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Hotel Urban, Madrid 

Carrera de San Jerónimo, 34
Tel: 91 787 7770
Fax: 91 787 7799
view web site ›'s insider take:

Aptly named, this 21st-century crystal palace is all iron pillars, wall upon wall of glass, and remarkable art on loan from the Clos Archaeological Foundation. The art includes ancient Egyptian and Hindu pieces, 19th-century totems from Papua New Guinea, and 18th- and 19th-century Chinese portraits. Strangely, it all blends with the black-leather-and-steel-mesh furniture, transparent Philippe Starck Louis chairs, wood-paneled walls, and bathrooms of Macael marble and chrome (though it may be disconcerting to wake up face-to-face with a life-size bedside Qing Dynasty figure). There's a cool pool on the roof deck, along with La Terraza del Urban bar; other drinking and dining options are the first-floor Glass Bar and Restaurant Europa Decó on the ground floor—all happening options for a night out in the city center on the Paseo del Arte. Fans of Barcelona's Claris may recognize the style; this property is in the same group.

From the readers of Condé Nast Traveler:
Near the museum triangle, this former bank has a contemporary glass and steel design that creates a "spacious, modern, and serene environment." Chic rooms in brown and black get visual interest from artwork and "crazy bathroom fixtures." The "outstanding rooftop bar" decants "great wine selections" until 4 A.M.; Europa Decó serves "fabulous Mediterranean." Service is "good but not like at other high-end hotels."

(102 rooms)
—2011 Gold List
Overall Score: 89.0
  • Design: 93.1
  • Food: 86.2
  • Location: 86.2
  • Rooms: 93.1
  • Service: 86.2

Also appeared in the Gold List in 2010, 2009, 2008

Amenities: Pool

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From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
From the glowing white-granite reception desk to the stairwells mosaicked in 24-karat gold-foil tiles, God is in the details at the Urban. Owner Jordi Clos, a renowned art collector, has sprinkled the hotel with works from his extensive private collection. In contrast to the classic busts and sculptures, the 96 rooms are sleekly outfitted with leather headboards, dark-wood floors, flat-screen TVs, and gallery-quality lighting. The restaurant and bar, overseen by chef Joaquin de Felipe, formerly of the city's much loved Chaflan, may be happening, but the tables on the rooftop terrace, overlooking the Paseo de Prado and the Puerta del Sol, are the ones to get.—2005 Hot List

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