Hospes Puerta de Alcalá – Five-star luxury overlooking Retiro park.
Opposite the Retiro park and overlooking one of Madrid’s most important monuments – the Alcalá Gate – this is a well-located luxury boutique hotel with a great spa and highly professional service. Inside this nineteenth-century townhouse, the thirty-seven rooms and five suites all differ slightly in design, though they’re all decked out in neutral grays and creams, and the bathrooms come with rain showers and Korres toiletries; deluxe rooms and suites have bathtubs. Malvar restaurant offers modern Spanish dishes, and numerous other dining options are right on the doorstep. The intimate bar serves cocktails, wine, and champagne. With original stone arches, a basement pool, and a hammam, the Bodyna spa is one of the hotel’s best features. Ideally located for shopping and dining in Salamanca and for visiting the major art museums.
Hospes Puerta de Alcalá – Location
- Address: Plaza de la Independencia, 3, 28001 Madrid.
- Nearest Metro/Subway: Retiro, on red line #2, is a 1-minute walk away. Sol, a 3-stop ride away, located at the intersection of metro lines #1, #2, and #3, is a useful metro hub with connections to most parts of the city.
- Area: Rather busy location overlooking a large roundabout and an 18th-century stone gate, the Puerta de la Alcalá, and right next to Madrid’s most popular green space, the Parque del Buen Retiro (Retiro for short). The hotel is located just outside the ‘golden triangle’ of Madrid’s world-class art museums: Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Museo el Prado, and Reina Sofia are all within a 7 to 12-minute walk. Plaza del Sol, the geographical center of Madrid, is a 15-minute walk, with the Plaza Mayor a couple of minutes’ further away. The hotel’s location on the southwestern edge of the upmarket Salamanca neighborhood makes for easy access to high-end dining and shopping; the bars of Huertas and Chueca are also an easy 10-minute stroll.
- How to Get There: From Madrid Barajas International Airport, it takes around 30 minutes on the metro, changing lines at Colombia from #8 to #9 and again at Príncipe de Vergara from #9 to #2, and riding 1 more stop to Retiro. From the Atocha train station (with connections to most major Spanish cities), it’s a 4-stop ride to Sol (10 minutes) on line #1 in the direction of Pinar de Chamartín; change at Sol to line #2 and ride 4 stops to Retiro in the direction of Las Rosas. Some intercity trains arrive at the Chamartín station in north Madrid; from there it’s a 12-stop ride (25 minutes) on the metro to Sol on line #1 (then follow the directions above). Alternatively, to avoid changing metro lines, at the airport, hop on the Exprés Aeropuerto (€5) bus that goes to Atocha train station, from where it’s a short taxi ride. Can also go directly to the hotel via the AeroCity minibus (€18) or a taxi (around €30).
- Private Transfer: We use and recommend Welcome Pickups car service. Booking through a private car service will cost only a bit more than a taxi – about €35 from Madrid Barajas International Airport – but can be worth it to avoid the long taxi queue and for the convenience of paying ahead.
- Handy to: Retiro, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Museo del Prado.
Hospes Puerta de Alcalá – The Basics
- Ages: Guests are from all over the world, with a real mix of ages, and range from city breakers and business travelers to vacationing families with kids.
- View: Front-facing rooms look out over the Puerta de la Alcalá, one of Madrid’s most important landmarks, as well as Retiro park across the street. Back-facing rooms are quieter but come with limited street views.
- Private Pools/Jacuzzis: No private pools or jacuzzis.
- Laundry: Laundry, dry cleaning, and ironing are available (extra charge).
- Parking: Private parking on-site costs €39 per day (reservation required).
- Extras: Dedicated concierge service and 24-hour reception; WhatsApp access to front desk. Airport transfer available (extra charge). City stays can be arranged according to guest interests; private art and food tours can be booked. Turndown service; personal shoppers. Special packages can be booked direct, e.g. romantic massage for two and chocolates and wine on arrival.
- When to Book: Book 2-3 months in advance for the March-June, September-October, Easter, and Christmas/New Year periods. Last minute bookings sometimes available.
- How to Book: Booking.com will have the best rates.
