Posts Tagged ‘spain’
Wow Factor: Antique Meets Modern Chic
This hotel is simply beautiful. Small artisan details abound at each turn, such as wood carvings, paneled ceilings, alcoves containing Roman busts, and stained glass doors. The interior design fuses traditional and contemporary design elements perfectly, creating a stylish interior space inside a former 18th century church vestry. The fashionable interiors combine the best of classic Andalusian design, including decorative painted tilework and rooms surrounding a multi-story courtyard accented by a Moorish fountain. One of a kind antique furniture, restored with modern fabrics and bold accents, can be found throughout. The staff is friendly and helpful, and with only 25 rooms, the hotel has a cozy, boutique feel.
It seems everywhere you go in Spain, you’re chasing Ernest Hemingway’s shadow. Plenty of restaurants and bars, in Madrid especially, lay claim to the fact that the ever-traveling writer once ate or drank there. But Botín has written proof to back up their claims: in the last scene of Hemingway’s famous novel “The Sun Also Rises,” the main character, Jake, dines at none other than Botín:
We lunched upstairs at Botin’s. It is one of the best restaurants in the world. We had roast young suckling pig and drank rioja alta. Brett did not eat much. She never ate much. I ate a very big meal and drank three bottles of rioja alta. —Ernest Hemingway
Botín claims to be the world’s oldest restaurant. It’s also where Ernest Hemingway set the last scene of his novel “The Sun Also Rises”. Image by Gayle Wheatley.
For those seeking a unique place to sleep in Spain’s capital, look no further than Casa de Madrid. This boutique retreat in an upscale 18th century building is located in the heart of the city, just steps from both Madrid’s iconic Puerta del Sol square and the Royal Palace, as well as a metro stop and some of the city’s top dining spots. Facing the Royal Opera House and situated in what is arguably Madrid’s best neighborhood, Casa de Madrid is surrounded by countless architectural gems.
Staying here is like rooming at a friend’s house, that is a friend with impeccable design taste. You’ll have plenty of privacy, as there are only 7 rooms, each individually decorated down to the smallest detail. With stylish touches like painted wall murals and custom furniture, most of the rooms are travel-themed. There’s an “Indian room” and “Spanish room”, as well as the standout “Greek room”, with its painted murals showcasing panoramic ocean vistas, adorned with Greek columns below a bright blue ceiling painted with gold suns.
Fairytale view of Madrid, image by Gayle Wheatley.
How Spaniards love their ham! Everywhere you go in Spain you’ll encounter windows and ceilings filled with ham hocks and restaurants showcasing full pig legs on a chopping block.
Bocadillos, sandwiches without condiments on a baguette filled with cured meat, cheese, and sometimes seafood (my perfect idea of a sandwich!), are a national snack and they are delicious! In Madrid the Museo del Jamon (Museum of Ham) food chain is the quick and easy place to go for breakfast, bocadillos, cervezas (beers), or a much needed snack after a long day of walking.
Each day the crowds have been growing bigger and louder in Madrid’s famous Puerta del Sol square. Streets are closed off surrounding Sol, and there are police everywhere. Today it was amazing just to witness the sheer excitement and number of people flooding into Madrid, all peacefully making their voices heard as they protest against the government. Learn more here.
We are SUPER excited to share our latest adventures with you!! Our first stop? Madrid!
On our must see list: triple museum goodness, that is: the Prado, the Reina Sofia, and the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. Of course there will also be tapas, sangria, and more tapas, along with live flamenco & Spanish guitar, a jaunt to the royal palace, and a side trip to Toledo, among much more!
By a stroke of luck, we’ll also be in Madrid during the festival of San Isidro, the patron saint of Madrid. What does that mean? Corridas! (daily bullfights) and fiestas galore! Stay tuned.
The interior of “Why Not?” bar.
Images by Marcus Obal (center) and Krzysztof Dydynski.