Tótem Hotel

If interiors are your bag, be set to swoon over Madrid’s latest boutique hotel. Set in Salamanca, the city’s smartest neighbourhood, it occupies a discreet corner building with 64 rooms and suites set over five floors a few minutes’ walk from quality shops and restaurants. The colour palette is teal, dusky pink and soft yellow, extending into rooms that are flooded with natural light through huge east-facing windows. We’re not ones to bang on about stairwells, but the one here is something special. Anyone familiar with Penrose’s Impossible Staircase will struggle not to take up position in the corner with their camera and attempt to recreate the infinite image.

If you’re like us, the first thing to do on entering a hotel (after examining the linen, robes, slippers and toiletries, of course) is to take a seat at the bar. Crushed pink velvet armchairs line the space, complemented by potted palms that frame the bar and droop lackadaisically, adding to the chilled vibe. Well-made negronis take the edge off any journey, while excellent local wine comes chilled for around £3 a glass.

The hotel restaurant Hermosos y Malditos (the Spanish translation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel The Beautiful and Damned) will soon become one of the best in the city. While fine jamón Ibérico and manchego come as standard in this part of town, dishes here move things up a gear. Steak tartare with avocado and bone marrow is a delicious take on the classic and sea bass is paired with red cabbage for an interesting match. If you’re planning a city break to the Spanish capital, you’ve just found your base. Doubles from £138. 

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