Gran Hotel Inglés – Madrid’s Most Beautiful Secret

A stone’s throw from Puerta del Sol, the Gran Hotel Inglés is one of Madrid’s finest hotels and one of our top picks for a quick romantic getaway.

As hard to believe as it may be for us here in the UK, the weather in some parts of the world is, in fact, capable of more than just wind and rain. Even more so, some places seem to have a continuous summer virtually throughout the entire year.

If you’re seeking sunnier climes, and a break from the stresses of everyday living, we foresee a holiday in your not too distant future (we all hope). But where? Well, in terms of popularity, you’d be hard-pressed to beat Spain.

Spain is one of Europe’s most popular holiday destinations, as it is home to a very warm climate, friendly locals, amazing sights and vistas, beautiful cuisine, and some fantastic cities. Madrid for example, which is the country’s capital, is becoming more popular with each passing year, and when you consider all of the things that you can do there, it’s easy to see why.

But Madrid is hiding a beautiful secret. A secret in the form of a stunning hotel, which also happens to be the oldest hotel in the city.

Allow us to introduce you to this secret, the Gran Hotel Inglés.

About The hotel

The fabulous Gran Hotel Inglés is the oldest in the city and it is one which people who have experienced it for themselves simply cannot get enough of.

The hotel first opened its doors in 1886, where it featured 110 rooms, all with shared bathrooms. Just under a century later, well, 80 years to be exact, the hotel was renovated, but not as you might think. Whereas most places look to expand, the Gran Hotel Ingles actually did the opposite and cut the number of rooms it had by almost 50% and went ahead and added individual bathrooms to each one.

The original Gran Hotel Inglés

In 2013, the hotel, as stunning as it was, was clearly in need of some TLC and so it closed for a much-needed refurb, which lasted five long years. In 2018, like a Phoenix rising from the ashes, the Gran Hotel Inglés was reborn and what a transformation!

This five-star hotel just oozes charm, sophistication, luxury and authenticity. With interiors refurbished by the prestigious architecture firm the Rockwell Group, the hotel, which reopened in 2018 after the extensive refurb, is getting more and more attention in all of the right places.

Nestled snugly down a trendy high street located on Barrio de Las Letras, the Gran Hotel Inglés is popular amongst tourists and locals alike. It is the perfect example of how, if done right, old can indeed meet new, and the results are truly breathtaking.

The art deco design is stylish, the facilities are top-notch, the restaurant looks great, the food tastes even better, and the hotel itself is the perfect location for a romantic getaway for when you want to metaphorically recharge your batteries.

The location

Madrid is one of the most popular cities in the world and is a firm favourite amongst holidaymakers from all corners of the globe. It is particularly popular with holidaymakers from the UK, as it a mere stone’s throw from London. Okay, that’s perhaps a bit of an over-exaggeration, but on a plane, it takes no time at all to reach the city, which is when the fun can really begin.

The area is frequented by creatives, tourists, locals and intellectuals as it is known as Madrid’s Literary Quarter. As it is situated virtually in the centre of the city, it is the perfect hub for exploring all that Madrid, and the surrounding areas, have to offer.

Despite being a city-centre hotel, the hotel itself is actually very peaceful and tranquil, due largely to the fact that it is conveniently located discreetly down a trendy back alley.

Walking to Santa Ana Square will take you less than five minutes, and if you are feeling peckish, you can take a stroll into La Cava Baja in just fifteen minutes, where you will be met with a cavalcade of restaurants and tapas bars.

If you do want to venture further afield, there are plenty of Metro stops all located within walking distance. We also recommend checking out the many boutiques in the area.

If you are a creative, or just have an appreciation for the arts and the creative mind, you will instantly understand why this part of the city is so special. Here, back in the 16th century, many ramshackle theatres were constructed in the many courtyards, and it was home to a number of writers, including Cervantes.

Rooms And Character

As you can probably imagine, the Gran Hotel Inglés just oozes charm, style, character and sophistication. The hotel has character, which is what has helped it to withstand the test of time and it has what has helped it become one of the country’s most iconic and distinct hotels.

