Just off upscale Jorge Juan, boutique hotel Tótem Madrid is a des res in one of the capital’s most sought-after neighbourhoods. Its urban charms don’t stop here, however: stylishly dressed and effortlessly cool, this buzzy bolthole is also blessed with elegant rooms, fabulous mixologists and a see-and-be-seen eatery.
Get this when you book through us:
A signature Totem cocktail each at the bar and a bottle of wine (either white or red) on arrival, as well as free parking (subject to availability)
Noon. Earliest check-in, 3pm. Both are flexible, subject to availability.
Double rooms from $161.65 (€144), excluding tax at 10 per cent.
Rates exclude the Continental breakfasts (€19.50 a person) of avocado toast, cooked-to-order eggs, fruit-topped pancake or truffled mortadella sandwich served with tea, coffee and orange or grapefruit juice.
You’ll find rowing machine, exercise bikes and cross trainers in the hotel’s gym; for a more vigorous workout, ask staff to arrange a personal trainer for a high-intensity circuit around nearby Retiro Park.
At the hotel
Lounge, gym, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: flatscreen TV, minibar, air-conditioning, free bottled water and Per Purr bath products; Attic Deluxe, Junior Suite Corner and Junior Suite Superior rooms also have tea- and coffee-making facilities.
Our favourite rooms
Pared down and understatedly chic, rooms at Tótem Madrid have a grown-up Farrow & Ball aesthetic, with deep-hued accent walls, floor-to-ceiling drapes and black-marble bathrooms. Bath tubs in Deluxe Attic rooms make up for a lack of views; the rooms are also surprisingly bright, thanks to Velux windows that let in plenty of Madrilenian sunshine. Smaller courtyard-facing Double rooms are still large enough to squeeze in a corner sofa. Corner Junior Suites have our vote for leisurely breakfasts in bed: throw open the three street-facing windows and let the breeze gently stir you from slumber.
A local translation of The Beautiful and Damned, to brush up on Castillian and classic Fitzgerald in one breath.
Tótem Madrid has two Deluxe Exterior rooms adapted for wheelchair users, who have access to the hotel from the restaurant’s entrance on the corner of Lagasca and Hermosilla streets.
All ages are welcome. Extra beds (€77 a night for over-3s) can be added to Junior Suites and Suites. Free cots for under-3s can be added to any room. The restaurant has highchairs and will happily adapt the menu for little Smiths.
Opt for a table to one side of the room for the best people-watching opportunities.
Pick up something casual-cool from neighbourhood favourite Sita Murt.
La Parrilla del Pimiento, helmed by chefs Félix Guerrero and Andrés Amero, dishes out traditional Spanish fare from morning to midnight. Start leisurely dinners with sharing plates of creamy croquettes and chipotle-drizzled squid rings. For the main event, there are classic Spanish stews, fish and meat dishes – try the wild turbot in Basque sauce or the Iberian pork tenderloin. Save room for artisanal ice creams and homemade cheesecakes.
Dressed with electric blue banquettes, marble tables and tropical fronds beneath a glass roof, Malditos does a fine job of enticing the ‘damned’ it’s named after. Resident DJ João Ribeiro keeps up the speakeasy vibe by spinning everything from bossanova to ragtime Jazz until 2am (Thursdays to Saturdays). The mirrored bar is manned by mixologists in white lab coats – a tongue-in-cheek sign of how seriously the art of cocktail-making is taken here.
Breakfast is served from 7am to 11.30am, lunch from 1.30pm to 4.30pm and dinner from 8.30pm to midnight.
Order from the restaurant’s full menu during opening hours, after which a light menu of sandwiches, cold cuts and sweet things is available around the clock.
Tucked away on a quiet side street in the upmarket Salamanca barrio, Tótem Madrid is within easy reach of Calle de Jorge Juan’s tempting boutiques and must-try restaurants.
Touch down at Madrid-Barajas airport, an international hub about 25 minutes’ drive from the hotel. Taxis are readily available, but you can also catch metro line C1 to nearby Recoletos station.
Madrid’s speedy metro network is handy for exploring the capital. If you’re venturing further afield, Atocha railway station is a 10-minute drive away and serves Renfe trains from across the country.
Madrid’s sights are best explored on foot: cheap public transport, plentiful taxis and charming streets render cars an unnecessary nuisance. If you do decide to bring your own wheels, the hotel has on-site parking for €32.67 a day.
