Casa de Madrid
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A complimentary bottle of cava, almonds and a room upgrade if possible
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.
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.
© Room for Romance
Casa de Madrid was reviewed by Room for Romance