proud on the Gran Via (Madrid‘s
“great lane”) in an equally impressive 20th-century mansion,
The Principal couldn’t be better
located for exploring the capital’s many galleries, museums and
parks. But far from being a soulless tourist sleeping spot, this
boutique hotel channels a members’ club vibe where grand interiors
such as high ceilings, stained-glass windows and gilt-framed oil
paintings meet millennial-pink velvet chairs, slate-grey walls and
architectural brass chandeliers.
A haven amid the downtown bustle, the hotel’s air of eclectic
sophistication is reflective of a neighbourhood which has long been
popular among well-heeled local creatives thanks to an array of
interesting bars and tapas joints. But The Principal offers solid
competition in the form of a contemporary restaurant and bar, as
well as an
Instagrammable vine-strung conservatory and highly coveted
The hotel’s 76 rooms follow a muted colour palette, spruced up
with stylish touches such as minimalist leather chairs and quirky
sketch drawings, with light pouring in from floor-to-ceiling
windows. Sleek black-and-white bathrooms are completed by hi-tech
power showers and Gilbert & Soames toiletries.
What’s for breakfast?
Head up to the sixth floor for a carefully curated buffet of
quality Spanish produce such as Ibérico jamón as well the usual
eggs, pastries and fruit. If you miss it, grab some miniature
sandwiches and cakes from the well-stocked platter in the
How about lunch and dinner?
Restaurant Atico has become a dining destination in itself
thanks to head chef Ramón Freixa, who holds two Michelin stars for
his restaurant at the hotel’s sister property, Hotel Único. Offering
Mediterranean cuisine, a well-thought out menu boasts traditional
plates such as crispy croquettes and melt-in-the-mouth octopus
alongside modern options like tuna tartare with kimchi or
soft-shell crab with black rice. Sweeping dusky pink curtains,
black lacquer tables and gleaming marble floors make for a
fine-dining feel with a relaxed atmosphere.
Is there a bar?
Yes. White columns, red umbrellas and and olive trees mean
rooftop La Terraza is the best place for a cold glass of cava,
though skilled mixologists will happily create something more
trailblazing. If you happen to be in Madrid on one of the few days
it rains, settle down at the inside bar which feels like a grand
A compact gym, spa and rooftop. Impeccable staff are
particularly on the ball.
Things you should know
While the sun-baked rooftop beckons with loungers, the
pool is purely ornamental – do not attempt to swim in it.
Within a short walk you can find…
Gran Via is Madrid’s main artery, so it’s a hop, skip and a jump
to sites such as Puerta de Alcalá, Plaza Mayor and the Prado
museum, as well as the neighbourhood’s many boutiques, bars and