The Walt Madrid – Colorful, contemporary comfort just off the Gran Vía.
Just like its counterpart in Paris, this welcoming boutique hotel prides itself on its warm, personalized service and its home-away-from-home ambiance. Its thirty mid-sized rooms are all individually styled, with bold splashes of contemporary art, teardrop copper lamps, and fairy-light-studded headboards; some of the higher-end rooms feature private balconies or terraces. The Walt is well-located for exploring Madrid on foot: the historic center and most of the city’s main attractions are walkable, and if fancying a change from the in-house tapas bar, there are numerous other restaurants and bars a short stroll away.
The Walt Madrid – Location
- Address: Calle del Barco 3, 28004 Madrid.
- Nearest Metro/Subway: Gran Vía is a 2-minute walk from the hotel.
- Area: Quiet location on the southern fringes of the hip neighborhood of Malasaña, just a block and a half from the main shopping thoroughfare of Gran Vía, and within easy walking distance of some of Madrid’s top attractions as well as nightlife in the adjacent neighborhood of Chueca. Plaza de la Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor, Palacio Real, cathedral, and Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza are all within a 15-minute stroll. Easy access to other attractions via the metro.
- How to Get There: From Madrid Barajas International Airport, it takes around 35 minutes on the metro, changing lines at Nuevos Ministerios from #8 to #6 and again at Cuatro Caminos from #6 to #2; to get to Sol, take red line #2 in the direction of Las Rosas. 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. 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. Alternatively, to avoid changing metro lines, at the airport, hop on the Exprés Aeropuerto (€5) bus that goes to Atocha train station, and ride metro line #1 to Sol from there. 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: Gran Vía shopping, nightlife in Malasaña and Chueca, Plaza Mayor.
The Walt Madrid – The Basics
- Ages: Guests tend to be an international crowd with a real mix of ages, especially couples on a city break. Older children are welcome.
- View: Rooms tend to look out over the Calle del Barco below, or else have quieter views of Malasaña’s rooftops from rear-facing rooms.
- Private Pools/Jacuzzis: No private pools or jacuzzis.
- Laundry: Laundry and dry cleaning available (extra charge).
- Parking: Private parking adjacent to the hotel, a rarity for central Madrid, at €25 per day (reservation required).
- Extras: Dedicated concierge service and 24-hour reception. Warm and personalized service, private tours of the city arranged on request, airport transfer available (extra charge), welcome drink 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: +34 915 317 111
- Email: [email protected]
- Website: thewaltmadrid.es
The Walt Madrid – Amenities
- Pool: Guests may use the rooftop pool at the nearby fitness center, Gymage Lounge Resort, for €15 per day on weekdays and €19 per day on weekends. Open 7am-11pm on weekdays; 8am-10pm on weekends.
- Spa: No spa.
- Fitness Center: Guests may use the nearby Gymage Lounge Resort, one of the best gyms in Madrid, for €9 per day. Open 7am-11pm on weekdays; 8am-10pm on weekends.
- For Disabled Guests: No specially adapted rooms, but there is elevator access to all the floors.
- For Families: No specific family-friendly facilities besides Family Suites with fold-out sofa beds.
The Walt Madrid – Food and Drink
- Restaurant: Bob’s Bar – Located on the ground floor, this tapas bar serves classic Spanish tapas throughout the day and evening, with outdoor seating on the private terrace in the warmer months. Open daily 1:30pm-11pm. $$.
- Lounge/Bar: Bob’s Bar – The tapas bar doubles as a fine spot for a cocktail, a range of Spanish wines, craft beer, or fruit smoothies. Open daily 1:30pm-11pm.
- Breakfast: Not complimentary. The breakfast buffet spread costs €11 and includes cereals, plant milk alternatives, fresh fruit, French pastries, Iberian ham and cheeses, and gazpacho, along with egg dishes cooked to order, and cava (sparkling white wine) on weekends. It is served 7.30-10am on weekdays and 8-11am on weekends in the tapas bar area.
- Room Service: No room service.
The Walt Madrid – Rooms
- Room Types: Queen Room • Standard Single Room with Terrace • Standard Double Room • Superior Double Room with Balcony • Superior Double Room with Terrace • Deluxe Double Room • Deluxe Double Room with Terrace • Family Suite • List of all Rooms
- Smoking Rooms: The Walt Madrid is 100% smoke-free.
