“Superb historic building on Gran Vía, boldly restyled to offer colourful, literary-themed bedrooms, a rooftop terrace and a fusion restaurant”
Continue upstairs (via the original tiled staircase or the slick lift - you choose) and the 109 bedrooms inject the same bold modernity into their Art Deco shell: vivid colours (deep sienna, bright orange) and contemporary fittings (plasma TVs and electric-blue desk lamps) within high ceilings and parquet floors. Plus, of course, the obligatory quotation on the wall. Deluxe Terrace Rooms come with a sun terrace, outdoor Jacuzzi and views over the city's number-one thoroughfare; there's even a stylish rooftop terrace.
- We loved the delicate Asian-Mediterranean fusion food in the Al Trapo restaurant during our 2014 revisit; the chef trained under the 3-starred Michelin chef Ferran Adrià
- There's a rooftop terrace with panoramic views over Madrid
- Rooms are bright and airy, with the literary theme adding a quirky touch
- The central location is close to the smart shops, plus the main art galleries and museums are all within easy walking distance
- Staff are incredibly friendly and very helpful
- Since our last visit the hotel has been taken over by Iberostar - we'll be updating our review soon
- Being largely in Spanish or Catalan, the quotations may be lost on English-only speakers
- As the hotel is on Gran Vía, one of the busiest roads in Madrid, there is a constant murmur of traffic noise
- The water pressure in the shower can be touch-and-go
- We've had reports that the WiFi is a little intermittent on the higher floors, but ours worked well
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- Restaurant and bar (open daily)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
The aesthetic of the 109 bedrooms is a successful combination of Art Deco heritage in modern clothing, courtesy of Virgina Figueras. Onto the high ceilings, parquet floors and wrought-iron balconies of the 1917 structure, she has added vivid colours (each floor has its own scheme) and state-of-the-art fittings (sleek perforated deskchairs, electric-blue angle-lamps, brown velour armchairs, rocket-steel minibars and plasma TVs). Rooms have poems on their dark sienna, blood red or berry blue walls, which are always bold but never, thanks to the spaciousness and light, oppressive.
Bathrooms are determinedly futuristic, double-glazed French windows dampen even the most persistent police siren, and full-height white veils allow you to bask in soft morning sunshine. The turndown service comes with a Spanish poem.
We loved the corner rooms, which offer a curved façade of 3 French windows over Gran Vía; the extra space means they come into the Superior category. We were lucky enough to be in one of these and loved sitting on our tiny balcony gazing at the busy street below. Other Superior Rooms have a distinct sitting area and a separate shower and tub. The smallest rooms, Letras, are a great choice for those on a budget. Superior Terrace Rooms, as you may imagine, have a private terrace with wooden decking. Next up are the Deluxe Terrace Rooms, which boast a Jacuzzi tub outside and a glass-walled wetroom inside. Top of the range is the sumptuous Duplex Suite, which has 2 storeys, 2 terraces (one with a Jacuzzi) and a regal, light-filled sitting room.
- Air conditioning
- Central heating
- Cots Available
- Extra beds
- Safe box
Be sure to eat in the Al Trapo restaurant, run by chef Paco Morales who trained under 3-starred Michelin chef Ferran Adrià. It's a sleek, glass-fronted room with abstract red art on its grey walls and egg-shaped lamps hanging from a mobile. You'll find a card with the poem of the month and a novel mix-n-match menu of streamlined, Mediterranean-Asian inspired creations. We loved our meal of veal gizzard with an Asian broth and coconut-milk bubbles followed by soy-milk custard with gingerbread, lemon oil, toffee syrup and white chocolate cream. Dishes are organised into categories such as 'for eating with your hands and licking your fingers’, ‘smooth and elegant' and 'mischievous and spicy'; all looked delicious and wonderfully creative. Note that the restaurant is closed all day Sunday and Monday lunchtimes.
After dinner, move to the adjoining Bocablo Lounge to unwind with a coffee or glass of vino on its sumptuous white sofas. They also have a menu offering light dishes such as wagyu hamburgers and Andalusian flatbread with ensaladilla rusa, which would be ideal for lunch.
Breakfast (not included in the rates) is a buffet serving the usual fare; it may have been simple, consisting of fresh, good quality hot and cold options, but it more than set us up for the day.
- Restaurants nearby
- Room service
- Vegetarian menu
- Go shopping on and around Gran Vía - you'll find everything from small boutiques to the all-encompassing department store and food halls of El Corte Ingles. Nearby Calle Serrano is home to the big designer names if you fancy a spending spree
- The Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales is a working convent which houses an award-winning museum: frescoes, paintings, tapestries, sculptures, woodcarvings and liturgical silverware are on display
- Head to the Plaza Mayor for a coffee at one of its many pavement cafés. Madrid's most famous square, it's enclosed by 17th- and 18th-century residences and now brimming with living statues, buskers, a Sunday stamp and coin market and Mercado de San Miguel
- The 3 major museums - the Prado, the Thyssen and the Reina Sofia - offer an inexhaustible supply of art from all ages and styles; Picasso's 'Guernica', whose brutal imagery is the most eloquent anti-war statement, is among the famous works on display
- Browse the Sunday flea market of El Rastro - it's a mecca for antique hunters and collectors of bric-a-brac (as well as pickpockets)
- Head to the Retiro park. This huge oasis of lush greenery in the centre of the city has exhibition spaces, sweeping lawns, waterfalls and a boating lake
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Historical sites
- Museums / galleries
- Plantlife / flora
- Shopping / markets
- Wine tasting
Children are welcome and cots are available on request in all rooms. Only Superior Rooms can fit an extra bed for children aged 2-12.
Family friendly accommodation:
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available
Baby cots are available on request.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Hotel De las Letras is right on Gran Vía in the heart of Madrid, central Spain.
Madrid Barajas (15km away) is the closest airport. There are lots of flights to Madrid from the UK, Europe and further afield (click on the links below for a list of airlines).
From the Airport
From Barajas, take metro line 8 to Nuevos Ministerios, then line 10 to Alonso Martinez and finally line 5 to Gran Vía (though it sounds complicated the whole journey should take no more than 30-40 minutes). You can take a taxi from the airport, but when the traffic is bad, it's not much quicker.
If coming by train, Gran Vía metro station is 4 stops along line 4 from Atocha station, the city's main rail terminal.
We don't recommmend hiring a car as Madrid is hectic and parking is expensive, but if you do, see our car rental recommendations.
The metro is clean, cheap and efficient, and the Gran Vía metro station is just around the corner from the hotel.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.
More on getting to Madrid and getting around
- Madrid Barajas 15.0 km MAD
- Beach 350.0 km
- Shops 0.1 km
- Restaurant 0.1 km