Madrid’s Hotel Villa Real may be a bit more traditional in style than its sister, Barcelona’s Claris—but that’s to be expected, given the stylistic differences between the two cities. The Villa Real may not be an ultra-modern design showcase, but for conservative Madrid, it’s downright striking, Roman mosaics from the collection of owner Jordi Clos mixing with modern furnishings and classical 19th-century Spanish architecture.
Rooms are spacious and calming, with soundproof windows and rich leather furnishings. All have satellite TV and 24-hour room service, and many are split-level, with separate sitting areas. Duplex suites and royal suites feature whirlpool baths, and though the junior suites don’t, they make up for it with an airy open-plan design.
Though elegant and pleasing to the eye, the Villa Real’s best feature may be its location, just across from the parliament house (okay, not a likely stop, but bear with us), and the Prado, Thyssen, and Reina Sofia museums are close by, as is the Royal Opera. Any number of designer shops and fine restaurants are within an easy stroll, and the hotel’s own East 47 bar and restaurant is a worthy entry, serving contemporary cuisine and cocktails under the watchful eyes of two of Warhol’s Marilyns.
Plaza de Las Cortes, 10, Madrid