Living in the lap of luxury couldn’t be easier anywhere else than in the Spanish capital city. Madrid brims with opportunities to experience the soul of the city, from delectable tapas to heart-stopping sights and thriving culture. And there are some truly special experiences that are worthy of royalty - in quite a literal sense. In magical Madrid, you’ll find chic contemporary eateries housed in former palaces and upscale spas with an aristocratic past.
Wrapped in Love
“Hojaldre” in Spanish means puff pastry, and that’s precisely what Rococo-style eatery Hojaldrería is best at. Led by Javier Bonet’s gastronomic expertise, the menu features an impressive range of creations with the pastry, made even tastier with the elegant surroundings. Choose from sweet or savoury offerings, as well a selection of breakfast options to greet the day. You’re bound to surprised at the combinations, from a perfectly-baked puffed pastry topped with delicate whirls of smoked salmon to sweet tartlets with white chocolate and raspberry sorbet. The menu also offers non-pastry creations, such as fresh sandwiches, soups, and fish platters.
Formerly home to the Marquis and Marchioness of Linares, today the Palacio de Linares hosts a collection of home décor pieces from all around the world, including Parisian lamps, Chinese silk, and antique artwork from around Spain. The polished marble floors and sweeping staircases of the palace also provide plenty to admire. In addition to touring the palace (either privately or with an organized group), you can book a table and sample the cuisine, with contemporary takes on Spanish dishes. Afterwards, we recommend heading up to the rooftop terrace to witness Madrid from above.
Related: Explore the Vatican
Let Them Eat Well
Steps away from the bustling Gran Vía, you’ll find alluring French kitchen, Brasserie Antoinette. Recently opened, it’s quickly become a hit with Madrid’s food amantes thanks to its excellently sourced ingredients and expert handling. You’ll be whisked away to French court as you’re served one captivating dish after another. You can request to try the 3-course meal with French staples like onion soup and mi-cuit foie gras for starters, followed by tender meat or fish specials - or you can try ‘crêpe couture’ with an impressive list of options. As the experience unfolds, uniquely concocted cocktails are served, adding the finishing to touch to any meal here – there are 60 varieties to choose from.
Sometimes royalty means doing nothing at all, to which we say, come and recline in the finest surroundings. Retreat at the URSO Hotel & Spa, located in the heart of the city centre. It’s not by chance that the spa is housed in a former palace, now beautifully-restored with a careful balance between traditional elements and contemporary indulgences. Book the Royal Oxygen Ritual to delicately bring your skin to its finest, or massage with diamond dust and rose scents for spot-on pampering. When you step out again into the world, you’ll feel lighter and certainly spoiled like royalty.
To truly walk in the footsteps of royalty, there’s one place you absolutely visit in Madrid - the Palacio Real de Madrid (The Royal Palace). Though it’s no longer the actual residence of the Spanish royal family, it still serves its purpose for state ceremonies and events, and the appearance is decidedly noble. With literally thousands of rooms on the property, the palace is well worth a visit, even to simply gaze at the interior splendour. As you wander, you’ll set your sights on priceless paintings by masters such as Goya, Velázquez, Caravaggio, and more. This is also where you will find the only complete string quintet in the world with all five instruments made by Stradivarius.
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