Travel: Hotel Spy

Aloft Madrid

Gran Via abode with 360 rooftop views


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So, at UJ, we often find ourselves splurging when it comes to hotels – we’ve definitely never claimed to be a cheap date. But you can’t always break the bank… and sometimes, it’s nice to know you have a reasonable stay that means you can spend your time and money elsewhere. The Aloft Madrid Gran Via is Aloft’s first Spanish property, and with rates starting at £130, for a central abode, it’s certainly a nice price point change.


So, Madrid always feels very ‘doable’ in size. Anywhere you stay really feels manageable, but this is about as central as it gets. Close to Plaza de España, it’s a less-than-10-minute walk to the bustling areas of Malasaña and Chueca.


Here, it’s all about the roof. With a bar, small pool and 360 views, this is where you come for sunset – but you could definitely start your day here too. They also have a gym, and we liked that the mini bar had very few things in it: we really don’t need to eat another can of Pringles.  Rooms have basic coffee and tea facilities, so if you miss breakfast, this will at least tide you over until you hit the street.

For a drink

A short walk away, in Plaza de Santa Ana, is the bar, Salmon Guru. Rated one of the top 50 bars in the world, the cocktails here are truly standout, and the vibe is also great: low lights, great tunes, and a packed front bar, where you can watch the bartenders do their thing. Get there early or be prepared to queue.

To workout

To preface this, we did not make it here (intentions, intentions). But Tracy Anderson (you know, the trainer Gwynnie made famous) has opened a studio here. It’s not cheap – €40 for a drop-in class – but we hear it’s a great workout. One hour here means more time for guilt-free queso sampling later.

The soundtrack

As party of their Homecoming Tour, we heard Mala Rodríguez perform. If you don’t know her, her tracks make the perfect pre-travelling to Spain soundtrack. We had Rosalía on repeat too.

Anything else?

Aloft is all about tech and music. When we were there, they had 8D headphones (yes, 8D, truly surround sound), to watch the sunset with a soundtrack (silent disco, innit), so keep your eyes open for innovative touches.

Originally published on
11th November 2019


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