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5 Reasons To Stay At Gran Hotel Ingles Madrid

5 Reasons To Stay At Gran Hotel Ingles Madrid

This small hotel regularly makes some of the city’s top best-hotel lists, but it can be hard to find as it is tucked away on a small side street. But, as soon as you enter, it is clear that there is something special about Gran Hotel Ingles, a member of The Leading Hotels of the World and considered to be the oldest property in Madrid. It opened in 1886 as the second building in town with electric lights and its own orchestra and banquet room dining.

Located in what quickly became the Barrio de las Letras (the city’s literary neighborhood that drew authors and other creative types), this hotel has both historical and contemporary elements that has drawn in-the-know travelers for years. Here’s what you need to know when you stay at the Gran Hotel Ingles in Madrid.

The lobby

As soon as you enter, the elegant lobby is a mix of lounge space, traditional bar and library. This is where the likes of Henri Matisse and Virginia Woolf once gathered and shared drinks with famous Spanish writers and artists.

Throughout the day, guests can peruse the historic books lining the walls (many of these are original tomes that some of the city’s museums would kill to add to their library) and stop in for afternoon tea or daily happy hour for aperitivos. Among the 400+ books volumes on display are the complete Gredos collection that covered almost all of the Greco-Latin classics plus some paper bundles of old Chinese trade books.

Behind reception is the main dining room, which shares a similar design style as the lobby. This is where Leaders Club members enjoy free breakfast, and throughout the day, all meals blend a mix of Spanish and international options that draw in a mix of guests and locals. The fact that the restaurant has its own entrance proves that to be true.

The rooms

With only a dozen or so rooms per floor, the quiet hallways are wide an elegant leading to guest rooms with a similar design. Hardwood floors have area rugs atop hardwood floors. High ceilings, windows that open to the street or an interior courtyard, and beautiful corniced ceilings are a standard.

Jet-lagged travelers will have no problem settling into the pillowtop mattresses and starched white linens atop duvets. An added bonus is the pillow menu discreetly tucked away on a side table where guests can choose from options like firm, ergonomic cushions to buckwheat choices. Bedside USB ports are convenient, but the digital alarm clocks have cordless power chargers and lights that change in hue with just a wave of the hand.

Some rooms have soaking tubs set by windows with bath salts and thick robes; others have lovely small balconies overlooking the neighborhood. All have walk-in closets with wide vanities stocked with L’Occitane toiletries. The showers have all-natural French toiletries in wall-mounted bottles.

The location

On an entertaining side street with local bars, the hotel entrance is easy to miss. But, if you approach the entrance with a suitcase, the incredibly friendly bell staff is quick to open the door and assist.

Within just a short walk, guests can walk in multiple directions. One way leads to the Golden Triangle of Art that includes world-famous names like El Prado and Reina Sofia. In the other, people will quickly reach Puerta del Sol with lanes that lead off different corners to famous landmarks like Plaza Mayor, the Royal Palace and the bustling theater lights of Gran Via.

While many of the city’s other top hotels enjoy bustling streetfront positions, the charm here is as if you’re staying in a secret spot that few know about (unless they are familiar with the top collection of The Leading Hotels of the World).

The small touches

For a boutique hotel, this hotel impresses with plentiful signature touches that add to the welcome. It starts with sit-down check-in where guests are welcomed with a glass of sparkling wine or water. At any time, they can help themselves to a selection of candy and snacks in clever jars by the helpful concierge stand.

In the basement gym, guests have 24-hour access to workout equipment plus towels, bottled water, apples and even ear buds with replacement ear cushions that vary in size. On the way down there, take a look at the small display of historic artifacts on display that show off the building’s location and history. There is also a small spa with Sisley treatments and relaxation facilities.

The Leaders Club perks

The Leading Hotels of the World may have a less-familiar loyalty program to some travelers, but its perks outmatch what the biggest programs can offer. Instead of waiting to earn elite status to take advantage of benefits, anyone that joins the free program is eligible for free breakfast for two each morning of their stay. This can represent between $50-100 or even more, depending on where you stay.

Other perks for being a member include the ability to check in early or enjoy late checkout considerations. It’s even easier if you share your arrival and departure time in advance. Complimentary room upgrades and points bonus opportunities grow the more you stay with The Leading Hotels of the World. Being a member, even with your first stay, can represent excellent and value-oriented benefits the moment you arrive.