Writer and designer, Susana Ordovás, who lives between Madrid and Mexico City, shares an insider’s guide to bustling Madrid, revealing stylish spots for the perfect weekend.




With a new, exhilarating energy filling its streets, Madrid has recently experienced an avalanche of fine dining restaurants, artisan shops and luxury hotels, snatching from Barcelona the status of Spain’s most charismatic city. Renowned for its elegant boulevards, rich repositories of European art, including the Prado Museum, and expansive manicured parks, such as El Retiro, Madrid has shrugged off its small-town atmosphere and become a vibrant, stylish destination for aesthetes.

Where to Stay

Bless Hotel: Located on the 'Golden Mile’ in the luxurious Salamanca neighbourhood, among some of the city’s most exclusive shops and restaurants, Bless Hotel occupies a historic building featuring the work of top interior designer Lázaro Rosa Violán.

Santo Mauro Hotel: Beautifully decorated by Lorenzo Castillo, one of Spain’s most renowned interior designers, Hotel Santo Mauro invites you on a journey to the XIX century - to the former home of one of Madrid’s most influential figures at the time, the Duke of Santo Mauro.

JW Marriott Hotel Madrid: A new addition to Madrid’s vibrant hotel scene, this elegant hotel (pictured above) offers modern comfort in a traditional 19th-century building close to Puerta del Sol, Gran Vía, and Plaza Mayor. 

Mandarin Oriental Ritz Hotel: A luxury Belle Époque palace located in the famous Golden Triangle of Art of Madrid. For over 110 years, the hotel has hosted some of the world's most distinguished guests.

Four Seasons Madrid: In the heart of Madrid, seven historic buildings have been transformed into Spain’s first Four Seasons hotel, with rooftop dining by famed chef, Dani García, a four-level spa and a sun-splashed pool terrace.



Where to Eat

Botín: Founded in 1725, it’s considered the oldest restaurant in the world and a benchmark of Madrid traditional cuisine.

Taberna La Carmencita: My favorite restaurant in Madrid, La Carmencita is located in the trendy Chueca barrio, one of the capital’s oldest tabernas. It strives to serve excellent local cuisine in a charming environment.

La Terraza del Casino: Occupying the top floor of the Baroque Casino de Madrid, an elite social club built in 1910, the restaurant is bright and unstuffy, while star chef Paco Roncero’s cooking is smart, fresh and experimental. The terrace is breathtaking.

Lhardy: Founded in 1839, Lhardy is famous for serving excellent traditional Spanish dishes like cocido madrileño, a typical stew-like dish. Its 19th century decor is full of character and has remained unchanged over the years.

Bosco de Lobos: In the stunning courtyard of Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de Madrid, an impressive building made of cubic shapes, Bosco de Lobos offers great Italian cuisine.

Celso y Manolo: Located in the lively barrio of Chueca, they serve top quality Spanish food in a relaxed and stylish setting. It’s also a great place for drinks.


Where to Shop

SeseñaClassic Spanish capes that have adorned the shoulders of some of 20th century’s best-known personalities, such as Picasso, Hemingway and Fellini.

Antigua Casa CrespoFounded in 1863, this wonderful little shop sells espadrilles (or alpargatas, as they’re known to the locals). Inside, find rows of wooden cubbies packed to the rafters with traditional rope-soled, canvas espadrilles in every conceivable color and silhouette.

Real FábricaA varied selection of traditional products from all over Spain.

CocolLocated in an old upholstery workshop, Cocol has a range of home goods rooted in traditional artisanal methods.

Casa DiegoCharming shop specializing in colorful handcrafted fans and other genteel accessories since 1858.



Where to Shop for Antiques

La Californie: Stylish home decor shop with a curated selection of 20th century furniture and antique pieces.

LA Studio: An important selection of iconic 20th century furniture, as well as contemporary pieces.

Slou: A curated selection of antique furniture and pieces from France, England, Sweden and Germany.

El RastroA lively area in La Latina neighborhood, famous for its antique and vintage shops. Madrid’s most iconic flea market is held here on Sundays.


Read the complete Cabana Guide to Madrid's Flea Markets



What to See & Do

Caixa Forum 

Palacio de Liria

Casa Museo Lope de Vega

Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza

Museo Sorolla

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