Originally published on Thursday, 27th October 2016
Contemporary Grand Dame
ME Madrid Reina Victoria
So by now you know the ME by Meliá hotels, right? With only 8 hotels (Ibiza, London, Milan, Cabo, Cancun, Miami, Mallorca and Madrid), they do a superb job of having a core common ethos – great service, luxe accommodation, top tier F&B – but different design and spirit for each property.
About ME Madrid
Smack dab in the heart of town, the regal ME Madrid Reina Victoria (building is from the 19th century) is the perfect base for a central MAD stay.
The ME Madrid is happening, but not in a scary way. When we were there, there was a “10 years of Garcia Madrid” fashion week soirée that was heaving with local hipsters. This is a much-loved local spot anytime of the year, for dinner, drinks and/or special events. And for an urban hotel, they work hard at having a more resort vibe; like at their Ibiza location, guests are offered drinks on arrival and things, although busy, seem under control and almost laid back. Which is nice for a city spot.
Splurge for a room that has a view of Plaza de Santa Ana: it’s beautiful, and views of the bustling courtyard are a great way to start the day. Rooms have all the usual mod cons, and the Smeg-like minibar fridge and Eames (either Eames, or Eames-like) desk chair in our room added to the character. These design-led rooms are luxe functional and mini bar touches like spiced broccoli chips and battery packs confirm that things here are on trend and considered.
Restaurants and bars
The Ana la Santa restaurant is from the “En Compañía de Lobos” team (created by Tomas Tarruella, co-founder of the Tragaluz group, which is responsible for many of Spain’s hotspots in Barcelona, Girona and Madrid). The vibe here moves from living room to garden to chic bar and dining room, and the lighting throughout is spot on: warm and flattering. The menu truly caters for whatever you might feel like: starters include light dishes like tuna sashimi on corn tortillas and sea bass ceviche, and the mains include everything from red curry with Iberian pork cheek to Spanish classics like paella, padrón peppers, and patatas bravas.
The Roof. The Roof is the rooftop bar, and with panoramic views, late openings on the weekend (3AM on Fri/Sat, with a respectable 1:30AM from Sunday to Thursday) and DJ nights, this is a hotspot and one of the few rooftops, oddly, in Madrid. Other highlights include the portable Wi-Fi card we were given during our stay, meaning we didn’t incur roaming charges (check if this comes with your room – it’s a great touch) and the suites. If you have a family, be sure to check out the Passions Suite, complete with two beds, a terrace, large outdoor dining table, hot tub, and of course stellar views. UJ appreciated the pre- arrival text from the Aura concierge, too.
There may not be a gym in the hotel, but there is one literally next door that you can use. The hotel does have SkinInc, though, so book in for a skin consultation while you have the time, and get a bespoke serum made specifically for your skin.
Rooms start from €180. www.mebymelia.com + 003 491 701 6000