Hotels We Love: This Sleek & Historic Madrid Hotel Is Just Steps From The Absolute Best Park In The City

Summer is here, and you know what that means: it’s time to start planning a European adventure. The popular spots may be your first instinct—Paris, Venice, and Ibiza—but Madrid is at the top of my list.

Madrid ranked third on Euromonitor’s Top 100 City List, which ranks cities worldwide across 55 metrics (including economic and business performance, health and safety and sustainability, and tourism and infrastructure). After spending a week in the Spanish Capitol city, I can see why.

Seamlessly blending rich history, world-class art, and an infectious zest for life, Madrid is the perfect stop on a Spring or Summer European getaway.

Whether you wander through the historic neighborhoods and majestic palaces, lose yourself in the Golden Triangle of renowned museums (Prado, Reina Sofía, Thyssen-Bornemisza), or savor tapas until the wee hours, Madrid promises an unforgettable experience.

I stayed at the historic Hotel Palacio del Retiro, Autograph Collection, during my visit, which greatly exceeded my expectations. Here is why you should consider it for your next trip to Madrid.


Emily Hart

Hotel Palacio del Retiro, Autograph Collection, offers a unique and luxurious stay right in the heart of Madrid. Converted from a 20th-century aristocratic residence, it’s different from your typical large-scale hotel with limited rooms and right next to the sprawling and iconic El Retiro Park.

I loved waking up to serene park views and enjoying a morning walk just outside the hotel’s doorstep. While luxurious, I appreciated that the hotel doesn’t feel stuffy or ostentatious while still catering to a more discerning traveler who appreciates historical details and a truly boutique experience. A Spanish National Monument, the hotel retains much of its original charm, although it just reopened after renovations, making this the perfect time to visit.


The Suite Bar

The Suite Bar
Emily Hart

The Suite Bar is located within the Hotel Palacio del Retiro and serves Mediterranean dishes all day. I loved popping by the bar for a morning cappuccino and pastries, in the afternoon for a leisurely tapas lunch, and in the evening for a cocktail before dinner.

Palacio del Retiro Room Service
Emily Hart

The Suite Bar also provides 24-hour room service; if you know me, that is a very important part of any luxury stay. The breakfast spread was incredible, with fresh fruits, pastries, coffee, juice, and churros, and the late-night pizza hit the spot.


Room Service
Emily Hart
  • Spa
  • Fitness Room
  • Bicycle Rental
  • Laundry
  • 24-hour Room Service
  • Daily Housekeeping
  • Restaurant and bar
  • Meeting Space
  • Bathrobes and Slippers
  • Views of El Retiro Park


Emily Hart

The 50-room boutique hotel is a converted palatial private home built in the early 20th century and has several room types, including:

  • Deluxe King
  • Deluxe Queen
  • Deluxe Twin
  • Premium Deluxe King
  • Premium Deluxe Queen
  • Premium Deluxe Twin
  • Junior Suite King
  • Junior Suite Twin
  • Suite Retiro Park View

Unlike the other rooms, I enjoyed staying in the Presidential Library Suite. The spacious suite has floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, a seating area, a dining room, and a dividing closet and entertainment area separating the living room from the large bedroom. The bathroom had a large spa soaking tub, and the windows and balcony looked out onto the streets of Madrid and nearby El Retiro Park.


Chocolateria San Gines

Emily Hart

You can’t visit Madrid without a stop at Chocolatería San Ginés —a Madrid institution. Founded in 1894 and famous for its decadent hot chocolate and churros, the chocolaterías is situated right in the heart of Madrid, at Pasadizo de San Ginés, near the Puerta del Sol—the perfect pitstop while exploring the city center. The rich, thick chocolate served alongside fluffy, golden churros is as decadent as they are classic. Chocolate and six churros are around five Euros.

Bar Postas

Bar Postas
Emily Hart

In Madrid, you’ll want a classic “bocadillo de calamares” – a calamari sandwich. I opted for Bar Postas, a traditional and no-frills bar halfway between Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor, making it a perfect stop for exploring central Madrid. The crispy bread contrasting with the hot breaded calamari is a unique treat. Sandwiches will run around five Euros.

La Bola

La Bola
Emily Hart

La Bola is another historic Madrid institution (you’ll notice a theme here). It was founded in 1870 and is famous for its savory cocido madrileño (Madrid stew). Family-run for four generations, this is definitely a place one goes for food, but maybe even more for “the experience.” The chickpea and meat stew is prepared and served traditionally, first with a hearty broth and followed by the meat course and vegetables to add to your stew. Expect to pay 30-45 Euros, and reservations are recommended at this popular spot.

