Gay Madrid Madrid City Guide

Curation by Yasmina Rodríguez, words by Laura Tucker

A cultural melting pot since the turn of the 17th Century, modern-day gay Madrid is a formidable, open minded European capital playing host to rich history, pioneering fashions and social progress. A confirmed foodie destination, Madrid expertly meshes hearty Spanish fare with upscale international dining concepts – its al fresco eateries filling up daily with ever-social Madrileños for late lingering lunches and unrushed suppers. As well as boasting Europe’s biggest Pride Parade, Madrid is a year-round LGBT+ paradise, presenting various annual ‘GayDays’ and film festivals, adding stars to the city’s already solid gay nightlife and gay community centred in Chueca. Discover the best of what to see in Madrid with Mr Hudson’s Madrid gay guide.

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The best hotels in Madrid

Let’s start this gay travel guide with a roundup of the best places to stay in gay Madrid. While staying in the capital of Spain, prepare yourself for royal treatment in kingly surroundings. Based close to the gay scene and built on the renovated heart of a 17th Century edifice, The Principal Madrid is one of the city’s many 5-star offerings, mixing classical design with a masterful measure of contemporary edge. Featured pleasures include the intimate dining atrium and the roof terrace where delectable cocktails can be enjoyed amid sundown views and live music.

Triangulated between the bourgeois district of Chamberí, the trendy Chueca area and the up-and-coming Tribunal area is the Urso Hotel & Spa, a former palace turned majestic hotel retreat within walking distance of many Madrid points of interest. The perfect embodiment of old meets new, Urso Hotel brings refined modern elegance to its spa, bar and dining areas, while also reminding guests of the building’s regal past with four-poster beds and bespoke touches. The sky-roofed attic conservatory is particularly impressive, featuring opulent Asian-inspired tapestries, vertical greenery and a golden-hued décor.

Gran Hotel Inglés

Gran Hotel Inglés

Most fitting a modern design-conscious man with a playful edge is the Only You Hotel & Lounge which combines clean design with a bevy of bold colour splashes, designed by acclaimed designer Lázaro rosa-Violán. Based in a historic 19th Century mansion in the hip Salesas neighbourhood not far from Plaza de Chueca, Only You Hotel grand and quirky in equal measure, complete with plush leather lounge, stone fireplace and eccentric, silver rhino-head décor. Hard to miss in gay Madrid’s literary district is CoolRooms Atocha, a glam boutique hotel inside a 19th Century townhouse with a bright scarlet façade. With staff clad in tailcoats and top hats, a grand staircase and a lounge lined with murals, CoolRooms is a little bit of edgy luxury in Madrid’s heart.

More literary vibes can be found at the Gran Hotel Inglés, hallowed in the bohemian, bookworm-favoured Barrio de las Letras since 1886, when Spain’s literary and artistic movers and shakers resided here. Arguably even better today, the hotel has been restored with Art Deco influences and tasty tapas offerings at on-site restaurant, Lobo 8. Just off of high-end Jorge Juan,  the effortlessly cool Tótem Madrid Hotel invites visitors to its restored 19th Century dwelling featuring elegant marble floors, a historic staircase centrepiece and a top-notch restaurant.

CoolRooms Atocha

CoolRooms Atocha

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