“Chic, contemporary and supremely comfortable - an eye catching hotel that's perfectly located for Madrid's central barrios, parks and museums”
Ortega has created a series of spaces that are both soothing and stimulating. He opted for a soft palette of cool pastel shades for the walls, ceilings and carpets, which provides an understated backdrop for more colourful, jazzy decorative elements: 70s-style lamps, unusual plastic drum tables, bright stripy cushions, repros of Pop Art classics by Warhol and Lichtenstein, and chairs covered in pastel suedes that match the feature wall colour. Black-and-white block-mounted photos of 19th-century Madrid pay lip service to the building's past, whilst the bathrooms, with their dark slate floors, top-end taps and gleaming stainless steel fittings, take you back to the 21st. All are in-room with glass showers, so if you’re travelling with a friend or as a family with older kids, we’d suggest you opt for a Junior Suite or Duplex which have more privacy thanks to the additional space.
All gadgetry in the bedrooms is top spec. Flatscreen plasma TVs take on a secondary role as constantly changing framed pictures, whilst mirrored headboards framed in beech shelving reflect the natural light which streams in through the high window openings. Double-glazing and electronically operated blinds keep the rooms dark at night.
The fab factor is upped another notch in the 2 highbrow Duplex Suites at the very top of the hotel. Each has its own private sun terrace with a corner plunge pool and views onto the square below. We were lucky enough to be in one of the 3 Junior Suites during our 2014 revisit. We loved the fabulous views of Plaza de Santa Ana from the bathtub as well as the bedroom. Standard Rooms (the only room which can be set up as a twin) are similar in design but smaller, while Executive Rooms benefit from a small balcony.
Partner restaurant Miss Sushi, wrapped into the ground floor of the building, adjacent to the lobby, is an integral part of the hotel. Breakfast is served in here for hotel guests only and follows a well-rehearsed Room Mate formula: a big and inviting buffet feast with good sounds to accompany your repast. There are mueslis and cereals, croissants and cakes, a range of bread, fruit and yoghurts, cheeses both French and Spanish, and a platter of cold meats - as well as the offer of a hot breakfast of eggs, bacon and sausages (with garlic and tomato should you fancy starting the day in true Spanish style).
Miss Sushi is then open throughout the day, offering a huge range of sushi and Japanese dishes in its funky grey and fuchsia dining room; there’s a full bar, too. Guest are able to have meals delivered to their room if they wish.
You couldn’t be better placed for eating out, however. For top-end traditional Castillian cuisine, L’Hardy is just around the corner (though it is a little pricey). You could dip in and out of the bars in Calle de las Huertas, right next to the hotel, trying different tapas and wine in each. Do find time to people-watch from one of the terraces on Plaza de Santa Ana over a coffee or digéstif; worth a visit are Cervecería Alemana, a favourite watering hole of Hemingway, and La Venencia, an impressive sherry bar popular amongst the locals.
Children are welcome at Alicia, and with such a great location, it's hard to think of a better hotel to stay in in the city. There’s a public playground across the road from the hotel, and the proximity of the Retiro Park, just a short stroll away, is a big plus for parents: any kids past toddling age will enjoy boating on the lake. And it's worth remembering that the Prado offers guided tours of the gallery that are pitched at kids, in which they're asked to look for clues in paintings. This is a really fun way for them to get to know some of the most remarkable pieces.
Under 12s go free and children aged 12+ incur a small fee per night. Breakfast is charged on top.
Only the suites can fit an extra bed or baby cot. If your budget stretches to it, you would be best to book a Duplex Suite, which has plenty of room plus a private terrace and a plunge pool.
Offered by the hotel for an extra fee.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
The hotel serves a very child-friendly breakfast (continental with a few cooked options), but the restaurant, Miss Sushi isn't the most suitable eatery for little ones, plus there are no kitchenettes; however, you're well placed for eating out, and kids are a welcome sight in restaurants.
Some rooms have terraces, possibly not good for toddlers.