I chose to stay at two hotels during my five night trip to Madrid.
Being the hotel enthusiast that I am, these were the two hotels I wanted to stay at in the city. Plus, my thinking behind two hotels was so I could walk around each and get a feel of the areas. Plus, there were different main attractions close by each one.
A good part about doing this is that if I decided I wanted to rest, I could just head back to the hotel for a bit, and walk right back out to the next attraction.
These were my highlights around Gran Melia Palacio de Los Duques. All were within walking distance to the hotel.
Just about a ten minute walk from the hotel was the iconic Plaza Mayor. I don’t think you can be a tourist in Madrid without visiting the square.
I know this is probably not the best place to have paella, but I did the tourist thing and sat at one of the overpriced restaurants to have the dish. I would recommend it if you like people watching.
About a 12 minute walk from Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques is Museo Cerralbo. I really enjoy visiting historic homes in its original splendor, so this was a favorite for me.
Admission fee is just three euros.
A 13 minute walk (and just around the corner from Museo Cerralbo) from Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques is El Aleph. It’s a tiny bookstore, but packed from floor to ceiling with books all in Spanish.
A fifteen minute walk from Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques is the Temple of Debod. You need to walk into a park, Rosaleda del Parque del Oeste to see this Egyptian temple.
People go for the sunset because apparently it looks amazing. If you stayed at Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques, you’d have easy access to catch the sunset.
When my mom asked the concierage at Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques for a cool place close by to have coffee, a basement cafe at a bags and accessories store called Salvador Bachiller was recommended. I don’t think I would’ve walked into that store if not for the recommendation.
The cafe, called Jardin Secreto (secret garden) Salvador Bachiller is on Gran Via, a major shopping road in Madrid. Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques is just a six minute walk from the cafe and not even a five minute walk to Gran Via.
RedLevel lounge is within Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques. If you book a room in the RedLevel, you get access to their lounge, which features a little patio area only for guests of RedLevel. I had breakfast there in a quieter environment that than booking a regular room. Which meant I could enjoy my churros and chocolate in peace.
The main reason I wanted to stay at Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques was its proximity to Palacio Royal, the Royal Palace of Madrid. It’s just down the road, about a four minute walk from the hotel.
Again, being a fan of historic homes, this was also a favorite attraction for me. The palace also sits right next to Jardines de Sabatini, a garden, so we were able to walk from the hotel in the evening for a walk.
I took a food tour, where the beginning meeting spot was at Plaza Mayor, which is only a ten minute walk from the hotel.
The tour led us to restaurants around Plaza Mayor, ending at a Spanish nougat shop called Torrons Vicens (which by the way, turon, or Spanish nougat, is really delicious and something you should try), and was only an eight minute walk back to Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques.
This is a view from the hotel’s rooftop pool during sunset. You could see the Royal Palace.
One of the most important aspects of a memorable hotel stay is the location. And I think Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques was a really good choice since I got to do everything I wanted to and they were all right at the doorstep of the hotel.