PROPERTY HIGHLIGHTS: Not far from the city’s most famous art museums, Villa Real pulls off a look of restrained style and luxury that fits perfectly with this neighborhood. Service is excellent, and the location is hard to beat.

WHERE IS IT? In one direction you have Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor; in another, the city’s trio of famous art museums including the Prado are just a short walk from the hotel. Directly across the street is where congress meets giving the hotel’s location added importance.

WHAT’S IT LIKE? The marble and wood-lined lobby looks out toward a busy street, and it has an elegant sitting area with chilled water and jars of candy awaiting guests. Service is swift, friendly, and efficient. It is part of the Derby Collection of hotels with distinctive hotels located around Europe. Be sure to peruse the hotel’s impressive art collection featuring everything from ancient Roman sculptures and mosaics to more modern art pieces.


HOW MANY ROOMS? 115 rooms and suites

ROOM FACILITIES: Spacious rooms feature mirrored entry foyers with hardwood floors leading past marble bathrooms. Many rooms feature split-level sleeping and living areas. Large beds are piled high with enormous pillows and soft duvets. On either side of the bed are convenient power outlets. Leather sofas with coffee tables face flat-screen cable TVs that hang over work desks. Nespresso machines and free wireless Internet are standard amenities in all accommodations. Toiletries from The White Company line the vanities along with gigantic terry cloth towels and robes. Any of the rooms with Juliet balconies facing the front is worth the upgrade for exceptional views of the Congress building across the street, the Neptune fountain, and Prado museum in the distance. Several suites are available including a duplex junior suite with furnished terrace and duplex Real (royal in Spanish) Suite with a furnished top floor terrace overlooking the city.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS: East 47 is the hotel’s bar serving a variety of regional wines, vermouth, beer, and cocktails in a lively atmosphere lined with Andy Warhol prints on the walls. Tapas and other light bites are on offer, and during the warmer months, diners can enjoy food and drinks on the patio or in the air-conditioned bar. Breakfast is served in an elegant room behind reception with starched white tables cloths, an a la carte menu, and a bountiful buffet of Spanish hams, cheeses, and pastries plus fresh fruit, cereal and yogurt.

LEISURE FACILITIES: On the top floor, a small fitness center is available, but guests are given access to the rooftop pool and fitness center at Derby Collection sibling Hotel Urban just around the corner.

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES: Wireless Internet is free for guests and is truly high speed. Several meeting rooms feature the latest audiovisual equipment catering to small group functions.

VERDICT: The central location and polished service of this elegant hotel deserve high accolades. Villa Real is the yin to sibling Hotel Urban’s more modern and edgy yang.

PRICE: Internet rates for a traditional room start at $111 on the random dates we checked.

CONTACT: Hotel Villa Real, Plaza de las Cortes 10, 28014 Madrid, Spain. Phone 34-91-420-3767. https://www.hotelvillareal.com/en/