Madrid Boutique Apartments

Plaza Santa Ana & around, Madrid, Spain Book from Eur85

Reviewed by Sarah Breaux
Spacious, light-filled apartments for 2-8 in central Madrid - perfect for couples, families and friends who want to experience the city like locals
With unbeatable locations across the city, these airy apartments (operated by Spain Select) are great-value options for those seeking a home from home in the vibrant Spanish capital. Our favourites include the Santa Ana apartments on Plaza Santa Ana, the beating heart of the Huertas neighbourhood. This is one of Madrid’s liveliest squares, filled with cafés, bars and restaurants where you can people-watch over a glass of vino and some tapas. Equally Valverde I and the Gran Via apartments are just a stone’s throw from Gran Vía, the city’s iconic main thoroughfare, surrounded by unique shops and boutiques. Finally, the spacious Claudio Coello VII and Nunez de Balboa VII apartments are in the leafy, elegant Salamanca area. And there are many more 1- and 2-bedroom options available across the centre, all with easy access to major sights and museums.

Inside, all offer plenty of space, well-equipped kitchens and, thanks to full refurbishments, bright and stylish décor that looks bang up to date. You get comfy beds (mostly doubles, though some have twins that are ideal for kids), sleek bathrooms with toiletries and fluffy towels, and living areas with sofas, flat-screen TVs and DVD players. Whether you want to stay in or head out, they’re perfect bases for soaking up all that Madrid has to offer.

Highs

  • Excellent locations near top attractions and metro stations, with plenty to do by day and night - and you get a useful city map at check-in to help you make the most of it
  • Full kitchens where you can cook proper meals (a rarity in city rentals), plus supermarkets and restaurants nearby
  • We loved the cheerful interior design: contemporary lighting, sleek walls and floors, eye-catching fabrics
  • Spain Select is on hand to book airport transfers, arrange shopping and private chefs, and advise on what to see and do
  • The Santa Ana apartments can be rented together - perfect for a larger family or group of friends (maximum 8 people), and those in Salamanca each sleep 6-8

Lows

  • We only got to see the Santa Ana apartments in person, so we cannot give first-hand insights for the other properties
  • With a central setting comes noise, and the streets by the Santa Ana apartments are particularly lively - but we’ve been assured new glazing cuts out external sound
  • Santa Ana II has an internal bedroom that lacks natural light, with a pipe that makes a loud gushing sound whenever anyone in the building uses a toilet or sink
  • No basics such as salt and pepper are provided, though you do get a welcome pack with tea, coffee, biscuits and a few other bits
  • Full payment is required before arrival, and you’ll have to pay a booking fee plus a refundable security deposit. There’s a surcharge for American Express payments, too

Best time to go

Madrid is a fascinating - and lively - place to visit at any time of year, though bear in mind it can be very cold in winter and sweltering in summer. There's a huge annual exodus during August, which can be a great time to visit if you prefer quieter cities - provided you can handle temperatures that reach into the 40s.

Our top tips

Madrileños are obsessed with rooftop bars. Our favourite has to be the terrace at El Círculo de Bellas Artes, a cultural centre located on Calle Alcalá. It has panoramic views of Madrid, and on a clear day you can see all the way to the mountains beyond. There’s also plenty of space, and you can sit at a table or sprawl out on a sun lounger. Note there’s a small charge for access.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
City Style
Family
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Apartments
  • 10 apts for 2-8 (plus extra options)
  • Self-catering (restaurants nearby)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
  • Concierge Service
Room: Santa Ana II

Rooms

In the building on Plaza Santa Ana (Huertas neighbourhood), we stayed in 2-bedroom Santa Ana II - a bright apartment with colourful art and plenty of natural light through French windows. There’s a sofa a shelf with a few books (mostly in Spanish) and 2 balconies overlooking a side street. We slept well in the sunny yellow main double bedroom (with another balcony). The other bedroom has a small window onto an interior patio and experiences some plumbing noise, but we loved the bird-print wallpaper and the ensuite shower room.

We also had a look around Santa Ana I (on the same floor but facing the square). Its highlight is the lovely open-plan living area, which has a bold zigzag rug and 4 sets of French windows. Both bedrooms are light and airy - one a double with a fun blue and yellow scheme, the other a twin with turquoise Moroccan wallpaper and a balcony.

Over on a predominantly residential street near Gran Vía, Valverde I is the quietest of the 2-bedroom apartments. On entering you’re greeted by a striking sculptural chandelier in the large kitchen; there's also a spacious living area complete with a piano. Through the kitchen is the master bedroom, which has a spoiling bathroom with a tub and separate shower. Up a flight of stairs in the loft is the second bedroom, with twin beds and access to a small shower room. If you want this location but a smaller space, we suggest one of Gran Vía's four 1-bedroom apartments (although we’re yet to personally view them).