Salmon Guru

Salmon Guru
Emily Hart

At UPROXX, we love traveling for the perfect bar, and Salmon Guru might be it. Ranked 16th on The World’s Best Bar List in 2023, the trendy spot serves inventive cocktails in a 1960s speakeasy, manga comic-inspired space. Cocktails range from 12 to 20 Euros.

Circulo Mercantile Restaurant

Circulo Gran Via
Emily Hart

I had a memorable dinner at Circulo Mercantile Restaurant, within Circulo Gran Via, Autograph Collection. The elegant dining room is sophisticated with a contemporary twist – just like the food. With amazing views of the bustling Gran Via Avenue, this is a great spot to dine after exploring the Gran Via area or before heading to sleep at the hotel. The menu emphasizes fresh, seasonal ingredients, showcasing innovative and modern takes on Spanish classics with plenty of Spanish wine pairings.


Explore El Retiro Park

El Retiro
Emily Hart

El Retiro Park, or simply El Retiro, is a sprawling urban oasis, one of Madrid’s most cherished landmarks, just across the street from Palacio del Retiro. Initially created in the 17th century for Spain’s King Philip IV, El Retiro served as a place for relaxation and leisure for the monarchy until the park’s gates were opened to the public in the late 19th century. The park boasts a gorgeous and diverse collection of gardens and many sculptures and fountains scattered throughout.

The park’s centerpiece is undoubtedly the iconic Palacio de Cristal (Crystal Palace), an exquisite example of 19th-century architecture. I spent many mornings and evenings strolling along the tree-lined avenues of the park – and even one morning on a guided “Nordic walking” excursion. On my next visit, I’d love to rent a rowboat on the lake or spend an afternoon sitting at one of the cafes scattered throughout the park with a drink and a book.

See A Flamenco Show At Corral de la Morería

Madrid Flamenco
Emily Hart

A flamenco performance is a must in Spain — and Corral de la Morería is my pick. The renowned venue in Madrid offers a two-in-one experience: Michelin-starred cuisine and a breathtaking flamenco show. Established in 1951, Corral de la Morería is considered the world’s most famous flamenco tablao – intimate performance spaces dedicated to showcasing the flamenco art form.

Emily Hart

Over the years, Corral de la Morería has seen legendary flamenco performers grace its stage, solidifying its reputation as a cultural icon in Madrid. I loved the multi-course meal while watching the intimate and passionate flamenco performance – something I will remember forever. The show is 50-60 Euros, and there are multiple dinner options – the tasting menu is 80 Euros.

Spend A Day At The Museums

Emily Hart

Madrid is a well-known museum-lover paradise. Home to the “The Golden Triangle of Art,” which encompasses the iconic Museo del Prado, Reina Sofía Art Centre, and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, you can spend hours or days admiring the world-class collections from all over the world. General admission tickets for Museo del Prado are 15 Euro, 12 Euro for Reina Sofia Art Centre, and Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum are 13 Euro. Buy a Paseo del Arte Pass to visit all three for just 32 euros.

BED GAME: 9/10

Madrid Bed
Emily Hart

The bed in my suite was massive, with plenty of pillows, high-end linens, and the outlets and reading lights a picky traveler like me needs. After waking up, I spent every morning sitting in bed with my espresso, sinking into the luxurious surroundings and feeling positively regal.


Palacio del Retiro
Emily Hart

Sexy isn’t the first descriptor I’d use for this hotel – I’d start with historic, sleek, elegant, and refined – but my room, in particular, definitely had a quiet sexiness. The dark library aesthetic was moody, the bedroom was inviting, and the bathroom was large.


Palacio del Retiro
Emily Hart

The view from my windows and balcony really can’t be beat. Other spots for a shot are the winding historic staircases, courtyard, and, my personal favorite – the gorgeous in-room breakfast spread.


Madrid Street
Emily Hart

Like much of Europe, summer is high season, but it is also very warm, and you’ll find higher rates. I visited in the fall, which was perfect for lower temperatures, crowds, and rates, but spring is also when I’d recommend it.


The historic hotel is a Spanish National Monument, making renovations and changes difficult. That said, the hotel just reopened after completing a months-long renovation. So if I had to complain about one thing—it’s more of a complaint to myself—it’s that I visited just before the renovation and would like to see what changes and upgrades have been made since.


Weekday rates can start at $450 in the shoulder seasons and $650 for a standard room on weekends. Book here.