- Best Room: The Gran Vía Terrace (deluxe double with terrace) is among the most popular rooms, with a king-sized bed and standard amenities such as air-con and generously-sized bathroom, as well as a tranquil private terrace with views over Malasaña rooftops.
- For Families: All Family Suites come with fold-out sofa beds, private bedrooms, kitchenettes, and dining areas, and are ideal for families of four.
The Walt Madrid – Local Transport
- Walking: Central Madrid is surprisingly compact and walkable, and wandering both the tiny medieval lanes of the historical center and the wide boulevards of Gran Vía and Paseo del Prado is great fun. One can easily reach most main sights on foot from the hotel: the historic center and the Círculo de Bellas Artes (the latter along the Gran Vía), Plaza Mayor, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, and Museo del Prado are all about 10 minutes away on foot. The Palacio Real and Parque del Buen Retiro can be reached on foot within 15 minutes.
- Metro: For sights further away from the hotel, consider taking the metro. Take green line #5 from Gran Vía to Ópera, 2 stops away, for the Palacio Real and the cathedral, or ride 3 stops to La Latina for tapas bars and nightlife. To get to the Retiro park, take light blue line #1 to Sol for 1 stop, then switch to red line #2 and ride for 3 more stops to Retiro. From Gran Vía, the metro is also handy for getting to Madrid’s 2 main train stations, Atocha and Chamartín, and reasonably convenient for getting to the airport (though lines need to be changed twice).
- 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.
The Walt Madrid – 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 for historical Madrid is the Gran Vía; for modern Madrid – Puerta del Sol.
- 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
- Bodega de la Ardosa – Atmospheric, wood-paneled tapas bar dating back to the 19th century, locally famous for its tortilla (potato omelet), beef croquettes, and salmorejo (thick, savory gazpacho). Mostly standing room; come early to beat the crowd.
- La Mucca de Pez – All exposed brick and mellow lighting, this cavernous restaurant is a popular crowd-pleaser, serving a mix of meat and seafood dishes, complemented by an excellent wine list. Buzzy, popular with groups.
- Casa Perico (Calle de la Ballesta 18) – Come to this quirky neighborhood fixture, going strong since the 1940s, for the belly-warming stews, a superlative cocido a la madrileña (meat-and-garbanzo-bean stew), as well as their specialty: arroz a lo cutre (creamy rice dish). Popular with locals, busy at lunchtime.
- Maricastaña – Overflowing with potted plants, this eatery combines pared-down decor (exposed brick, iron pillars) with some unusual flavor pairings such as tuna with alfalfa sprouts and strawberries and tandoori chicken tacos. Popular with young professionals.
- La Tasquita de Enfrente – A fine dining fixture in the capital for 5 decades, La Tasquita attracts local foodies with chef Juanjo López’s seasonal menu that reinvents Spanish classics. Splurge on the chef’s tasting menu (€79) and bring a date for the memorable night out.
- Restaurante Vegeteriano Artemisa Sol – This branch of the vegetarian mini-chain of restaurants is particularly popular for its salads and hearty standards such as eggplant moussaka. A gathering spot for office workers at lunchtime.
- Mu! El Placer de Carne – This stylish Argentinian ‘meatery’ excels when it comes to quality steaks grilled to order. Get a tomahawk for two, and book ahead for dinner.
- Takos Al Pastor – This hole-in-the-wall serves arguably the most authentic Mexican tacos in central Madrid. Tacos al pastór (with slow-cooked pork and pineapple) are standouts, and the quesadillas are great also. Wash them down with huge margaritas. Popular with night owls.
- Sobrino del Botín – Founded as an inn in 1725, this is the world’s oldest continuously open restaurant. It’s renowned for 3 things: its old-world 18th-century decor, succulent roast meats, and literary connections (Hemingway, Graham Greene). The specialties are the roast suckling pig and lamb; dine in the atmospheric bodega (vaulted cellar) or in the opulent dining rooms.
- El Corte Inglés Callao Gourmet Experience – This food court on the 9th floor of the El Corte Inglés department store by the Callao metro station is a great place for a bite with a view. Apart from several specialty stores selling gourmet food products, there are numerous restaurants and food stalls to choose from.
Best Nearby Bars and Breweries
- Fábrica Maravillas – One of the oldest and best microbreweries in the city, the Wonder Factory is a must-stop for any beer aficionado. Clean lines, convivial space, and great brews that include the signature Cabrona.