- Phone: +34 914 363 478
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: hospes.com
Hospes Puerta de Alcalá – Amenities
- Pool: There’s an indoor pool with a waterfall. Open 7am-10pm.
- Spa: The full-service Bodyna Spa includes a jacuzzi, sauna, hammam, relaxation area, and a variety of treatments, from facials to massages. Open 7am-10pm.
- Fitness Center: There’s a small fitness center (open 7am-10pm) with Techogym equipment, but many guests prefer to run in the park across the street.
- For Disabled Guests: There is one specially adapted room.
- For Families: Some rooms are suitable for families of 3 or 4, cots are available on request, babysitting services can be arranged, and kids’ meals can be arranged at extra cost. The pool has separate hours for families with kids. The hotel’s across the street from a huge park, complete with playground areas and boating on the small lake.
Hospes Puerta de Alcalá – Food and Drink
- Restaurants: Malvar Restaurant – Refined restaurant specializing in innovative Spanish cuisine with an international twist, using quality ingredients from all over the country. Standouts include stuffed Cantabrian hake and slow-cooked confit lamb. Tasting menu and a la carte available. Worth booking for dinner. Open 10am-11.30pm. $$-$$$. • Malvar Terraza – Casual bites served on the terrace, from sandwiches and tapas from the north and south of the country, to a smattering of pasta, meat, and fish dishes. Open 10am-11.30pm. $$.
- Lounge/Bar: Gastro & Cocktails – Part of Malvar Restaurant, this will be a new space for guests to sample innovative cocktails.
- Breakfast: Not complimentary. The extensive breakfast spread costs €28 per person and includes homemade pastries, top-shelf ham and cheese, fruits, cereals, non-dairy milk alternatives, churros with hot chocolate, plus organic eggs and French toast cooked to order. It is served 8-10am in Malvar restaurant and on the terrace in warmer months.
- Room Service: 24-hour room service is available.
Hospes Puerta de Alcalá – Rooms
- Room Types: Double/Twin Room • Deluxe Double/Twin Room • Deluxe Double/Twin Room with View • Dreamer Double/Twin • Junior Suite
- Smoking Rooms: Hospes Puerta de Alcalá is 100% smoke-free.
- Best Room: The split-level Junior Suite #404 comes with ample space (50m²), a cozy bedroom area under the sloping eaves, and a bright living and dining area below. Alternatively, opt for Room #201 out of the Deluxe Doubles for views of Retiro park.
- For Families: The standard Double and Twin rooms come with extra single beds, and some of the Junior Suites have 2 sleeping areas and can accommodate families of 4.
Hospes Puerta de Alcalá – Local Transport
- Walking: Central Madrid is surprisingly compact and walkable, and wandering both the tiny medieval lanes of the historical center and the wide Paseo del Prado boulevard is great fun. One can easily reach most main sights on foot from the hotel: the Retiro park is just across the street; Museo Arqueológico Nacional is 4 minutes on foot; Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza is a 7-minute walk from the hotel; Museo del Prado is 9 minutes away, and Plaza Mayor is less than 20 minutes away.
- Metro: For sights further out of the city center, consider taking the metro. Take red line #2 for 4 stops from Retiro to Sol for quicker access to downtown Madrid and for 5 stops to Opera for easy access to the cathedral and the Palacio Real. Take light blue line #1 from Sol for 1 stop to Gran Vía for quicker access to Malasaña and its independent shops, cafes, and nightlife, or change lines at Gran Vía for green line #5 and ride 1 more stop to Chueca to explore the bars and hipster boutiques there. From Sol, the metro is also handy for getting to Madrid’s 2 main train stations, Atocha and Chamartín.
- Taxis, Uber: A taxi from the airport is a flat fare of €30; Uber costs €15-29, depending on type of vehicle. Using taxis to get around central Madrid is unnecessary due to the ease and convenience of walking/metro, but if required, daytime flag fall is €2.50 with around €1.10 per km. Uber X minimum fare is €5.50.
Hospes Puerta de Alcalá – What’s Nearby?
Recommended Nearby Tours
- Free Walking Tours Madrid – Colin and Ian run excellent free walking tours of historic Madrid, as well as organize day excurions to Toledo and specialized tapas tours of the capital. For the free tour, meet at Plaza de Callao at 11am on Fridays or 3.30pm on Saturdays.
