In order to fully understand Madrid, one has to understand the importance of La Movida. This movement which deeply affected all of Spain between 1975 and 2000, corresponds to a counter cultural desire for the country to modernize while still preserving the strong identity and traditions to which it is attached. Madrid is the birthplace of this movement, and it’s here that the alchemy between the old and the new was intelligently developed. It does of course have its many contradictions, as in its architecture for example, where certain ill assorted vestiges of the past are combined with exacerbated modernism. The result gives Madrid a provincial side as well as being the financial and political center of Spain and a population with a passion for distraction and night life, but without turning its back on the Iberian way of livfe. Madrid is a city to be explored on foot in order to immerse oneself in the different atmospheres of its varied neighbourhoods and the lust for life of its inhabitants.
In the sumptuous Salamanca quarter, the Hotel Unico is a perfect example of the fusion between old and new. This elegant 19th century façade conceals a wonderfully refined contemporary style interior. It’s located on the famous “Golden Mile” (Milla de Oro), which is home to boutiques bearing the names of the most famous names in high fashion, an area where fashion is a way of life. Just two streets away, celebrities and businessmen rush to the Villa Magna, another prestigious hotel with a fairly austere granite façade and interiors that combine classic and contemporary décor with designer lamps, marble and gold leaf. For dining and night life, there’s nothing better than the gay Chueca quarter a bit further down, which has become the primary reference for modernism. A wide variety of cocktail bars and restaurants abound in this trendy quarter.
More relaxed but ultra hip and futuristic, the Room Mate Hotel Oscar is a delightful compromise between chic and fun. The numerous cinemas, theatres and shops on the Gran Via, often called the Broadway of Madrid, make the quarter incredibly attractive. It’s impossible to stay in this neighborhood without taking in a musical comedy on this architecturally stunning street. A hotel near the center like the Me Madrid Reina Victoria plunges you directly into the heart of Madrid night life on the Plaza Santa Ana and its adjacent streets. Just nearby, the Puerta del Sol possesses a great many lively and authentic bars which are animated until dawn. A legendary breakfast of hot “chocolate con churros” at the Chocolateria San Gine, is an excellent and energizing remedy for mornings after the night before! To try a Madrid culinary specialty during the day or early evening, the San Miguel market is the place to go. You can enjoy the finest regional products right on the spot.
Although Madrid is filled with entertainment and recreational activities, history and art enthusiasts also have a wide choice of sites to visit including the famous trio of museums, the Prado, Thyssen and Reina Sofia on the Paseo de Prado. A refreshing and restful stop on hot summer days at the Retiro Park is highly recommended as well as its sumptuous Crystal Palace. For excellent traditional tapas in a neighborhood where old dominates over new, it’s best to try the Latina, Madrid’s historic quarter, where the streets have preserved their original character. For your stay here, choose the Urban. The originality of this luxury boutique hotel is its living museum aura. The owner, a collector, displays his most beautiful finds in the hotel itself. The furniture in the rooms consists of Indian and Chinese antiques, and the basement serves as a gallery with a permanent exhibit of ancient Egyptian works.
Madrid, the capital of Spain, a cosmopolitan European metropolis with a continental Mediterranean climate enhanced with the pleasures of an exciting and animated night life.
As the country’s political and royal capital, it’s the place to go for business of course, but especially to discover contemporary Spanish culture since Madrid is the birthplace of Spain’s emblematic cultural movement known as La Movida. This phenomenon can be summed up as movement with the accent on a rebirth of Spanish youth and the emergence of new players on the cultural and artistic scene. It has contributed to the modernization and the integration of the Spanish society into European democracy after decades of dictatorship, while preserving the authenticity of Iberian traditions.
Madrid is served by Barajas, the tenth most important airport in the world in terms of passengers. It’s easy to get around the city thanks to its 13 line metro system and its 215 bus lines.
A Serrano ham, an abanico (fan), a Flamenco poster, hand painted ceramic tiles, charming paper maché figurines which are only found here, and for soccer fans, a Real Madrid jersey.
The museum trio consisting of the Prado, Thyssen and Reina Sofia, a “churros con chocolate”po breakfast at the Chocolateria San Gines, a corrida in Madrid’s Plaza de las Ventas during the San Isidro fiesta in May, a musical comedy on the Gran via, the bars and tapas in La Latina.
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+33 1 75 43 70 26 *Our reservation department is always happy to assist you via phone or via email. We are open Monday to Friday 9am to 18pm (GMT +1).