PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS: Steps from the city’s most famous art museums, this design-focused hotel has an art collection of its own thanks to the owner’s unique collection of artefacts from around Australasia on display. It is known just as much for its art as its award-winning dining outlets, Cebo and Glass Mar.
WHERE IS IT? In one direction you have Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor; in another, it’s Gran Via’s shopping and dining that awaits. Tourists love the convenience to the city’s trio of famous art museums including the Prado just a short walk from the hotel.
HOW MANY ROOMS? 96 rooms and suites
WHAT’S IT LIKE? Lined with glass, the entrance gives a peek into the art-filled atrium. Further in, the reception desk awaits where jars of candy and glasses of cava are a lovely first welcome. Downstairs, a museum shows off the variety of Asian (primarily Papua New Guinean) artefacts and statues from the owner’s private collection. Each room (in addition to all public areas) features more eclectic décor. This neighborhood has so much European art to explore that this added cultural touch is both eccentric and fun. It is part of the Derby Collection of hotels with distinctive hotels located around Europe. Americans will also recognize the hotel’s participation as a member of Design Hotels.
ROOM FACILITIES: Hardwood floors and clean lines dominate in the guest rooms. There’s no fancy or frilly furnishing to distract from the museum display cases showing off the cultural artefacts. Leather chairs or sofas face the flat-screen TVs, and platform beds with leather-coated frames come with oversized pillows and duvets. Connected travelers appreciate bedside power outlets and reading lights. Wireless Internet is fast and free, and Nespresso machines in all rooms provide just the jolt a jetlagged traveler needs. Marble bathrooms are stocked with floral-scented toiletries from The White Company, powerful shower-tub combinations, and separate water closets. There are several suites to choose from including junior models with glass-walled bathrooms and duplex units with second-floor living areas. In the most premium Loft Suite, the global décor is at its finest with black stone from Zimbabwe and marble from Guatemala among its design accents.
RESTAURANTS AND BARS: Locals know this hotel for its fabulous rooftop bar where views of the neighborhood go hand in hand with delicious cocktails. Chef Aurelio Morales leads the culinary team at Cebo, which boasts one Michelin star, serving tasty Mediterranean fare (often paired with regional wines). In a city known for exceptional dining, this has quickly become one of the go-to spots for dinner. It also serves breakfast with an a la carte menu as well as beautifully presented buffet of Spanish and international fare. If fresh seafood is more to your liking, Glass Mar draws plenty of attention in this busy neighborhood for its beautifully lit bar as well as its menu of sharing plates. “Chef of the Sea” Angel Leon has been recognized with four Michelin stars over the course of his career.
LEISURE FACILITIES: On the top floor, an outdoor pool and fitness center await guests.
BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES: Wireless Internet is complimentary throughout the hotel. In addition to a business center facing the bright atrium, there are meeting venues for small functions.
VERDICT: If you’re looking for international flair and an impeccable location, Urban delivers a solid experience for both tourists and business travelers.
PRICE: Internet rates for a traditional room start at $180 on the random dates we checked.
CONTACT:Hotel Urban, Carrera de San Jerónimo, 34 28014 Madrid, Spain. Phone 34-91-787-7770.