The best boutique hotels in Madrid

Hotel Santo Mauro is located in Chamberí, a quiet, green area frequented by locals for its many tapas bars and restaurants – © Miguel Merino – MSTUDIO.ES

All hotels have been independently assessed and selected. We earn a commission if you book through the links below, but this never influences our rating.

Our expert writers are usually hosted for free to gain the first-hand experience necessary for their review.

Staying in a small, stylish hotel adds something special to a stay in Spain, especially in a city like Madrid, as it gives you an often much-needed, more personal insider experience. These recommendations include accommodations with the best rooftop bars, restaurants and spas. Some have a private club atmosphere, offering a welcome oasis of calm in the hectic city atmosphere. They are all centrally located in smart neighborhoods such as Salamanca and Salesas – with plenty of shops and food and drink options – or close to Retiro Park and the Prado Museum. Here is our selection of the best boutique hotels in Madrid.

How we assess

Each hotel on this curated list has been visited by one of our expert reviewers, usually hosted free of charge. They stay at least one night, test at least one meal and try other experiences the hotel may have to offer.

The best boutique hotels in Madrid at a glance

The Heritage is a hotel where you can relax in beautiful interiors, drink champagne and eat oysters on the secret roof terrace, then head to Madrid’s best restaurants and boutiques. The interior is inspired by the hotel’s glamorous heritage and location in the affluent Salamanca district. A blue and gray palette is used in some rooms and soft green tones in others, with hand-painted gold wallpaper, antique furniture and clever lighting creating a unique and unusual atmosphere. Guests feel completely at ease. The Haroma restaurant, overseen by two Michelin-starred Mario Sandoval at Coque in Madrid, is excellent value for money and there is a lovely conservatory-style bar for afternoon tea and drinks.

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The Urso is located in Madrid’s elegant Salesas district, a few minutes’ walk from the oh-so-trendy Malasaña and Chueca districts. The palatial building from the early 20th century, designed by architect Antonio Obrador, retains many original features, such as the tiles on the facade, a mahogany elevator and the stained glass windows on the stairs. Decorated in soothing champagne and teal tones, the rooms have luxurious beds and high-quality sheets. The Natura Bissé spa is everything an urban spa should be, with a hydromassage pool. Restaurant Casa Felisa is a popular and trendy eatery, serving Spanish specialties with a contemporary twist.

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For those looking for one of the coolest places to stay in the city, you can’t go wrong with this beautiful hotel, with effortless interiors and a great location in the bustling Chueca district. The hotel is located in a former palace dating back to the 19th century, all arched windows, juliette balconies, shutters and awnings. Expect an eclectic mix of oversized lamps and vases, retro sofas, art books and enviable 70s-style coffee tables in the public areas. The chic rooms have studded bed frames, navy blue walls and old maps of Madrid on the walls. The restaurant has a romantic setting for a tapas dinner, while the warm, wood-panelled bar is a great place for a classic cocktail on a night out.

• The best hotels in Madrid

The Santo Mauro is grand, tasteful and popular with celebrities who want to keep a low profile. The former palace (now part of Marriott’s Luxury Collection) is located in Chamberí, a quiet, green area frequented by locals for its many tapas bars and restaurants. The hotel is surrounded by peaceful gardens with chestnut and eucalyptus trees, ideal for enjoying a long drink in the shade. All rooms look different and are divided between the palace, the former stables and an outbuilding. Abstract artwork and wooden floors create a contemporary, luxurious atmosphere. Renowned chef Rafa Peña is at the helm of La Biblioteca Gresca restaurant in the oak-paneled library. You can also eat in the Art Deco-style Wine Bar Gresca.

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The Tótem exudes discreet urban chic due to its location on one of the city’s chicest corners in the Salamanca district and is one of the best boutique hotels in Madrid. Charcoal, teal, dark pink, cerise, navy blue and purple all play a role in the color scheme, standing out against a palette of shimmery neutrals. Bedrooms are cocoons of minimalist luxury, where all materials are high quality, from the soft honeycomb bathrobes to the mid-century style dressers with built-in Nespresso machines and minibars. Restaurant El Pimiento Verde specializes in Basque cuisine and is a favorite with people who work or shop in the area.

