The ostentatious art deco interior of this five star hotel hits you the moment you enter and during my two-night stay the continuous attention to detail throughout every inch of the place didn’t cease to impress.
If you look to the left upon entering Barceló Torres de Madrid you see a magnificent life-sized bear statue in trendy black and white stripes just before you reach the cocktail bar.
A gold top hat sits on his head tipping slightly forward with his paw to it, quite literally giving a nod to the notorious Madrid sculpture by artist Antonio Navarro Santafé (1906 – 1983).
The bear and the strawberry tree, which can be found in La Puerta del Sol, the city’s most famous square, was built between 1766 and 1768. It is the symbol of Madrid and so enormously significant.
The reception, on the second floor, is littered with insta-worthy 1920s furniture for a cheeky snap.
The theme continued beautifully through to our room where the mirrors and bathroom were decorated with art deco patterns.
Our balcony looked along the main road of the plaza which had a tremendous New York feel with its wide, bustling roads and dotted theatres.
The hotel has a wellness area so after checking in I set off for a swim and a spot of sunbathing.
The gym is a little dinky but was completely empty so made little difference, and it has all the equipment you need to do the job.
I then went for a swim, it took me a while to get in the pool as it is rather chilly in there! A few deep breaths and wide strides in, and underwater, and all was fine.
The sauna that sits alongside it brought relief and relaxation to my muscles before I showered off and headed to the rooftop to sunbathe.
One of my favourite things about Barceló Torres de Madrid – after the wonderful décor, grand rooms, impeccable service and spectacular views – was the breakfast. It was just so quintessentially Spanish.
Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised but I was, and I was impressed. There were churros, tortilla Española (Spanish omelette), cheeses, hams and all the ingredients to make your own pan con tomate (bread and tomato, a traditional breakfast dish from Catalonia).
They also had chia puddings, a selection of ready-made smoothies ranging from protein fuelled, to energy fuelled and immune boosting – and of course a chef on standby to make fresh eggs or anything with the ingredients at hand.
Double rooms at Barceló Torre de Madrid start from €180 per night.
Rates are based on two sharing a Deluxe Room with views of the Royal Palace and Gran Via Street. Room only basis (barcelo.com).
Discover what to do and where to eat
- Set out on foot and discover the many sights including the Royal Palace of Madrid, the Almudena Cathedral and the city’s largest park, home to over 15,000 trees with several beautiful gardens and a gorgeous lake.
- La Casa Del Abuelo might just have been my favourite discovery in Madrid. I almost missed my flight home after insisting on squeezing in another visit! It’s an adorable restaurant with pillars and counter tops surrounded by people who are presented with prawns still sizzling in garlic oil, with bread.
- El Rastro de Madrid is one of the most popular markets in the city. It takesover a huge portion of the city, overrunning into shops and bars. It opens at 9am and closes around 3pm, I would definitely recommend getting there early to avoiud the crowds and see as much as possible.
- Visit the hotel restaurant, Somos. Fish features heavily on the menu – often raw, but don’t be put off. I chose the braised aubergine with honey to start and Iberian pork cheek for my main. It was the best meat I have ever eaten, falling apart so phenomenally I could barely lift it to my mouth.
- Day or night, morning or evening, the most famous churros in Madrid are available 24/7 at Chocolatería San Ginés. You go in, order your food, take a seat and then a waiter will take your receipt and promptly deliver a hearty numbers of churros with a mug-full of chocolate. During the winter months and high tourist season you might find yourself queuing for an hour for a table.
- Sala Clamores is a good spot for live music. They have different artists paying on different nights, all of different genres, so check out what’s on before heading down.
- Pop into 100 Montaditos.On Wednesdays and Sundays they have a special menu that cuts prices down to miniscule amounts, usually around one euro. They sell a vast selection of little Spanish sandwiches called bocadillo or bocata, as well as sides.