One of the underrated charms of traveling in Spain is the presence of the NH Hotel Group, which specializes in a certain understated luxury and an equally understated — but always handsome — modernist-inflected style. And handsome understatement is a perfect style for the regal city of Madrid, home to several NH hotels, including the NH Collection Madrid Gran Vía.
The Gran Vía itself lives up to the promise of its name — this is Madrid’s central thoroughfare, convenient to any number of commercial and cultural destinations. The hotel occupies a restored heritage building that’s right in the thick of the action, but by the time you reach the reception, on the eighth floor, the noise of the streets is left far behind, thanks in part to the tranquil atmosphere and also to modern interior construction and quality soundproofing.
Rooms are quiet and soothing in a palette dominated by whites and greys, and all the modern must-haves are present, from rain showers to espresso machines to articulated bedside reading lamps. Picalagartos, the restaurant, features a menu by chef Javier Muñoz-Calero, adapting Mediterranean cuisine to Madrid, and the rooftop terrace serves tapas and drinks with an impressive view of the city.