Recommended Duration: 5 days
Time to Visit: September - November
Booking: URSO HOTEL, www.hotelurso.com
Madrid and all its glory is one of the most captivating cities in Europe. A place to see and be seen, it is easy to feel spoilt for choice from where to shop, eat and stay and play. With limited days and a packed schedule we wanted to make sure to get the best of it all and Hotel URSO was our choice of abode. Neatly cornered between the ultra trendy neighbourhoods of of Malasaña and Chueca and just off the up-and-coming Tribunal area, old and new Madrid definitely meet at URSO. Everything is a desired walking distance, starting with the newly revamped Barcelo food market right across the street, independent retail boutiques, the golden triangle of art galleries and the famous touristy spot of Puerta del Sol is not more than a 20 minute stroll away. VIEW MAP.
STYLE & DESIGN
URSO is the latest addition to hotelier Pablo Carrington list of exceptional Spanish properties (Cap Rocat on Mallorca, Hotel Viura in Álava, Torralbenc on Menorca).
The early 20th-century former palacio, has been meticulously restored to create a fresh and contemporary boutique property which is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. You can feel the love and thought that has gone into maintaining the opulence of this palatial building. Upon entering URSO you are charmed with the grand marble entryway of stairs and neoclassical facade The architect Antonio Obrador has kept the decor fresh and modern whilst conserving many of the original features such as the stained glass windows on the staircase and incredible mahogany lift. The sober redesign features a muted palette of pale green, grey and cream tones along with Japanese prints that add a sleek chicness. Historic black and white photographs trace the past and are displayed throughout the building are pause for appreciating how much this city has changed over time. Towards the check-in desk the space opens in an enourmous inviting lounge room of ultra modern seating and warmly lit lampshades with wallpapered shelves lined with antique books to the brim. A true modernist’s dream set.
All 78 rooms and suites over 5 floors have great views of the neighbourhood. Classic decor and soothing neutral shades complement the tall windows which allow plenty of natural light. Large comfortable king beds with top-quality sheets and custom-made leather top desks. What was most impressive was the size of the marble bathrooms - with separate bath and shower. Stocked with The Lab Room amenities, the ‘spa’ aspect of the hotel is effortlessly extended into each room. Complementary water is restocked every day during turndown service. URSO suites are ultra-luxury and have large balconies overlooking looking over the area’s historic buildings—and enough space to have an alfresco breakfast or dinner.
STAY : DELXUE or JUNIOR SUITE
Daily breakfast is at a beautiful conservatory, under a glass skylight roof in a ambience of green plants and delicately floral print wallpaper. Served from 7am until 11am as buffet style with a side menu of hot food to order to your required taste. The buffet is simple and fresh, with a variety of breads, pastries, fruits, cereals and more. Orange juice is freshly squeezed and served at the table.
The main restaurant at URSO is called Media Ración by Fernando Cuenllas and has quickly become one of the most fashionable places to eat at in Madrid. The lunch and dinner menus offer traditional sharing dishes in true Spanish gastronomic style. If you are looking for a light bite or snack you may also eat at the marble top bar in the lounge which serves a menu of meals with ingredients sourced fresh from the Barceló market opposite the hotel.
TIP: Don’t miss the live jazz band on Thursday for an evening of soulful songs.
SERVICE AND FACILITIES
Upon arrival the first thing I noticed was the sincere approach the staff taken to ensure everyone truly feels welcome and heard. This is a hotel where they understand the experience each person if here for and try to make it as positive as possible. The staff speak fluent english and are full of authentic local recommendations and are able to summarise the best itineraries and more. Requests are catered for in a timely manner and the warmth of this hotel as a collective is something to admire, which they still maintain and highly luxurious demeanour.
URSO features an incredible spa, lap pool, 24 hour gym centre an enviable lounge bar and restaurant. The Urso Spa by Natura Boissé, features a 12-meter hydromassage pool and steam room as a perfect way to decompress before or after shopping expeditions. Instant relaxation in a simple way is the way of this urban sanctuary. Treatment rooms are available for massages with the option of the therapist to come to you. Bicycles can be arranged for guests, along with information on routes.
URSO is the gem to be in within the neighbour to be at. This royal palace turned chic urban retreat With its balance between modern charm and antique interiors collaborated with sophisticated luxury and personal service. The buildings heritage lives on in a decadent way whilst still being inviting enough to be the place for Madrid’s influencers to be seen. The leafy conservatory is the lift to keep things fresh whilst traces of the past still remain in the former palace interiors.