- Gorila – This split-level, multi-purpose café/bar is a great place both for a morning coffee and an evening cocktail or beer. Young crowd, overlooked by the giant painted gorilla.
- La Chula de Valverde (Calle de Valverde 11) – Mismatched furniture, jazz or funk on the stereo, and a low-key vibe define La Chula, this watering hole with a loyal local following. From morning coffee to after-drink beers and gin and tonics, it has something for everyone.
- 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.
- Twist & Shout Bar – Themed nights, retro music from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s, and a good range of beers and flavored shots attract both a lively younger crowd and those wanting to indulge in some nostalgia. Lively, doesn’t get going until late.
- Bee Beer – One of two outlets of some of Madrid’s most creative beer brewers, Bee is responsible for mustard seed-flavored IPA, wasabi lager, and more, paired with cheese and charcuterie platters. Great decor, fun vibe.
- Angelita Madrid – Some people come here for steak, but we like this slick place for its cocktails and its wine bar, with 500 or so tipples by the bottle and a couple dozen by the glass. Dress nicely.
- Triskel Tavern – Friendly Irish pub with character, good ciders, and beers on tap, and Premiere League football (soccer) on TV. Buzzy without being raucous and frequented by a mix of locals and English-speaking tourists alike.
- Macera Bar – One for gin lovers, this cocktail bar appeals to free spirits and creative types. Gins are brewed on-site and there’s a good mix of original and classic cocktails. Friendly, chilled out vibe.
Best Nearby Cafes
- Coffee & Kicks – Off a tiny street just south of the Plaza del Callao, this one-man show of a coffee shop serves some of the capital’s best specialty coffee, along with milkshakes and juices.
- 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.
- Chocolateria San Ginés – Just north of the Plaza Mayor, this locally beloved cafe has been serving churros con chocolate to madrileños for over a hundred years. It serves only drinking chocolate – so thick that the spoon almost stands up in it – accompanied by churros (tubular, deep-fried dough); best on weekdays, when the lines are shorter.
Nearby Shopping & Cool Shops
- Au Revoir Cinderella – Hip street footwear for women by De las Cuevas Barcelona, ARC Collection, and Californian brand Jeffrey Campbell. Come here for sandals, ankle boots, platform shoes, wedges, sneakers, and more.
- El Moderno – Concept store selling everything from stationary, Closca water bottles, and collapsible cycle helmets to maps and prints of Madrid, furniture, and nifty tech gifts.
- Generación X – One of the best comic book stores in Madrid, stocking American, European, and Spanish franchises. Also sells board games, miniatures, and all types of souvenirs.
- FNAC – This 4-story megastore stocks an excellent range of English-language books as well as CDs in every genre, DVDs, and more.
- Flamingos Vintage Kilo – The first of its kind in the city and the pick of the neighborhood’s used clothing shops, this well-loved vintage store sells some great retro fashion finds from the 70s, 80s, and 90s, for men and women. Some items sold by kilo.
- Tipos Infames – This bookshop specializes in a carefully curated collection of fiction, children’s books, and foreign language books. In the basement café/wine cellar, there are some rare vintages from around Spain.
- Panta Rhei – Specialized bookstore devoted to the visual arts – from photography and classical art to graphic design and graphic novels.
- Camper – Quirky, casual, and stylish footwear for kids and adults alike at this Chueca outlet for the world-famous shoe brand from Mallorca.
- La Gramola (Póstigo de San Martín 4) – Old-school vinyl store with a vast variety of genres to browse, as well as vintage posters and other merchandise.
- Retro City – (Calle San Pablo 4) Longstanding neighborhood favorite for 70s and 80s fashion.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Caixa Forum – One of Madrid’s most striking contemporary landmarks, this eye-catching 21st-century structure across the street from the Prado has a 4-story hanging garden and an exhibition hall, with 4 floors of stainless steel and soaring ceilings. World-class contemporary art, photography, and multimedia shows take place here on a changing basis 3 or 4 times per year.
- 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 San Ildefonso – Globe-spanning street food under one roof, from tacos and sushi to Vietnamese bites, Colombian arepas, and fluffy bao buns. Craft beer and wine outlets as well, plus outdoor terraces.
- 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.
- Mercado de San Miguel – A couple of blocks away from Plaza Mayor, this beautiful historic food market is a great place to stop for tapas. It’s very popular for several reasons: central location, varied selection of edible offerings at counter-bars, and gourmet shops for buying wine and chocolate.