Choosing a boutique hotel is an excellent way to experience hints of Madrid's glamorous past. Many of these properties channel the city's history, offer that personal feel, and provide amenities like trendy cocktail bars, cozy fireside lounges, and stylish eateries, plus excellent locations in the city center.

Staying in Madrid

Madrid's historic skyline at dawn.

When deciding where to stay in Madrid, we recommend sticking to one of the city's central neighborhoods. Some of the best things to do in Madrid are in these areas, making it a bit easier to explore the city on foot. If you focus on the historical Literary Quarter, the uber-central Sol, or hip and trendy Malasaña or Chueca neighborhoods, you can walk to sites like Plaza Mayor, El Retiro Park, Gran Vía, and the Royal Palace.

Another aspect we love about these districts is that they house some of the best boutique hotels in Madrid. Boutique properties offer a slightly more personal atmosphere and hints of a city's past by typically occupying historical buildings. You can also enjoy the amenities of boutique properties, which you might only expect in the best luxury boutique hotels in Madrid, such as rooftop terraces, swimming pools, and gourmet eateries. Luckily, our picks stretch across a range of budgets, so you'll find excellent boutique options regardless of how much you want to spend. 

The Principal Madrid

Enjoy dining next to iconic landmarks (Photo courtesy of The Principal Madrid)

For a luxury boutique option, stay in Gran Vía's very first five-star hotel. The Principal Madrid was built in 1917 and still upholds the property's exclusivity and elegance. The entrance is surprisingly small, and that's because the lobby is accessible for guests only, keeping spaces private and exclusive. 

The rooftop is one of the best in the city, offering views of Gran Vía and the Madrid skyline, plus sun loungers, a fountain, and a bar with occasional live music. Head down one floor to the Ático Restaurant, known for its gourmet menu and heated terrace directly across from one of the city's iconic sites: the ​​Metrópolis dome. Other highlights include a spa, rooftop yoga classes, and cocktail-making workshops.

When not enjoying the hotel, you'll be within walking distance of sites like El Retiro Park, Puerta del Sol, and Plaza Mayor, plus some of the hippest neighborhoods, like the Literary Quarter, Chueca, and Malasaña. And as for the rooms, you'll find bright and modern quarters with timeless charm. Some face an inner courtyard, while others have Juliette balconies opening up to Gran Vía. Bathrooms are large and stylish, with black tiling and organic toiletries from Mallorca. 

Gran Hotel Inglés

Dine in the hotel's gourmet tapas bar (Photo courtesy Gran Hotel Inglés)

Gran Hotel Inglés offers comfort and history as the first luxury accommodation in Madrid, opening in 1886 on one of the city's first streets with electricity. Enjoy the Art Deco ambiance in the lobby, with a cocktail and sherry bar designed by a Michelin-star chef, plus a beautiful breakfast buffet and afternoon tea service. The onsite restaurant, Casa Lobo, features a gourmet tapas menu and puts a spin on regional classics. 

Choose from rooms and suites, all featuring decor styled by a New York design firm. Wood floors, iron light fixtures, and colorful art offer a sense of playful sophistication. Grab a suite if you'd like to add a seating area, desk, free-standing bathtub, or private terrace with an outdoor plunge pool. If you're looking for extra space, the hotel's royal suite is the largest hotel room available in the entirety of Madrid's historic city center.

The hotel describes itself as being "hidden in Madrid," and we agree. Tucked away on a quiet side street of the romantic (and very historic) Literary Quarter, you get a central location without all the noise. This neighborhood is pedestrian-friendly and ideal for a tapear (tapas walk), as the Literary Quarter is lined with traditional taverns. You can also walk to many of the city's sites, including El Retiro Park and the Prado Museum, plus Puerta del Sol, Plaza Mayor, and the Royal Palace. 

Only You Boutique Hotel
MID-RANGE

Relax on your own private terrace (Photo courtesy of Only You Boutique Hotel)

Only YOU Boutique Hotel has won several international design awards, and the moment you step into the lobby, you'll understand why. This is certainly one of the best mid-range boutique hotels in Madrid; a 19th-century mansion converted into a stylish, hip, and eclectic accommodation that feels like its own city with so many eateries and common spaces. For example, the lounge was once the old Padrino book shop, and the property maintains that cozy past with bookshelves, sofas, and a grand fireplace.

