From the moment I stepped inside the lobby at the Only YOU Hotel Atocha hotel in Madrid, I felt the buzz –and it was not necessarily from guests helping themselves to the colorful candy-filled jars near the check-in desk. The place just has that high-energy vibe of a busy spot where people like to be.
Part of the action comes from the hotel’s location—opposite Madrid’s bustling Puerta de Atocha railway station; but it’s also located in a prime position called the ‘paseo de arte’ or the city’s Golden Triangle of Art. The world-class galleries of El Prado, the Reina Sofia Museum and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum are all within a few minutes of walking. Nearby is also the pretty El Retiro Park– and if you put on your good walking shoes, I even strolled to Plaza Puerta del Sol (Madrid’s most famous central square)—about 20 minutes away.
When I checked into the hotel, it was just finishing up a four-month partnership with the American gin Seagram’s (in honor of the hotel’s opening). With a New York theme, there was a pop up gin bar (the Spaniards love their gin tonics!) in the immense first floor lobby –where the hotel’s casual Trotamundos Restaurant and Bar is also located–and near that, another cool pop up in-house barber inspired by Frank’s Chop Shop on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. But it was also fun admiring the hotel’s main décor: the artsy floor tile, the industrial chic of exposed brick walls, painted ceiling pipes and the stylish book shelves and sofas. If you didn’t know better, you’d think the hotel hired some renowned Barcelona based interior designer to create such a seriously cool space. (Oh yeah, they did.)
The industrial chic decor was carried over into the rooms with more exposed brick on one wall, and neutral shades that were punched up with a colorful cozy blanket on the bed and contemporary framed prints on the walls.
Because it was an interior room, it looked over a spectacular internal glassed in courtyard with black and white zigzag floor design that made it feel like I was gazing down into a kaleidoscope.
(They also have premium rooms located on the exterior with city views; some have balconies.) I loved the room’s extras: a selection of pillows, an electric kettle, cups and good teas, plus complimentary bottled water. There were also plenty of connections for my cameras, phone and pc. Wi-fi was free.
The bathroom had a wonderful rain shower, great zebra print robe (I really wanted to keep it), plus a magnifying makeup mirror, hairdryer and plenty of plush towels.
Breakfast is not included in the rate, but you really shouldn’t miss it. It’s in the restaurant on the seventh floor (with a panoramic terrace). There were so many themed food station and carts, plus an omelette station that it took me awhile to wander around and peruse the choices before finally settling down at a table. It was too cool to sit outside on the terrace, but before dinner during the summertime, I bet it would be a super popular spot to sip a cocktail, overlooking the city.
Besides the more casual Trotamundos Restaurant and Cocktail Bar on the main floor, there is also The Bakery by Mama Framboise—a sweet spot for a morning or afternoon pick-me-up pastry and cortado (Spain’s delicious version of an espresso).
The hotel has a well-equipped gym, offers the services of a personal trainer, and also– located next to the gym—has a “Running Station,” something I’ve not seen before. This is where guests can find out about different running routes in the city, pick up a bottled water, or even meet a group to go for an organized run in the area.
Photos and review by Donna Tabbert Long whose stay was provided for by the Tourist Office of Spain (Chicago).