Be #blessed with a stay at Bless Hotel Madrid, in the city’s upscale Salamanca district and along the holy Golden Mile. The grand hotel that went before it left behind an art deco exterior, wrought-iron railings and curving windows, but – hallelujah – the new kids on the bougie block have added a rooftop with cabanas and cocktails, a jet-setting Japanese restaurant and an events calendar to learn the art of letting your hair down, Spanish-style.
Double rooms from £325.35 (€380), including tax at 10 per cent.
Rates don’t usually include breakfast.
Learn all about good times in Spain with the hotel’s events calendar, which involves get-togethers for aperitivi and anecdotes, live DJ sets and a homage to the trinity of tapas, cocktails and Spanish music.
At the hotel
Free WiFi throughout. In rooms: free bottled water, Nespresso coffee machine and kettle, Bose sound system, TV and Maison Caulières bath products.
Our favourite rooms
Untamed intellects (and insomniacs) will appreciate the Bless Your Savage Mind by Hogo Suite, which has a ‘rest system’ within its king-size bed that promises to both boost your immune system and give you a good night’s sleep. Failing that, there’s a hot tub on the terrace to while away the wee hours in.
The plunge pool up on the roof is open between noon and 8pm from the middle of May until the middle of September.
The spa slows the pace of city life via a hammam, sauna, sensory showers and glow-bestowing facials using Dr Barbara Sturm products.
The hotel is on Madrid’s Golden Mile, AKA its most stylish street, so you may want to bring a spare suitcase
The hotel has rooms with adapted bathrooms and elevator access for wheelchair users.
Pets are welcome in all of the room categories and everywhere in the hotel, except (wisely) the gym and the sauna. The welcome pack includes water and a bed. See more pet-friendly hotels in Madrid.
There are rooms with sofa beds that can sleep a family of four, plus rooms that connect. Babysitting can be arranged with 12 hours’ notice.
Up on the rooftop with cocktails, croquetas and an unbeatable view of Madrid.
Vestments and Vetements.
There are three restaurants at the hotel: Bless Lively Lounge in the lobby, Picos Pardos on the rooftop and super-stylish Salvaje (often styled as SLJV, but don’t let that confuse you). At breakfast, guests can enjoy a blessed start to their day, with healthy and vegan options, as well as an extensive spread to give thanks for. Salvaje has outposts all over the world – from Barcelona to Bogotá and now Bless Hotel – for fans of Japanese food with a Mediterranean makeover.
The lobby’s Bless Lively Lounge is the main bar, but Picos Pardos is no stranger to an excellent cocktail either. The former has live music from Wednesday to Sunday.
Breakfast hours are 7.30am to 10.30am Monday to Friday, 8am to 11am at weekends. Lunch on the rooftop is from 1.30pm to 3.30pm; dinners 8pm to 11pm; and drinks . Night owls will appreciate the lounge serving dinner and drinks until 1am.
A separate menu for room service can be ordered from around the clock.
The hotel has a blessed location (sorry), on Madrid’s Golden Mile in the Salamanca neighbourhood.
Madrid Barajas Airport is less than half an hour away by car. Hotel transfers cost €120 each way.
Madrid’s main rail station Puerta de Atocha is more than a hub for catching trains all over the country (including to Barcelona, Seville and Valencia) – it’s a piece of rail history, with the beautiful old station now housing tropical gardens, and more modern platforms attached. The hotel can collect you for €120 each way.
You won’t need wheels for getting around the city from your Salamanca stay – if you’ve arrived in some, stash them at the Parking Velázquez garage, two minutes down the street.
Worth getting out of bed for
The Salamanca setting means Madrid’s Golden Mile (aka the city’s most sophisticated streets) are on your doorstep. After a dip in the pool or a yoga class on the rooftop, head to concept store Isolée on Calle de Claudio Coello to up your trend levels, or eat your way through the Platea food hall. For flamenco and fine-dining, don’t miss Corral de la Moreria. Museums nearby include Museo del Prado and Museo Lazarao Galdiano.
Amazónico may have outposts in Madrid, London and Dubai, but inside it’s Latin America all the way, with a sushi bar thrown in. For Spanish food (including artfully arranged plates of jamón Iberico), classic cocktails and live music, try Tatel on Paseo de la Castellana; or for pasta and sharing plates, head to Ten Con Ten. Madrid may be entirely landlocked, but you’d never know it at seafood restaurant Lobito del Mar.
