Ostentatious it most certainly isn’t. Casa de Madrid comes with no towering atrium, no army of fawning bellhops, no long corridors lined with identical international-minimal bachelor pad bedrooms — just a nearly unmarked door (a small plaque simply says CdM) next to a traditional restaurant opposite the Teatro Royal. It feels less like a VIP arrival than an initiation into a secret society, the ride up the old lift to reception, an impression that’s only reinforced by the extensive collection of artworks and antiquities, collected over the years by the Casa’s owner, a professional art historian.
Inside are just seven individually-themed rooms, and though they come with modern services like wireless internet and satellite television, the look is every inch the 18th-century landmark mansion. Don’t expect floor-to-ceiling windows, with sunlight streaming through — in blindingly sunny pre-electric Spain the best way to stay cool was to keep your room as dark as a crypt. Not quite suited for spending the day indoors, perhaps, but the point of this place is to get out and about; breakfast is provided, as is a minimal lounge, but beyond that it’s out to the streets of the old town.
Calle Arrieta 2, Madrid