- Devour Madrid – These guys specialize in intimate, small-group food tours of Madrid, from the super-popular Gourmet Tapas and Wine Tasting to the more off-the-beaten track Huertas Neighborhood and Market tour. Private tours for families arranged, with kid-friendly snacks and activities. Departure point: Plaza Mayor.
- Bravobike – Small group cycling tours of the city, ranging from 2 hours to whole-day tours. This outfit also arranges cycling day tours of Segovia, Toledo, El Escorial, and Ávila – all great day trips from Madrid. The Parks Tour is particularly suitable for families with kids. Tours depart from the cycle shop near Plaza de España.
- Spanish Tapas Madrid – Going strong for almost a decade, this family-run outfit takes guests on fun bar crawls of Madrid’s classic tapas bars. Flamenco tours and tours of the Prado museum also arranged. Departure points vary.
- Madrid City Tour – Hop-on, hop-off bus tours with multilingual audio guides. They run along 2 routes: one covers the main attractions of historical Madrid, while the other focuses on modern Madrid. The closest departure point both for historical and modern Madrid is the Puerta de Alcalá.
- Wellington Society – Offbeat historical walking tours of Madrid, from Hemingway tours to tours focusing on off-the-beaten-track sights. Historian Stephen Drake-Jones also arranges historical tours of Segovia and Toledo. Departure points vary.
Best Nearby Restaurants
- Kabuki Wellington – Combining clean lines, dark wood, and contemporary art, Madrid’s Michelin-starred sushi restaurant serves super fresh sashimi and sushi classics alongside the likes of fatty tuna belly with beef bone marrow and sea-bass carpaccio with mojo verde from the Canary Islands. Extensive sake list and interesting wine menu.
- La Colonial de Goya – Traditional tapas with creative touches served amidst exposed brick walls and wood. Casual with loyal local following.
- Álbora – This sleek, pared-down, Michelin-starred venue is all about contemporary Spanish flavors. Order from the a la carte menu of smart, seasonal, ingredient-driven dishes, including stews and oxtail pies, or head to the restaurant upstairs and choose between the long and short tasting menus.
- La Cabaña Argentina – Arguably Madrid’s best Argentinian steakhouse is all exposed brick walls and black and white photos of vintage Buenos Aires, with a meat-heavy, succinct menu of ribeye, sirloin, filet mignon, flank, and skirt steak cuts. The extensive wine list focuses mostly on Argentinian and Spanish wines. Equally popular for dates and family meals.
- El Inti de Oro – One of the best Peruvian restaurants in Madrid, serving authentic Peruvian standards such as ají de gallina (chicken in a spicy yellow sauce), anticuchos de corazón (beef heart skewers), and arróz con mariscos (seafood-fried rice). Inexpensive, casual, big portions.
- Restaurante Vegeteriano Artemisa Sol – The Huertas branch of the successful local mini-chain of vegetarian restaurants is a solid spot for eggplant moussaka, imaginative salads, and rice dishes. Busy at lunchtimes.
- Arrocería Marina Ventura – This nautically-themed rice restaurant is one of the best places in the city for paella, arroz con bogavante (soupy lobster rice), arroz negro (sepia rice with cuttlefish), and other classics from Valencia and the Balearics. Each dish is a 2-person minimum. Casual, popular with families.
- Yakitoro by Chicote – A unique fusion experiment, Yakitoro is a happy amalgamation of a Japanese yakitori (brochette) tavern and Spanish recipes. It’s a hip space with an open kitchen where the skewers are grilled right in front of customers. Busy, informal, wallet-friendly.
- Viandas de Salamanca – Salamanca branch of the cured meat deli known for its jamón serrano sandwich.
- Goiko Grill – While gourmet burgers are no longer a novelty in Madrid, this mini-chain continues to hold its own against competitors, thanks to its high-quality beef patties, toppings drawing on US and Spanish influences, and minimalist decor. Busy, young crowd. Worth booking ahead for weekend nights.
Best Nearby Bars and Breweries
- Casa González – A hybrid vinoteca, cheese shop, and tapas bar, Casa Gonzáles has been a beloved local institution since 1931. It comes with a few marble tables on which one can enjoy a glass of wine, along with platters of charcuterie and conservas (tinned seafood).
