may be a relaxed metropolis of elegant boulevards and
striking architecture, but Hotel Urso takes this
sophisticated air to another level. An oasis of old-world charm in
the heart of the city, the hotel is set between the districts of
Chamberi, Chueca and the up-and-coming Tribunal area, making it
easy to get around if you pack your walking shoes (or, you know,
take an Uber).
Behind the golden facade of a palatial building which takes up
the entire block, Hotel Urso’s 78 rooms combine neoclassical design
with every modern amenity you could hope for, while warm, muted
tones will make you feel instantly relaxed – even before you visit
downstairs. Rooms range from the generously sized double or deluxe
rooms, to sumptuous suites with four-poster beds and the option of
a private terrace – the perfect spot to enjoy breakfast or a drink
in Madrid’s year-round sunshine.
What’s for breakfast?
The more important question is “where is breakfast?” The
conservatory is a glass domed patch of serenity in the centre of
the hotel, with moss-covered vertical gardens, 18th-century
wallpaper and leafy bamboo opening up to views of blue through the
skylight above. While you peck at continental-style fare from the
self-serve buffet, the kitchen will whip up eggs how you like them
(loaded with bacon, please).
How about lunch and dinner?
If you can drag yourself away from the myriad of delicious
markets and tapas spots in the area, Hotel Urso’s restaurant offers
up a pretty drool-worthy Spanish feast itself for lunch and dinner
from Tuesday to Saturday. As unlike a hotel restaurant as it could
be, Media Racion even has a separate entrance to the hotel, with
cool, casual decor and dishes designed to share. Prices are very
reasonable – unless of course you find yourself unable to choose
from the menu of Iberica ham, croquetas, roasted bone marrow, and
other traditional local bites, and order one of everything.
Is there a bar?
This is Madrid – what do you think? Situated in the elegant
lobby, the bar offers up a wide selection of cocktails, wines and
spirits alongside snacks prepared from local ingredients sourced at
the neighbouring Mercado de Barcelo.
Without a doubt, the best part of Hotel Urso is the luxury spa –
perfect after a long day of exploring Madrid’s many galleries,
parks and markets. If you feel like splurging, treat yourself to a
soothing massage or facial treatment, otherwise just hit the steam
hammam before cooling off in the hydrotherapy pool. There is a
well-equipped gym too, should you feel the need to work off all the
churros and sangria.
Things you should know
Make sure you take the gorgeous antique mahogany lift up to your
floor at least once – if nothing else does, sitting on the leather
bench inside as you rise majestically past the stained glass
windows in the stairwell will make you feel like you’ve stepped
back in time.
Within a short walk you can find…
So. Much. Food. Both the Mercado de San Ildefonso and Mercado
San Anton are within an easy five-minute walk, offering up endless
Spanish tapas and other international eats (bonus: there’s a
chilled rooftop bar at the latter), while the narrow streets off
Calle de Hortaleza are choc-a-block with groovy tapas bars. The
golden triangle of galleries and museums is also just a short walk