Worth getting out of bed for
Ask Tótem’s staff for insider tips on the city’s latest on-trend haunts: they’ll happily sketch out a tailor-made itinerary based on your interests. Gawp at works by Miró, Bacon and other modern luminaries at the Reina Sofia Museum. Picasso’s Guernica is the pièce de résistance, but carefully curated temporary exhibits of contemporary artists are equally illuminating; its futuristic terrace restaurant Nubel gets our plaudits too. The streets around the hotel are brimming with indie boutiques and hard-to-find gems. Drop by Gallery Madrid for designer-sharp togs for Mr Smith or splurge on a pair of sky-scraping heels at Hannibal Laguna. Staff can also arrange off-the-beaten-path excursions. Snap Insta-worthy shots on a photographer-guided city-centre tour or get a bird’s eye view of the capital from its hidden rooftops. If cabin fever strikes, get up early and head to Atocha train station for a day-trip: Seville’s orange-scented streets and Barcelona’s lively nightlife are only two-and-a-half hours away.
You needn’t stray far for a taste of Madrid’s buzzy dining scene: just a stone’s throw from the hotel, Jorge Juan is a hotspot for foodies committed to working their way through the capital’s culinary delights. Refined La Maquina has linen-clad tables, tantalising tapas and an impressive wall of bottles from Spain’s under-the-radar vineyards. Burger joint Dingo surprises with twists on all-American classics such as pulled-pork croquetas, grilled lobster and fried green tomatoes. Busy Ultramarinos Quintin is all exposed brick, whimsical ceiling foliage and high stools crammed around small convivial tables; stop by for melt-in-the mouth tartare, delicate Iberico ham and perfectly cooked pasta.
Rawcoco Green Bar is all about Californian-style healthy eating: drop in for cold-pressed juices, detox smoothies and colourful raw food bowls.
Gin enthusiasts should make a beeline for diminutive Shuzo’s (+34 (0)914 35 9171) or neon-lit Jorge Juan 92 Gin Club (+34 (0)914 31 4282), both handily within stumbling distance of the hotel. Elegant brass-and-glass hangout Dry Martini Bar regularly features on the world’s best cocktail bar lists: pull up a stool at its glitzy counter for fresh-fruit martinis, one-off concoctions and the eponymous drink made just how you like it.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this elegant hotel in Salamanca and unpacked their Miró prints and designer finds, a full account of their city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Tótem Madrid…
In the heart of the well-heeled Salamanca barrio, hotel Tótem Madrid is made in the image of its home city: pointedly stylish, impeccably dressed and with a marked penchant for laid-back cool. That’s not to say it’s try-hard or aloof. Staff are friendly and full of insider tips to make a memorable Madrilenian city break; rooms are grown-up and elegant, with lofty floor-to-ceiling windows, black-marble bathrooms and a confident palette of dusty jewel tones. Rustling up on-trend Manhattan-meets-the-Med fare, clean-lined restaurant Hermosos is as understated as its louche sister bar Malditos is opulent (think cosy velvet banquettes, lashings of brass and expertly mixed cocktails). Both are named for Fitzgerald’s novel The Beautiful and Damned – a fitting scene-setter of a moniker for Madrid’s freshest boutique stay.
Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Tótem Madrid’s Guestbook below.
Fabulous hotel in the swanky, quiet Salamanca district. Fantastic shopping at your fingertips, a great little market for morning coffee, excellent tapas bars and restaurants aplenty. Madrid is so small and easy to potter around you can walk through Retiro from here to the museums in 20 minutes, or take the very efficient underground anywhere. The hotel is comfortable, discreet and modern without pushing your face in it. The staff are delightful, as are most people in Madrid, and this is a hotel we will stay at again.
Stayed on 11 Jan 2019
Lovely intimate hotel, not too touristy, relaxing lounges. Nice big bathrooms, though room was slightly small but it's understandable, as you are right smack in the middle of the classy side of Madrid. Be sure to go to the central market early if you want to eat some fresh food. Room service is affordable; service staff are amazing and friendly.
Large hotel with pool and multiple restaurants. It's very boutique style: small and intimate, but perfect for a 3-4 day city break.
Stayed on 17 Oct 2018
Stayed on 13 Sep 2018
Stayed on 16 Aug 2018
The area in which it was located, close to shopping and fine restaurants. Quiet and calm street. Very good staff. The drinks are exceptional.
Silent air conditioning unless you book the top floor attic rooms – they have their own air con so they stay quiet when you switch them off. The rest have central air con which makes a noise, even when off. If you are sensitive to noise this is something to consider. The hotel restaurant is staffed with young inexperienced people so mistakes are frequent. This will probably be ironed out down the line.
Stayed on 22 Jul 2018
Fantastic lobby and bar, and the great location – walkable within a few minutes to Plaza Mayor and other great locations.
Privacy in the room! The sexy frosted glass shower leaves little to the imagination, and the toilet partition is a glass slider. Not the best place to share a room with anyone you aren't intimate with!