Here you will find 43 rooms, along with 5 stunning suites which are as comfortable as they are stylish. The décor mixes rustic and authentic Spanish inspired themes with very strong suggestions of Parisian art deco. Expect wooden floors, abstract art, brass fittings, leather panels on the walls and eye-catching accessories.

The rooms themselves have clearly been designed with comfort in mind, as well as style. Here you’ll find memory foam mattress toppers, Egyptian cotton sheets, marble showers, freestanding bathtubs, as well as professional accessories and amenities such as hairdryers, minibars and coffee machines to ensure for seamless living.

As if that wasn’t enough, you will be provided with a smartphone to utilise whilst out and about exploring, plus the alarm clock is Bluetooth enabled and also doubles as a speaker, so you can stream music as you relax, have a soak in the tub, or get glammed up before heading down to the restaurant to enjoy some of the finest Spanish cuisine you could ever imagine.

Service And facilities

It’s clear, right from the get-go, that this isn’t your everyday, run of the mill hotel run by a faceless hotel franchise. This hotel has character, and the members of staff here fit in perfectly.

From the second you walk in you will be greeted with an enthusiastic friendly smile and will be made to feel welcome, as if you were visiting a relative or close friend. You don’t feel just another customer at all, you are made to feel welcome and valued and that goes one heck of a long way in this day and age.

Best of all is the fact that the longer you stay, the more welcome you will be made to feel as you interact with the staff.

Here, you will also find a spa, which is perfect for kicking back and pampering yourself when you feel like a break. There are high-end beauty treatments available for men and women, including what they call a ‘jet lag cure’ which involves a massage and a facial complete with cryotherapy ice cubes that leaves you refreshed and revitalised.

If you do want to perk yourself up, jet lag or not, one of the best ways of doing so, lifting your spirits, and getting healthier in the process, is through the hotel gym, which is kitted out with high-tech Technogym equipment.

There is also an adjacent underground car park, which will set you back £22 per day.

Other facilities include:

  • Spa
  • Gym
  • WIFI
  • Bar
  • Laundry
  • Restaurant
  • Room service

Food And drink

Spain is a very popular destination for foodies and for good reason! The truth of the matter is that nowhere else on the planet does Spanish cuisine quite like the Spanish. You can visit all of the franchise “Tapas” bars and restaurants back home that you like, but the difference between authentic Spanish cuisine and our attempt at it is like night and day. There is a feel and taste that simply can’t be replicated.

If you enjoy your food and drink, it is worth booking your stay here for that alone. The hotel provides a stunning restaurant named Lobo 8, as well as a bar offering delicious food and drink, which is called LobByto.

Heading up the Lobo 8 restaurant is acclaimed chef Willy Moya, who, along with a highly talented kitchen team, has created one of the finest menus in Madrid. The menu is constantly changing and adapting, based upon the seasons as well as local availability of ingredients.

The restaurant features banquet seating and a trendy, yet rustic, urban vibe complete with charcoal grey and gold accents that add to the feel.

In terms of what to expect from the menu, breakfast includes treats such as: Eggs benedict on a toasted English muffin with Saxony pork, acorn-fed Iberian ham shavings and truffle. For the mains, expect dishes such as: seasonal fish, sambal stingray with coconut rice, slow-roasted guinea fowl, beef rump cap with confit leeks and a butternut squash puree.

The LobByto bar is perfect for an afternoon snack and cocktail or glass of red, with treats such as: Softshell crab with kimchi mayonnaise brioche, or a Russian hamburger with mixed cheese and caramelized onions. Oh, and don’t forget to leave room for puddings such as: banana pudding, brownie, and apple tart with custard cream which is to die for.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the Gran Hotel Inglés is a perfect break-away hotel for a romantic and luxurious break. As beautiful as the interior and exterior are, it is the character and rustic charm associated with it that we really fell in love with, and we’re sure that you will too. Book your romantic getaway now, and we’re certain you won’t ever want to leave!

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