Sitting in a marketplace, drinking Sangria, and eating Paella, Madrid is a fun city, with lots to do and enjoy. Its top art galleries are an absolute highlight, but seeing their splendid collections can be tiring. I found the answer to this dilemma by staying at the Radisson Blu Hotel situated just over the road from the Prado.
This makes it so easy to have a morning at the gallery, go back to the hotel refresh, change shoes and return to the paintings in the afternoon. Also within just a few minutes’ walk are the other top galleries, The Thyssen, and The Reina Sofía.
It’s not only the location that is important, the Radisson Blu provides a comfortable as well as a convenient stay. It is a boutique hotel that’s small and quirky with just 48 rooms and six suites. As soon as I walked in the door I appreciated the fresh lemon water available at reception 24/7 and the helpful English speaking staff. The walls are decorated by Sandra Tarruella and Isabel Lopez, with images of the elegant architecture of the surrounding streets. This immediately gives the building a really quirky character of its own and certainly made me look with more attention at the structures around me when I walked outside!
Besides the galleries, a couple of minutes’ walk away are the Biological Gardens Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid and one of the biggest parks of Madrid, the Retiro which is filled with beautiful sculptures, a peaceful lake, and depending on the time of year, a variety of events. It was incredibly relaxing watching the antics of some beautiful birds in a park that is totally surrounded by such a busy city.
The bedrooms of the Radisson Blu are not big, but comfortably arranged; mine had a lovely balcony looking out over a small and attractive square, containing the hotel’s terrace café and with a good view over the smaller very Spanish looking lanes to the left of the hotel.
I also appreciated the attention to detail, from fluffy white towels to the free fast Wi Fi. Each room has its own coffee and tea making facilities including a well-stocked Nespresso machine and fresh water bottles each day.
A healthy stay is obviously what is important to the owners, with good breakfast options available at its main Restaurant “The Cask” which include seeds, nuts, fresh fruit, smoked salmon and eggs, cooked anyway.
The spa in the basement may be small – as expected in a city centre hotel – but certainly does the job, and includes a cardio gym and a number of treatments, which I am sure is appealing for the number of businessmen and women who also choose the hotel as their place to stay.
My only slight criticism is that while I was there they changed the room locking system, without telling me. While struggling for at least 10 minutes to open my bedroom door I then went to the reception staff who immediately gave me my new type of entry card. Luckily this slight oversight was clearly a one-off – and will not stop me choosing this lovely hotel on my next visit to Spain’s splendid capital.
Tell me more about the Radisson Blu Madrid
Radisson Blu Madrid
Calle Moratin 52 Plaza de Platerias Martinez 28014 Madrid Spain
Tel: + 34 (91) 524 2626
Rooms from £111.00 per night.