The rooms at Only YOU Boutique Hotel definitely match the property's colorful, bold, and eclectic style. You'll find ten room categories, all offering bright and spacious units with large bathrooms. Some have iron balconies overlooking the neighborhood, while the loft category features sloping wood-beamed ceilings. Upgrade to superb rooms or suites to add fireplaces, separate living rooms, private terraces, libraries, and even the option for a multi-level unit. 

The hotel comes with a little bit of everything, including a Thai spa and four eateries offering different menus and ambiance. Celicioso is the onsite gluten-free restaurant (popular with the locals at lunch), whereas the YOUnique Restaurant puts a spin on classic regional dishes and offers an extensive drink menu. Head to cozy El Padrino for tapas and craft beer, and hang out in the colorful YOUnique Lounge with a light snack and drink. 

CoolRooms Palacio de Atocha
MID-RANGE

Swim in the outdoor pool with a bar and terrace (Photo courtesy of CoolRooms Palacio de Atocha)

CoolRooms Palacio de Atocha is aptly named as it's a pretty hip upgrade to a 19th-century palace house. Enjoy a few charming original elements, such as the main iron staircase and decorative ceiling. The location adds to the coolness, as you'll be just down the street from Antón Martín Market, a great place to try a few authentic bites and watch locals truly do their daily shopping. You'll also be within walking distance of numerous other sites, like the Literary Quarter, Royal Palace, Catedral de la Almudena, and Puerta del Sol.

Choose from six room types, all with a bright, airy, and minimalist feel, plus spacious bathrooms with stylish tiling. You'll enjoy light-wood flooring and walls, plus vintage paneling, lighting, and floor-to-ceiling windows. Upgrade to a suite if you want to feel like you live here—they're huge! Some suites offer soaking tubs, living rooms, separate bedrooms, and private terraces.

The onsite restaurant serves breakfast in the dining room or on the beautiful outdoor covered patio. The inner courtyard also features an outdoor pool, lounge with a fountain, and plenty of plants. Sneak into the cozy lounge bar for a nightcap or hang out in the open-air lounge across from the reception.

Room Mate Alba
STANDARD

Cozy, chic rooms in the Literary Quarter (Photo courtesy of Room Mate Alba)

If you're going to stay in the Literary Quarter—Madrid's exceptionally historic neighborhood—you might as well find a hotel on Calle de las Huertas, possibly the city's most beloved pedestrian street. Room Mate Alba lets you do just that, positioning you steps away from this famous street's neverending line of traditional tapas bars and artisan shops. With this location, you can easily walk to sites like El Retiro Park, Plaza Mayor, and Puerta del Sol.

Though a standard option, the rooms at Room Mate Alba feel like they border on luxury, which makes this one of the best standard boutique hotels in Madrid. Comfy beds, unique decor, bold colors, and classy tiling, plus spacious bathrooms, pull it all together. Grab a suite for more comfort and space, though even the standard room categories deliver charming and comfy accommodations.

In the morning, enjoy a large and varied breakfast buffet, which lasts until noon for those wanting to sleep in a bit. You'll also find a cozy lounge with sofas and art, plus a beautiful wooden lobby bar and a spacious inner courtyard patio. 

Petit Palace Posada del Peine 

Stay in Madrid's oldest boutique hotel (Photo courtesy of Petite Palace Posada del Peine)

Petite Palace Posada del Peine offers an affordable option nearly on Plaza Mayor, as you can see one of the square's arched entrances right in front of you as you leave the hotel. Plus, the property is 400 years old and the city's oldest boutique hotel, so it had to make our list. Enjoy being surrounded by buzzy cafés, tapas bars, and shops in a very active part of Madrid. You'll also be within walking distance of sites like Puerta del Sol, the Royal Palace, and Gran Vía.

As a Petit Palace property, you'll find a similar aesthetic to the brand's other locations with small, simple rooms that are clean and comfy. Double and family rooms include desks, and some are split-level or have balconies with views of the bustling street below. As one of the best standard family-friendly in Barcelona, some rooms have bunk beds and can sleep up to six people, though they kind of give off a hostel-room vibe. Still, they're a great option for small groups or those with kids.

The hotel serves a pretty decent breakfast buffet in the dining area, offering a historic vibe with exposed brick walls. Besides the usual selection of cold cuts, cheese, fruits, and pastries, you can also create your own granola or salad bowl. If you'd like to cycle while exploring the city, the hotel offers bike rentals.