Madrid: The five best new hotels

Cathy Packe checks out some of the latest chic accommodation in the Spanish capital
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The Independent Travel

Hotel Puerta America
Open since June this year, the Puerta America is like 12 hotels in one - or it will be when three unfinished floors finally open to guests. Each is designed by a different architect, and although they all have a common standard of comfort and facilities, they vary enormously in style. The white fluid lines of the first floor rooms, designed by the Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid, are totally different from those on the 10th floor, created by the Japanese designer Arata Isozaki - where everything is black except for the light tones of the traditional wooden bath. Before you check in you will be shown a folder of photos so that you can see what you might be about to commit yourself to. You can move to a different floor halfway through your stay for an additional fee. Alternatively, just ask reception for a tour.
Avenida de America 41 (00 34 917 445 400; www.hotelpuertamerica.com).

The hotel is currently running a series of introductory offers, and rooms can start at around €214 (£153) at weekends, €257 (£184) during the week, including breakfast.

Hotel Palaciao del Retiro
Once the private residence of a Basque family, and then the headquarters of their engineering company, the building now houses the only hotel on the perimeter of the Retiro park. Many of the original features have been retained: stained glass panels and tiles, ceiling mouldings, and a 19th-century carpet that spirals down the staircase from the fourth floor to the ground. But the furnishings are completely modern, designed in minimalist style in neutral colours, and providing a refreshing contrast with the older backdrop.

High ceilings and large windows are a feature of most rooms, and many have views of the park. For a really indulgent experience, choose one of the corner rooms, like 111, 211 or 311, where you can lie in the jacuzzi bath and look out at the Retiro. On the ground floor is a bar and a reading room, open 24 hours a day and located in the area where the carriages would once have drawn up. In the basement is a fitness centre and sauna.
Alfonso XII 14 (00 34 915 237 460; www.ac-hotels.com). Doubles start at €328 (£234), singles at €273 (£195); Breakfast is an extra €24 (£17).

Hotel Petit Palace Posada del Peine
You need not wander far in Madrid before you see a maroon banner announcing "Petit Palace". This innovative chain, which has the subtitle High Tech Hoteles, has a business plan that involves taking over humdrum properties and turning them into state-of-the-art hotels. This is the best of the bunch and is central at just 100m from the Plaza Mayor.

The lobby is a flurry of maroon, chrome and redbrick. Laptops are available for those who are not in one of the 10 "High Tech" rooms - equipped with a free computer, exercise bike and sauna. But in no room is comfort sacrificed for style, with plenty of clean lines, dark wood and more chrome.
Calle Postas 17 (00 34 915 238 151; www.hthotels.com). As part of an introductory offer, rooms start at €102 (£73) with an extra €7 (£5) for breakfast.

Hotel Urban
Close to the heart of the city, the five-star Urban is a completely new structure designed in Art Deco style, which makes a striking contrast with its surroundings. The ground floor area is built around an airy atrium, six floors high, but covered at the top level to make it a pleasant place to sit and read at any time of year. The public rooms and the bedrooms are stuffed with art works. The rooms are decorated in contemporary style, with lots of leather and glass. On the roof are an open-air pool and a bar for use in summer, with views across the city. Year-round, if you want a drink, the Glass Bar, in the lobby, is currently the coolest place in town for Madrileños, as well as a chic attraction for residents; and the Europa Deco restaurant has already established a great reputation for its Mediterranean-style cuisine.
Carrera San Jeronimo 34 (00 34 91 787 77 70; www.derbyhotels.com). Rooms start at €187 (£134), with an extra €19 (£14) for breakfast.

De Las Letras Hotel and Restaurant
Open only since July, this stylish establishment has livened up the choice of hotels in the city centre. In its past, the building has provided apartment and office accommodation, and its exterior and several internal features like the old tiles have been preserved. But it has been completely refurbished to create 103 rooms designed in contemporary style using bold colours. The walls are adorned with literary quotations, with books scattered around the public areas. As much emphasis is placed on the quality of the food as on the rooms, and a separate side-street entrance is encouraging non-residents to use the bar as a meeting place, before moving into the restaurant area. As a result, the atmosphere is unlike that of most hotels, where the public rooms can be unappealing, offering instead a city-centre buzz and a sense that the place is really part of the life of the city.
Gran Via 11 (00 34 915 237 980; www.hoteldelasletras.com). From €137 (£98) with breakfast.

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