Since our visit, we have also added 2 luxe apartments in the Salamanca area to our list of recommended options. Great for larger groups and families, Nunez de Balboa VII sleeps 6 while Claudio Coello VII sleeps 6-8.

Spain Select offers additional 1- and 2-bedroom apartments across the city. We didn’t get to see any in person, but they will provide full details of what's available when you enquire.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Cd player
  • Central heating
  • Coffee maker
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Dishwasher
  • Dvd player
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hairdryer
  • Hob stove
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Satellite tv
  • Toaster
  • Toiletries
  • Tumble dryer
  • Washing machine
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet

Eating

If you’re staying in, the kitchens have all the appliances and utensils you need to whip up a meal: fridge, freezer, 4-ring ceramic hob, dishwasher, microwave, kettle, cafetière. A welcome pack of bottled water, UHT milk, biscuits, jam, tea, instant coffee and sugar is provided, as well as dishwasher tabs, a dish sponge and bin bags. You’ll need to buy everything else - there are plenty of shops, including a Spar around the corner from the Santa Ana apartments and a supermarket just up the road from Valverde I, or you can use Spain Select’s shopping service for a charge. Visiting chefs can also be arranged.

If you’re going out, all the apartments are surrounded by restaurants, bars and cafés. Plaza Santa Ana is packed with choices, including Cinco Jotas (good Spanish fare), Cervecería Alemana (a favourite haunt of Hemingway) and Miss Sushi (for a Japanese fix). You can also head around the corner to 100 Montaditos on Calle Príncipe (lots of choice and great for kids) or take a short walk to one of our favourite tapas bars, Lamiak at 10 De La Rosa. Guests in Valverde I should head to the trendy districts of Malasaña and Chueca, both full of options.

Wherever you’re based, we recommend making a beeline for Cuevas Sesamo on Calle Príncipe. Enter the narrow doorway under the red sign and head down the stairs to the underground bar, whose walls are covered in literary quotes in various languages. It serves only one thing - its famous sangria (be warned: it’s potent!). Alternatively, try a selection of sherries at the charmingly old-world La Venencia, which served as a Republican hangout during the Spanish Civil War and has barely changed since. Although it’s tempting, don’t take photos or you’ll be told off!

Features include:

  • Chef on request
  • Coffee maker
  • Coffee tea making
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hob stove
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Shopping service
  • Toaster
  • Welcome hamper
Eating: Valverde I
Activity:

Activities

  • Shop 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. Calle Serrano is home to the big designer names if you fancy a spending spree
  • 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 packed with living statues and buskers. On Sundays there’s a stamp and coin market
  • Madrid’s renowned trio of museums - the Prado, the Thyssen and the Reina Sofia - offer an inexhaustible supply of art from all ages and styles. Velázquez’s ‘Las Meninas’ and Picasso's 'Guernica' are among the famous works on display
  • Also well worth visiting is the Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales, a working convent which houses an award-winning museum encompassing frescoes, paintings, tapestries, sculptures, woodcarvings and liturgical silverware
  • Head to the Retiro Park, a huge green lung in the centre of the city. There are exhibition spaces, sweeping lawns, waterfalls and a boating lake
  • Browse the Sunday flea market of El Rastro - a mecca for antique hunters and collectors of bric-a-brac (as well as pickpockets)

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boating
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Shopping / markets
  • Wine tasting

Kids

The Santa Ana apartments are ideal for families, with 2 bedrooms (including a twin in Santa Ana I) and nothing delicate or expensive that kids might break! There is also a playground in the plaza below. Larger families can book the 2 Santa Ana apartments together, as they share a communal entrance and sit on the same floor.

Valverde I is more suited to families with older children, as it has breakable decoration. The second bedroom (a twin) is also accessed via a staircase with no railing. Note that it’s the only apartment with a bathtub, however.

Nunez de Balboa VII (sleeps 6) and Claudio Coello VII (sleeps 6-8) are particularly spacious, with 3 bedrooms each.

If you’re coming with a baby, cots can be added to any of the apartments, including the 1-bedroom options.

Best for:

All ages

Family friendly accommodation:

Cots Available

Babysitting:

Babysitting can be arranged via the concierge service.

Baby equipment:

  • Highchairs (extra charge)
  • Baby cots (extra charge)

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Playground on Plaza Santa Ana
  • Boating and street theatre in the Retiro Park
  • Casa de Campo - a lake, zoo and amusement park complex
  • Tailored guided tours for children at the major art museums

Families Should Know:

Most apartments have lifts (useful for those with pushchairs), but check when booking if requesting a 1-bedroom apartment.

Distances:

  • Airport: 30-40 minutes
  • Hospital: 5 minutes
  • Shop: 2 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

10/
Rooms
9/
Service
10/
Value
10/
Overall

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