With an eclectic New York, industrial loft aesthetic, the Only You Atocha hotel brings metropolis urban cool to central Madrid.
I must admit that I didn’t know what to expect from the new Only You hotel at Atocha. It’s a big city property with over 200 guest rooms and it’s located in a busy part of the Spanish capital. Yet as soon as I walked into the lobby I was embraced by the hotel’s feel-good energy; writes Andrew Forbes.
Much of the ground floor of the hotel is one large, open plan space. It is a seriously on-trend lobby and restaurant area created by acclaimed Barcelona-based interior designer Lázaro Rosa Violán.
a seriously on-trend lobby and restaurant…
If you want a dynamic urban experience, then I think you’ll love this hotel too. Building on the international trend for making hotels a destination for both locals as well as visitors, the Only You Atocha has a lively, welcoming ambiance that makes its bars, restaurants and other public spaces attractive to Madrileños as well as city-break tourists.
Located opposite the Spanish capital’s main train station of the same name, Only You Atocha is at the beginning of the Paseo de Prado, the heart of the city’s art galleries and institutes. In Spanish, they call this the ‘paseo de arte’ or alternatively the Golden Triangle of Art, which encompasses the world-class galleries of El Prado, the Reina Sofia Museum and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. Spain’s capital has always been one of the country’s main hubs for the arts and heritage but now the capital is showing a renewed creativity, edge and urban style – and Only You Atocha is very much part of this.
Within a few minutes’ walk of Only You Atocha is one of Madrid’s most recognised parks, the ‘Retiro’ park, where you can enjoy jogging routes, accompanied if you wish by the hotel gym’s personal trainer, and fellow guests.
What’s more, with the station opposite, you can leave the hotel and be on a super-fast AVE train in moments, being whisked to Malaga, Barcelona, Valencia or Seville at over 300kph, so it’s a great location too for those planning to explore more of Spain.
The energy of New York City
Until March 31st, 2017 Only You Atocha has partnered with Seagram’s Gin of the US, offering New York pop-ups .
exciting New York pop-ups…
These include Brooklyn’s award-winning cocktail bar, the ‘Clover Club’; a cool retro-style Brooklyn barbershop ‘Ludlow Blunt’ (said to have styled the locks of Lady Gaga as well as Tilda Swinton); and weekly jazz performances from US jazz label Blue Note.
Admittedly though, the Seagram’s temporary branding of logos and bottles within the hotel does distract a little from the stylish interiors of Lázaro Rosa Violán, which make the most of the industrial scale of the building, combining bold urban cues with warm, welcoming Mediterranean tones.
The lobby space offers an evolving atmosphere, depending upon the time of day.
Flooded with natural light, one can enjoy a morning coffee and sweet or savoury snack from ‘The Bakery’ by Mama Framboise; or a lunch in the buzzing ‘Trotamundos’ restaurant. As the sun sets and the lighting becomes mellow, it’s time for dinner or cocktails at the bar.
The week I visited I was privileged to meet Shannon Ponche, one of the talented mixologists from the Clover Club who had flown over from Brooklyn to Madrid to offer authentic New York cocktails in the Seagram’s gin sponsored pop-up.
This 19th century building was once a city apartment building, but it’s reimaging as a cool urban hotel has left little of the original. The industrial loft aesthetic means exposed brick and concrete, pipes and bold industrial stencilled numbers on each guest room floor.
If all this urban cool sounds overwhelming, well I discovered there were some calm corners where one can relax with a tea. The aptly named ‘Relaxarium’ is an internal courtyard, that although has a striking black and white zigzag floor design, is quite a tranquil environment during the day. During weekend evenings though, it transforms into a lively terrace overlooking the music stage below.
There is a small gym which changing rooms on the ground floor with the latest cardio equipment (bikes, treadmills, & cross-trainers) together with free weights, mats etc.
On the next floor one finds the beauty room offering spa treatments.
I had dinner at the ‘Trotamundos’ restaurant on the ground floor. The team was very friendly and natural, making for a relaxed and enjoyable evening. Ricardo, our waiter, helped us navigate the menu of international dishes (it globe-trots across the world, from Latin America to Iberia and on to Asian). Ricardo also shared a few local insights about Madrid with ideas of things to do in the neighbourhood including visiting some of the cool alternative art scene venues showcasing emerging Madrid and Spanish artists.
the menu ‘globetrots’ across the world, from Latin America, to Iberia and on to Asian…
I’m told the menu was developed by resident chef Javi Mora, in collaboration with Spoonik Club chefs Jon Giraldo and Jamie Lieberman of Barcelona. It’s hearty, informal fare ideal for a fun evening out. I chose to kick things off with the croquetas and the patatas bravas (fried potatoes with a spicy tomato sauce), as these really are classic Madrid dishes – and I wasn’t disappointed. A plate of ribs followed, and I felt obliged to check out one of the signature puddings too, so I was pleased I only had to take the lift to get back to my room afterwards!
Breakfast is served on the top floor in the ‘YOUniverse’ restaurant which has an outdoor terrace overlooking the city. The restaurant is open every day for breakfast and 5 nights a week for dinner.
The presentation and quality of the breakfast was excellent – one of the best I have enjoyed for a long time. Hot food is cooked to order, whilst the market style carts and food stations around the restaurant offer a good selection of cold cuts, cheeses, baked goods, and treats – there were freshly-made detox juices and for a supplement protein shakes.
With 205 guest rooms, the Only You Atocha Hotel understandably has a wide selection of rooms suited to different budgets. All rooms share the same loft design, with wooden floors, exposed brickwork, and bold details from tartan throws. Expect a smart dressing table area; twin or king size beds; impressively fast Wi-Fi, widescreen TV with media hub connection to Bluetooth, HDMI and USB; kettle with teas; and, classic, mid-century modern styled bathrooms with generous showers, organic amenities, hairdryer and fun bathrobes in white and zebra print. etc.
The most economical, are the 114 deluxe rooms with floor to ceiling windows over-looking the internal courtyard.
The 78 Premium rooms face outwards, overlooking the city, with Juliet-style window balconies from the original 19th century building.
for a treat, book room 713, the hotel’s only Terrace Suite…
I was fortunate to stay in one of the 12 Junior Suites, which are on the upper floors. Larger, at over 32 square metres, these rooms have a living area with large sofa, dressing area and super-king sized bed.
The suites have additional benefits such as a Nespresso machine, panoramic views, and in the bathroom, there are hair straighteners, and a full body dryer, which I’ve not seen in a hotel before – rather cool to be able to step out of the shower, and be massaged by warm air!
I thought that maybe the location by a busy transport hub might mean the rooms would be affected by noise, but that wasn’t the case. Sound-proofing was excellent and the blackout curtains really worked, so I slept well.
For a real treat, book room 713, the hotel’s only Terrace Suite, with separate living area and a smart private terrace.
At the time of writing, double deluxe rooms at Only YOU Hotel Atocha are priced from around €130 (about £111) including that amazing breakfast I loved so much.
Tel: +34 910 052 222.