Although it is unfortunate that the Spanish economy has been slammed hard by the global recession, the country’s beautiful capital city of Madrid is now an even more affordable winter destination than ever before. It’s a country bathed in perpetual sun, surf and beauty, with friendly locals and great attractions that are easy on the wallet, so it won’t take you too long to fall in love with one of the most stunning countries on earth. Herein, we take a closer look at what to do after you’ve touched down at Madrid-Bajaras Airport.
ABOUT: Madrid is the capital of Spain, and home to its parliament and royal family. A stunning city of over three million residents, Madrid sits in the dead centre of Spain, situated on the banks of the Manzanares river. Madrid is also locked in a perpetual death-duel with Barcelona, its sometimes cousin, always rival. The rivalry permeates everything from politics and culture, to language, architecture, and every single sport the two compete in, especially football, or soccer to us Yanks.
STAY: Hotel Unico Madrid. If you’ve noticed, we love to stay in boutique hotels. We like the intimacy, we like the luxury, we like the small elements that all the staff have been trained to pay attention to. Hotel Unico definitely fits the bill with a stunning garden, beautiful views of the city in a central location, and modern rooms that give any others in Europe a run for their money. This is the only way to stay in Madrid.
HEAR: Teatro Joy Eslava. Madrid may not have the lure of Ibiza, but it is in every way just as brilliant. Take Teatro Joy Eslava for instance. It’s hosted in a 19th century theatre, and it is open every single night. In fact, they claim that they’ve been open every single night for the last 29 years. If it weren’t for the health inspectors, we’re not sure they’d ever close. Dress to impress.
EAT: Biblioteca at the AC Santo Mauro Hotel. Most hotel restaurants are pretty garish, and you’d have to go out of your way to find something nice. Well, this is out of our way, and this is nice. Biblioteca is the former library of the Duke of Santo Mauro, and this exclusive restaurant seats just 30 guests. Chef Carlos Posadas takes local ingredients, from which he cooks modern Spanish dishes. Taste steak from Cadiz, shrimp from Palamos and greens from Tudela. High rollers can book out a private dining room for up to 10 friends.
SEE: Real Madrid. We could go on about the dozens of museums, art galleries and cultural institutions in Madrid, but they would all pale in comparison to Real Madrid. They are the L.A. Lakers, the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys all rolled together with a pinch of Ronaldo. See them play at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu is something that one should never pass up. Even their bench players could stroll their way into any other team’s locker room and immediately get a starting spot. Not to be missed.