Hotel Urban, Madrid

Some hotels are about comfort, others about convenience. There are those that put luxury at the forefront of guest experience while for many it's about value for money. But at Urban it's about creating something entirely original; this is a hotel that indulges owner Jordi Clos' imagination, with fantastical results.

Chief of the Derby Hotels Collection, Clos' whimsical vision comes alive in an eccentric but sleek design mishmash which sees indigenous artwork juxtaposed with art-deco design, resulting in something which wouldn't look out of place in a James Bond film. Not one for blending in with the crowd, the hotel demands attention from the outset. Contrasting the classical aesthetic of the central Madrid neighbourhood in which it resides, the modern edifice stands alien-like, cutting a stark contrast to the surrounding Spanish buildings. Steel beams and jet-black stone encase a tower of glass that looms overhead; upon entering a circular atrium, geometric shapes exposed by the flood of natural light which pours in from make for a dramatic welcome.

Everything about the hotel oozes confidence. Chic, dark and unafraid to be different, the playful but adult interior begins with the woodwork sculptures which greet guests at the door and extends up to modernist style found throughout rooms, climaxing in a gold statue of a scuba-diver-cum-soldier perched on the rooftop. This luxury hotel is a lesson in carefully curated extroversion which doubles up as an interactive museum and makes for a unique stay in Madrid - and indeed the world.


The hotel's 96 rooms and suites channel retro glamour with brown tones, leather sofas, neutral rugs and fur throws on the beds. Art-deco light fittings, glass doors (which slide at the touch of a button) and design-led coffee tables make for a sleek contrast with ancient art - including a 2,000-year-old Buddha.

What's for breakfast?

Continental at its best, with made-to-order hot dishes if the buffet doesn't quite cut it.

How about lunch and dinner?

The rooftop menu spans both international and local fare ideal for sharing poolside; think charcuterie platters, fresh bread and croquettes alongside club sandwiches and salads - the cooling gazpacho is a taste of Andalusian summer. The newly installed CEBO restaurant combines cuisine from Madrid and Barcelona to create a gastronomic road trip in an intimate setting of just 25.

Is there a bar?

Yes. The effervescent Glass Bar is all stain-glass windows and twinkling chandeliers with crystal floors, Perspex chairs and silver sofas. Oysters and cocktails are order of the day, while tapas is served with a Japanese twist. An 80s soundtrack completes the experience. For those who prefer to take their drinks alfresco, the terraza offers views across the city and is popular with non-guests in the evening.


A rooftop swimming pool - a rarity in Madrid, as well as a gym.

Things you should know

This doesn't just feel like a museum - it actually is one. Check out the collection of Papua New Guinean art in the basement.

Within a short walk you'll find…

Top tourist attractions such as Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor and the Parque del Retiro park are all just a short walk away.

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City Guide: Madrid, Spain