- Cervecería Alemana – Hemingway used to prop up the bar at this atmospheric cervecería, serving a selection of German and Spanish beers along with classic tapas platters enlivened by the presence of bratwurst. Casual, busy, and great location on the Plaza Santa Ana.
- La Venencia – This temple to sherry has been around since 1922 and the decor hasn’t changed a great deal since Hemingway used to haunt this place. Find a space among the oak barrels and vintage bullfighting posters and let the bartenders initiate the world of amontillados, palo cortados, and finos.
- Salmón Gurú – The drinks at this flamboyant, over-the-top brainchild of Madrid’s top mixologist Diego Cabrera are as incredible as the decor. Expect elaborate, original cocktails with really unusual ingredients and a sensory assault in the form of neon, retro superhero prints and plenty of mirrors.
- Angelita Madrid – This may be a sleek bar and grill, but what really stands out here is the stellar wine list and great cocktails. Nearly 500 bottles of wine (including many by the glass); dress nicely.
- Sidrería El Tigre – Friendly, homey Asturian cider bar, popular with local students. Inexpensive glasses of cider and beer, accompanied by platters of free tapas (mostly deep-fried or meaty bites). Raucous, gets going late in the evening.
- Del Diego – This watering hole may be frequented by quite a few corporate suit types, but that’s only because they appreciate top-notch martinis, white Russians, and other classic cocktails, executed with aplomb and served at the polished wooden bar.
- Brew Wild – Combine some beer enthusiasts, a Sicilian chef, and a pared-down, exposed-brick-wall bar, and the result is something like this, where the signature beers are brewed on-site and complemented by the short and sweet menu of homemade pizzas.
Best Nearby Cafes
- Feliz Coffee – One of the best specialty coffee shops in Madrid: knowledgeable barista, carefully sourced single origin beans from around the world, cozy nooks to sit in, and a selection of handcrafted home decor items for sale.
- Chocolat Madrid – This retro café has grumpy waiters and a very short menu that features some of the city’s best chocolate con churros. Choose between traditional churros or the fatter and spongier porros and have them with hot chocolate, tea, or coffee.
- La Bicicleta – This artsy café in Chueca has bicycles chained to the ceiling, exposed brick walls, and distressed sofas, with excellent artisan coffee on offer and organic nibbles and breakfast.
Nearby Shopping & Cool Shops
- Camper – Quirky, casual, and stylish footwear for kids and adults alike at this Chueca outlet for the world-famous shoe brand from Mallorca.
- Isolée – This concept and lifestyle store in Chueca sells everything from perfume and streetwear by various designers to home ornaments and cooking ingredients.
- Loewe – Come to the Gran Vía outpost of Spain’s luxury fashion house to browse the silk scarves, leather handbags, purses, shawls, and other accessories. There’s an on-site museum showcasing the brand’s history from 1890 onwards.
- Purificación García – Going strong for decades, Barcelona-born Puri sells stylish and casual streetwear for men and women as well as a range of elegant accessories.
- Agatha Ruiz de la Prada – Colorful, striking, highly original fashion for women by one of the key figures of the 1980s La Movida Madrileña counterculture movement.
- Ekseption – If looking for the latest catwalk threads, check out this showroom-store that regularly features the latest creations by the likes of Marc Jacobs, Balenciaga, Dries van Noten, and more.
- Parque del Buen Retiro – Created in the 17th-century for King Felipe IV, this vast park just west of Madrid’s art museums is hugely popular with locals. Madrileños come here to read, go strolling or running past the landscaped lawns, play with their kids, go boating on the park’s larger lake (El Estangue), or sit in one of the numerous terrazas (open-air cafes) with a cold drink. On weekends, buskers, tarot readers, jugglers, and other street performers cluster along the walkways around the lake.
- Museo Arqueológico Nacional – Excellent museum dedicated to the history of the Iberian peninsula. Exhibits run the gamut from the earliest human presence in Spain in the Neolithic, Copper, and Bronze Ages to Celtic Iberia and 7 centuries of Roman rule (don’t miss the remarkable mosaics). Highlights include an in-depth look at 800 years of Moorish culture, plus the riches on display from the Spanish conquest of the New World. The museum organizes family activities and holds twice-monthly archaeology workshops for kids.
- Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza – An extraordinary private collection of European art that forms part of Madrid’s “Golden Triangle” of art. While the Prado and the Reina Sofia galleries provide an in-depth look at the works of specific artists, Thyssen gives a chance to explore a huge array of artistic styles, including Thyssen’s forte, Impressionism. Look out for works by Constable, Van Gogh, Kandinsky, Dali, Chagall, Manet, Gauguin, Lucian Freud, and many more. Don’t miss paintings by El Greco and his Venetian contemporaries Titian and Tintoretto.
- Círculo de Bellas Artes – One of the most popular viewpoints in Madrid, this 1920s skyscraper near the Plaza de España has a 7th-floor roof terrace, crowned with an Art Deco statue of Minerva, Roman goddess of wisdom. Pay to take the elevator up to the terrace, have drinks at the small rooftop café, and get a bird’s eye view of some of Madrid’s notable buildings, plus the Gran Vía, one of Madrid’s main shopping streets.
- Museo del Prado – With a collection spanning more than 7,000 priceless artworks, including entire rooms dedicated to masterpieces by European greats, the Prado is one of the world’s top art museums. Look out for the Black Paintings by Francisco de Goya, as well as works by other Spanish masters: Murillo, Velázquez, and El Greco. Don’t miss the Edificio Jerónimos with its excellent temporary exhibitions, or the beautiful 2nd-floor cloisters. Book tickets online to avoid waiting in line.
- Real Jardín Botánico – Just south of the Museo del Prado, this sculpted green space is a great spot to relax after visiting the nearby art galleries. There are over 30,000 species of plants in this 8-hectare space, including exotic trees from around the world, gathered by King Carlos III. Head to the Pabellón Villanueva, on the east side of the gardens to check out the frequently staged contemporary art exhibitions.
- Plaza Mayor – Madrid’s cobbled, pedestrianized main square was the stage for bullfights, royal processions, and the burning at the cross of heretics during the Inquisition in centuries past. Today, it’s a popular gathering spot, with cafes around the edges, attractive Baroque architecture, and a statue of Felipe III on horseback.
- Centro de Arte Reina Sofia – Madrid’s top contemporary art gallery showcases cubism, surrealism, and other 20th-century art movements, as well as contemporary sculptures. The majority of works are by Spanish artists, with a particular emphasis on 20th-century greats such as Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Joán Miró, Antoni Tàpies, and Juan Gris. The star of the collection is Picasso’s Guernica, a monumental canvas that captures the horrors of war, with a room all to itself.
- Palacio Real – Originally a 16th-century wooden fortress, Spain’s grand royal palace was rebuilt in a style similar to Versailles. Each subsequent king added their own touches – Italian interior decor, Spanish porcelain, French tapestries – and the end result is an imposing French-Italian Baroque palace filled with frescoes, tapestries, gold leaf, chandeliers, and porcelain, used primarily for state functions (the royal family lives elsewhere). The audioguides lead visitors through individually decorated rooms, including the Throne Room, Gala Dining Hall, and Armory.
- Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Almudena – Madrid’s cathedral was only completed in 1992 and its cavernous, grey-and-white, neo-Gothic interior lacks the old-world grandeur of Spain’s medieval churches, though some visitors find it refreshingly modern. Interesting features include a contemporary and colorful ceiling, a splendid 15th-century altarpiece, and an enormous 5,000-pipe organ. In a chapel behind the altar is the 12th-century coffin of Madrid’s patron saint, San Isidro. The main highlight is the rooftop viewpoint with great views of the Royal Palace.
Nearby Markets or Grocery Stores
- Mercado de la Paz – Historic covered food market in the heart of Salamanca, with fresh produce stalls and tapas counters.
- Mantequería Bravo – A local fixture since 1931, this gourmet spot is one of the city’s best delis where you can pick up cheese, cured meats, wines, and much more.
- Mercado de San Antón – This 3-story food market combines traditional produce stalls on the first floor with a stellar tapas and craft beer experience on the second floor. Head to the third floor for a panoramic rooftop view of Chueca.