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In a city of long days, late nights and riotous fun, Orfila is an oasis of calm where you can relax before everything starts again. Family owned and with only 32 rooms you feel like you are a guest of an eclectic old Doña who lives there but is rarely seen. The location, on the edge of three neighborhoods, is perfect for seeing the many sides of Madrid. It is within walking distance of Retiro Park, the Prado Museum and the chic shopping streets of Goya and Serrano. The rooms are decorated in a traditional style – even the lower categories are spacious and have a balcony with views over the gardens. Much of the guests’ time will be spent in the beautiful terraced garden. A special highlight is the breakfast buffet, packed with Spanish tortilla cheese, jamón and crispy, dry cava.

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At Único it’s all about good design and good service. The hotel enjoys a chic location on one of Madrid’s most exclusive streets, surrounded by the chic shops and luxury restaurants of Salamanca. The aesthetic is downright dramatic, with swirling black and white mosaic floors combining different types of marble, and a striking red sculpture hanging in the stairwell. The rooms have been given a similar contrasting look; the best category to book is a characterful room on the top floor, with sloping ceilings and skylights. Ramon Freixa’s restaurant has earned two Michelin stars for its elegant, modern Spanish cuisine, making it a top choice for foodies. He also provides breakfast, which is served in part of the restaurant and on the attractive covered terrace in the garden.

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The Principal is popular with a media and fashion crowd, as well as anyone who wants to be able to walk everywhere. With comfortable rooms and a calm color scheme, it’s a convenient oasis at the start of Gran Vía, the main road through central Madrid. The high ceilings and large windows in the rooms have a calming effect as soon as you enter, as does the elegant anthracite gray and black color scheme. The chic rooftop terrace is one of the most coveted places in Madrid for a drink in summer – it has the atmosphere of a private club in New York or London. The restaurant is supervised by Ramon Freixa, who has two Michelin stars for his restaurant in the Único.

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The 7 Islas are a refreshing change from chain hotels, thanks in part to Triball’s refreshing location, a part of gentrifying Malasaña with some of the city’s coolest bars and boutiques. The staff goes out of their way to help you have real authentic experiences, rather than the usual touristy activities. Everything in the rooms is custom-made, such as the woven leather and steel headboards designed by Matías Carbia and the bronze wall hooks, small sculptures of baby hands and feet, designed by Ignacio del Toro. Don’t leave without enjoying a drink at the 7 Craft Bar: where the cocktails are made with spirits macerated with botanicals to create unique flavors.

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In this elegant, discreet boutique hotel where the emphasis is on attentive service, you will feel like you are sleeping in an art gallery. The prestigious Álvaro Alcázar Gallery has filled the hotel with beautiful contemporary art, including pieces by renowned artists Rafael Canogar, Guillem Nadal and Simon Edmondson. It is a favorite of regular Madrid visitors, especially from the creative industries, given its convenient but non-touristy location (just off Plaza de Colón) and well-designed rooms, which include references to historic Madrid scenes, abstract paintings and lithographs. Book a suite on the top floor for the large terraces with stunning city views.

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This handsome 19th-century mansion is a chic retreat from city life. It overlooks the Puerta de Alcala, one of Madrid’s most important monuments, and is wonderfully removed from the hectic city center with its location opposite El Retiro Park. The striking cornices and moldings in the bedrooms are remnants from the time when this was a large private home; the Duplex room has a sleeping area under the eaves and is ideal for a romantic getaway. The pleasant Bodyna Spa has a relaxation pool and steam room, and an extensive menu of treatments. The best place to relax after the massage is the Malvar restaurant and tapas bar in the hotel, with terrace tables on the square.

Contributions by Jade Conroy

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