid, which just happen to be lined with upmarket boutiques. There’s a lot of navy and charcoal, but cerise and purple pop up too, while indigo sofas in the bar are conducive to decadent slouching when you slope back with your shopping haul. With a restaurant that is packed with well-heeled locals and mid-century modern style in the rooms, the Tótem exudes chic glamour.

Doubles from €160, room only
totem-madrid.com

Best for a girls’ weekend: ME Reina de Victoria

Neighbourhood: Barrio de las Letras

Enjoy drinks at the Radio ME roof terrace (ME Reina de Victoria)

You can always find your way back to this gleaming white building as a purple beacon shines from the slate turret on the corner. Located on Plaza de Santa Ana, with its pavement cafés and tapas bars, the hotel is right in the thick of things, but the fabulous food at the trendy Ana La Santa restaurant at street level and the cocktails up on the Radio ME roof terrace mean you might struggle to leave the premises. 

Doubles from €175, room only
mebymelia.com/hotels/me-madrid

Best for fashionistas: Only You Boutique

Neighbourhood: Chueca

Watch the Spanisih sun set at  Only You (Only You)

With snazzy interiors by in-demand designer Lázaro Rosa-Violán and a location between the bars of Chueca and the boutiques of Salesas, the Only You Boutique is chic without reaching peak hipster. Unusually, rooms are available for 24 hours from the time you check in, so you can sleep late and  there’s no mad scramble down to breakfast either, as you can eat whenever it suits you. A spiral staircase leads up to suite 416, which has a pitched, beamed ceiling. It’s like your own super stylish loft in Madrid, if only for a weekend.   

Doubles from €165, room only
onlyyouhotels.com

Best for mixing culture and nightlife: Room Mate Alba

Neighbourhood: Barrio de las Letras

Stylish digs at Room Mate Alba (Room Mate Alba)

This is the latest opening from the cool Room Mate group, which has four other hotels in Madrid. The Alba, in a handsome traditional building, is on one of the best streets in the city for bars and restaurants, but is also a short stroll from the Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza and Reina Sofia museums. The decor combines Turkish and Chinese details with Op-Art features, a bit of Bauhaus and quite a few other influences too. It’s all rather louche and decadent – a perfect fit for a barrio that was once home to writers such as Cervantes and Lope de Vega. 

Doubles from €155, room only
room-matehotels.com/en/alba/

Best for soaking up history: Pestana Plaza Mayor

Neighbourhood: Madrid de los Austrias 

The elegant restaurant at Pestana Plaza Mayor (Pestana Plaza Mayor)

Occupying the historic Casa de la Carnicería building, which forms part of Madrid’s landmark square, the Plaza Mayor, this new hotel is literally part of the fabric of the city. Contemporary design in the courtyard bar and restaurant draws on the gold, teal and mauve tones used by Velázquez and Goya. Up on the roof, you can gaze across the skyline of slate pinnacles as you slump on a red deckchair by the guests-only pool. In winter, you might prefer to loll in the sumptuous hammam under the brick vaults of the former cellars.

Doubles from €200, room only
pestanacollection.com/uk/hotel/pestana-madrid-plaza-mayor

Best for discreet glamour: Relais & Châteaux Orfila

Neighbourhood: Almagro

Relax in the refined Italianate terrace (Hotel Orfila)

The ornate design at this boutique hotel has been freshened up this year but the Orfila still oozes old-school charm. On a quiet street in an elegant, untouristy area that is close to shops, museums and restaurants, the hotel has classic decor in the rooms and a secret Italianate garden at the back. Shaded tables mean you might be still be lingering over your breakfast coffee at noon and the terrace is equally inviting for lunch and dinner. You could almost forget to venture out into the city. 

Doubles from €266, room only
hotelorfila.com/en

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