CASA DE MADRID
Aristocratic B&B bursting with idiosyncratic charm
YOU COULD BE FORGIVEN FOR WALKING straight past Casa de Madrid when you first arrive. This discreet pied à terre
just across the street from the city’s Opera House is an elegant home-from-home strictly for those in the know
. With only a tiny sign on the gate to confirm you’ve arrived, it enjoys its conspiratorial anonymity.
Set on the second floor of an 18th century palacio
, this former regal apartment has been turned into a ravishingly eccentric B&B bursting with idiosyncratic charm
. You feel you’ve stumbled into the residence of some free-spirited Spanish aristocrat.
Casa de Madrid is a part-time home to much-travelled owner Doña Marta Medina – an art collector and interior designer who has created exotic and luxurious quarters for her guests. Soaring ceilings, tall windows, ornate plasterwork and original parquet flooring set the scene.
Hit the spot
Minutes from Plaza Mayor and steps from the Opera House.
We loved the Indian room, with its silken drapes and fabulous frescoes.
Not for minimalists! Expect a home rather than a hotel, where shades of shabby chic are part of the charm.
Bijou B&B with theatrical vibe.
Inspired by Doña Medina’s travels, Casa de Madrid’s theatrical interiors
transport guests across Europe and Asia. Roman busts and opulent antiques are set off by luxuriously draped fabrics, eclectic objets d’art and exotic decor
. The result is a supremely elegant and original place to stay
– a favourite with opera singers and thespians.
Stay in the Greek room (Cuarto Griego), with its huge classical columns, Hellenic frieze and pistachio-coloured armchairs and you could almost be walking into an opera set from the Teatro Real across the street.
Deep bluebell walls and hand-carved swan-necked bedposts
set off the Blue Room (Cuarto Azul), while the Spanish room (Cuarto Espanol) is dominated by huge portraits of the Habsburg infantas. The three-room Damascus suite – Doña Medina’s own apartment when she’s in town – has a stripey sitting room and octagonal bedroom.
A huge bed strewn with oversize cushions, flamboyant hand-painted walls and French windows with balconettes overlooking the Opera House make the Indian room (Cuarto Indio) a winner for romantics.
Pour yourself a drink at the help-yourself bar in the salon amid painted murals, tall candlesticks, a day bed, Persian rugs and Roman busts
. Peep into the cosy library, with its towering piles of books, or reflect on the more sombre painting of John the Baptist behind the reception desk.
Casa de Madrid is not for those who love slick metropolitan surrounds. More like a grandly boutique B&B
, its maid service, exotic shabby-chic vibe and in-room goodies ranging from complimentary Cava to incense burners
lend it all the feel of an intimate and upmarket townhouse.
You’ll have your own keys to come and go as you please, and you’re less than five minutes away from the royal palace and all Madrid’s big attractions.
Casa de Madrid was reviewed by Room for Romance
Click on any picture to enlarge it and move through the gallery.
Continental breakfast complete with freshly squeezed juice and chunky marmalade
is served in the salon or brought to your room. You can order eggs, omelettes and other extras
if you’re feeling peckish.
Dinner can be served on request, though you’ll probably want to head out on the town after a pre-prandial Scotch or fino sherry in the salon.
The streets surrounding Plaza Santa Ana and Plaza Mayor are tops for tapas, so you can try an array of local dishes. For traditional Spanish roast suckling pig (cochinillo) it has to be the tiled and beamed Casa Botin – a favourite with writer Ernest Hemingway. For seafood, they don’t come much better than the Galician style Ribeira Do Miño.
Casa de Madrid
Continental breakfast with oven-fresh croissants and freshly squeezed juice.
Nibble amid the antiques and grand Roman busts of the salon.
See & Do
You’re brilliantly placed here for all Madrid’s prime attractions. Casa de Madrid is just a short walk from the capital’s famous Plaza Mayor, with its arcaded colonnades, statues, pavement cafes and Sunday market.
The Prado museum – brimming with the works of Goya, El Greco and Velázquez – is one of Europe’s blockbuster art collections. For a more modern take, walk through the eclectic Thyssen collection or the Reina Sofia. Madrid’s medieval quarter (Barrio de la Moreria) is a honeycomb of narrow lanes, while the royal palace (Palacio Real) has a glut of frescoes and royal memorabilia.
Join the locals for a Sunday stroll (or a game of petanca) in the grassy surrounds of Retiro Park, or hop on a train at Atocha station for a daytrip to medieval Toledo, 70km away.
Head for the big stores and designer boutiques along the shopping avenue of Gran Via. For junk and antique trawling, have a wander through the gigantic (and infamous) El Rastro Sunday flea market – though watch out for pickpockets.
Staff can book a Shiatsu massage on request.
Madrileños love to party, so you’ll find no shortage of late-night bars and clubs. Madrid’s Teatro Real is just across the street, so check out the programme. Bar-hoppers should head for Plaza Santa Ana and surrounding streets, where there’s plenty going on. If Spanish flamenco is more your scene, Casa Patas is the place.
It’s fiesta time – in honour of Madrid’s patron saint, San Isidro – with nightly gigs and concerts in and around Plaza Mayor.
Sangria-laden street parties start after sundown to celebrate the saints’ days of San Cayetano, San Lorenzo and La Paloma.
C/ Arrieta, 28013 Madrid.
There’s no free parking, but you won’t need a car in town.
Mainline: Atocha station –20 minutes.
Metro: Opera station.
Around EUR 40 from Barajas Airport.
Madrid Barajas Airport
Rooms and suites
Six rooms and one suite
Air conditioned rooms have exotic decor (it’s not a place for minimalists), satellite TV, a radio and CD player, and wi-fi.
You’ll also find a complimentary bottle of Cava, nuts and bottled water.
EUR 250 – 390, plus 7% tax.
Open all year
Minimum night stay?
Continental breakfast is included.
Available morning and evening.
Welcome. Cots, extra beds and babysitting can all be arranged.
Welcome by arrangement.
Spanish, English and French.
Raquel Otero – manager