The Hotel de Las Letras is centrally situated in the Gran Via, an ideal location for exploring Madrid. Within easy walking distance (amongst other attractions) are the Palacio Real, Puerto del Sol and the world renowned Golden Art Triangle, comprising the museums of Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen, which between them arguably house the best collection of art in the western world, and all within a few minutes walk of each other! The Hotel de Las Letras is a fascinating example of Spanish neo-renaissance architecture. Built in 1915, it has been completely refurbished but retains its original glazed tiles, canopies, ceramics, railings and carvings. Its name derives from the district of Las Letras in which it is situated – the famous literary area frequented by such famous Spanish writers as Cervantes, Lope de Vega and Moratin. This literary theme is reflected throughout the hotel. The walls are littered with quotes from various famous writers throughout history, and there is a very comfortable library on the lower ground floor, with books available in several different languages, ranging from a Jackie Collins paperback to a weighty Spanish Art tome.
The hotel has a spa with a good sized jacuzzi, sauna, hamman and mini gym. The spa offers a wide range of delicious sounding body/ facial treatments and massages. There is also a roof top bar/ terrace which enjoys spectacular views of Madrid. Unfortunately, as my visit was in a very cold January, sitting outside was not possible, but I can well imagine on a spring evening how wonderful it would be, sitting amongst the fragrant pots of lavender and rosemary enjoying a glass of Rioja, whilst watching the sun go down over the city.
My bedroom was extremely comfortable and beautifully furnished with wooden flooring. There was a flat screen TV with Spanish, English and German channels, stereo hi-fi system, and complimentary Wi-Fi access. A well stocked mini bar (there was even pink champagne!) completed the picture, along with fluffy bathrobes, slippers and even a pillow menu. An extra touch I was particularly pleased with was an easy to control heating/air conditioning unit which was able to be completely switched off if required. Being a fresh air fiend, I often find hotel bedrooms unpleasantly stifling, but in this room I enjoyed an exceptionally comfortable night’s sleep. Another pleasant change was that every (full length) window in the room (including the bathroom) was fully openable, and each led onto a small balcony, where you could look down onto the busy Gran Via, and imagine yourself for a moment to be a small part in this wonderful city’s history.
Hotel De Las Letras has a busy bar serving everything from cocktails to coffee and tapas to sushi. It is extremely popular with both locals and hotel residents alike. I spotted three fur-coated ageing Madrid matrons alongside a group of arty students on their laptops (Wi-Fi access here too) all enjoying their “meriendas” (afternoon tea in Spain). I did not have the opportunity of enjoying an evening meal here, but I am sure it would have been extremely good based on the standard of the breakfast served. This was excellent and had something for everyone – a large range of cereals, freshly squeezed juices, cold meats, smoked salmon, cheeses, bread, cakes, pastries, yogurts and a hot option of scrambled eggs and bacon. And the best hotel breakfast coffee I have ever tasted…each cup freshly brewed from a state of the art espresso coffee machine.
I cannot recommend this hotel more highly. One last note – every member of staff I met was friendly, polite, extremely helpful, and fluent in both English and Spanish, and I was similarly impressed that an initial email query sent before my stay was answered within ten minutes.
Hotel De Las Letras
C/ Gran Vía 11
28013 Madrid, Spain
+34 915 237 980