Anyone serious about wine will enjoy a trip to Berria, a wine bar with 100 bottles available by the glass. As the name suggests, The Kave is a clandestine cocktail spot with nightly entertainment that includes magic shows, belly dancing and performers being reckless with things like knives and open flames. At Bar Manero, the drinks are almost as elaborate as the interiors and there are croquetas to bring you back from the brink. And don’t let the name put you off – there’s absolutely nothing fishy about Salmon Guru, just amazing cocktails.
When it comes to city breaks, Madrid can feel like a bit of an underdog. The Spanish capital is often overshadowed by its European rivals (Paris! Berlin! Amsterdam!) and even its competitors on home soil.
Living in Barcelona myself, I know how easy it is to fall for the laid back beachside lifestyle but each time I visit Madrid I toy with the idea of a parallel life in the big city. What it lacks in sea and sand it makes up for in world-class art galleries, my all time favourite city park (El Retiro), Spain’s best shopping and a food drink and scene worthy of a whole separate article.
For a taste of life like a wealthy Madrileño, Salamanca is the barrio to stay in. A stone’s throw from the aforementioned El Retiro park and the home of the golden mile (Madrid’s answer to New Bond Street) walking the grid of grand 19th-century boulevards makes you immediately want to book in for a blow dry, drop a small fortune on a Loewe bag and borrow a small dog.
In the heart of Salamanca, on Calle de Velázquez, lies the Bless hotel: our home for two nights. It’s a luxurious experience from the get go. On approaching the entrance our bags were whisked away and check-in speedily taken care of before we bypassed the sweeping marble staircase in favour of the lift to our fourth floor room.
The first takeaway? It was huge. The bed was as wide as it was long, there was a sizeable seating area complete with a sofa while the bathroom featured a double sink and a shower you could swing a cat in.
The decor has a timeless feel. No Instagram bait here, just classic design that feels well-considered and expensive. The colour palette is mainly neutral with a few nice warm touches such as the emerald sofa and maroon floral patterned headboard.
The pièce de résistance and the ultimate hotel luxury? An in-room freestanding bath. Positioned underneath the large windows, I loved lying in the tub looking up at the bright blue sky and admiring the rooftops of the neighbouring buildings.
Breakfast is served in an opulent room with abstract chandeliers, marble tables and most noticeably, a large rhino suspended from the central skylight. We enjoyed the large array of fruit, homemade granola and spelt bread from the buffet but the made-to-order hot meals impressed the most.
On ordering poached eggs, I was asked the precise number of minutes I would like them to be cooked for and opted for the recommended Spanish time of four minutes which resulted in beautifully runny golden eggs.
The hotel itself feels like a destination you want to spend time in. The first floor lounge makes for great people watching whether it’s meetings over coffee and petit fours or a couple on a date enjoying the DJ while the rooftop terrace, Picos Pardos, is a no-brainer for a sundowner cocktail. The rooftop’s plunge pool was closed for winter on our visit but we made use of the rest of the space complete with a pretty monochrome tiled floor, comfy coral cabanas and carefully positioned floral umbrellas (an essential in the heat of the summer).
Alongside maximising all the hotel had to offer, we reached our 10,000 steps and then some by exploring the park and ticking off two of the big hitter museums (El Prado and Reina Sofia – both so large they deserve multiple visits).
Naturally we also needed to refuel with some of the city’s food and drink delights. Close by to Bless we enjoyed the local monthly-changing wine at Vinology and Isralie-Argentinain cuisine at Fayer while over in Lavapies made stops for (more) wine at Bodegas Belmonte and mezcal margaritas at Ciriaco Brown. No trip to Madrid is complete without tortilla, the famous potato omelette, and Pez Tortilla has made its way to become my top stop in the city.
After all that hard work, a trip to the Bless spa seemed the ideal antidote. Located in the basement alongside a well-equipped gym (a space I can’t vouch for personally), the cocooning circular space is covered in beautiful hand painted tiles to give an effect of relaxing within a painting. While there’s no pool, dipping in and out of the sauna, steam room and hydromassage pool was the perfect tonic to end our trip (and certainly cured our sore heads).