I was born in Barcelona but I’ve always felt like a citizen of the world. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to live in various different countries from a very young age. I don’t mean that I visited as a tourist, but rather that I had the privilege of living with local people, sampling local cuisine made by housewives and living as a resident in each of these countries. Despite the fact that I was always made to feel very welcome, there was a part of me that couldn’t help feeling like ‘an odd duck’ who spoke and behaved differently to everyone else. Even so, all of these experiences helped me to grow and develop both as a person and on a professional level.
The twists and turns of life brought me to live in Madrid, and if I remember correctly it’s been nearly ten years now that I’ve considered myself a native of the city. I came to understand the famous saying “he who arrives in Madrid is already from Madrid” after two years of living in the city. I can’t think of another place that gives outsiders a warmer welcome than this city. This is undoubtedly one of Madrid’s most wonderful traits, enabling it to attract more and more tourists every day. It’s true that the city is not a destination full of beautiful beaches, but it leaves nobody unmoved, no matter where they are from.
Madrid has enormous potential as a tourist destination. Its greatest strength definitely lies in the warmth of its people, but another is its endless range of cultural offerings, for which a weekend just isn’t enough time. The capital city is also known for its vibrant night life, with a range of options for the LGTB community that aren’t just concentrated around the Chueca neighbourhood but can be found throughout the city.
In terms of the city’s hotel options, the biggest news these days is the newly opened Only You Hotel. Its decoration, good service and personal attention make it a sure bet. A stay in one of its loft-style rooms with sloped ceilings or sipping on a cocktail in its bar-lounge surrounded by the most beautiful people of the moment make this hotel the hottest around.
Just a few steps away is the already legendary Room Mate Óscar Hotel. Its décor, which is both avant-garde and bold, is the work of famous decorator Tomás Alía. Sunsets viewed from its terrace will beam you away to Ibiza or Miami.
Another of the city’s most desirable hotels is Hotel Urban, owned by the Derby Hotels chain. This hotel is notable for its originality, vitality, and wide range of daily activities. While it sets an energetic pace, it also provides a haven for rest and relaxation in its luxurious, well-appointed rooms.
In the Salamanca district you will find Hotel Único, which exudes elegance, luxury and tranquillity. This, along with its fabulous restaurant owned by chef Ramón Freixa, makes it a must for travellers who’ve come for the shopping and don’t want to venture outside of this sophisticated part of the city.
The newest arrival on the scene, set to open its doors very soon, is the first Hotel Indigo in Madrid. These hotels are already found in a number of European cities. This newcomer is sure to make a big splash. It already has countless surprises in store, to be enjoyed from its central location on Gran Vía in the capital. I predict that within a few months it will be one of the top places to stay and to eat, or to start off the night with a few drinks on its terrace featuring panoramic views.