latest reviews

Great for business travellers and vacationers seeking sophistication and the city's best shopping.


Madrid, Spain

First Impressions

What is it? Medium-sized hotel

Will set you back: 330 – 1500 euros p/n

The neighbourhood of Salamanca in Madrid is the playground of the stylish. It’s where the designer stores and high-end boutiques are king, and it’s where you should stay if you value sophistication and elegance over the fun and festive that Spain does so well. Naturally, then, Salamanca is home to Hotel Villa Magna and boy, does this gem of a hotel fit in. Its exterior is unassuming, but enter its doors and emerge into the lobby with its spiral staircase and original 1970s stained-glass windows, and you’ll instantly feel at home in this classic-style hotel with a modern edge.

Design & Style

Hotel Villa Magna was completely refurbished in 2009 and it shows. One of the first things you notice about the place is how new and immaculate it feels. There’s nothing tired about the hotel, or anything that indicates that it has been around since the 70’s, which it has. In fact, the owner was so set on doing an overhaul of the original design that he completely closed the hotel for a full 13 months rather than doing the renovations in sections so that the reopening would be a ‘before and after’ dream. The design style is evidently classic – it has that old-fashioned charm accented by Bauhaus impressions, which makes the hotel an incredibly homely and cozy place, despite its generous size.


The communal areas as well as the rooms are absolutely grand and elegant, nodding to a bygone era, and this is what we love most about Hotel Villa Magna. Plush furniture, moody fabrics, a mix of modern and antique decorations including a surprisingly large amount of antiques sourced from Asia that add a personalised and slightly eclectic edge to the interior. Geometric prints flow through the hotel in the form of soft furnishings and the stained-glass windows in the luxurious spiral staircase. All of these design details add warmth and comfort, off-setting the cool and hard marble also used throughout the hotel.


We stayed in a Grand Deluxe Room and it was both beautiful and oversized to the point of being one of the most spacious rooms we have ever stayed in. There is ample room for luggage with a walk-through dressing room, a massive marble bathroom with a bathtub and rain shower, and even a small entrance to the room which ties in nicely with the old-fashioned grand, classic theme of the room. The room has all of the essential luxury amenities we have come to expect such as an espresso machine, luxury toiletries and a comfortable bed. And about that bed… just wow. The sheets were the softest and most luxurious we have ever slept in and the mattress was heavenly and (finally) was a proper King size that didn’t have the crease in the middle of the bed where two single beds have been pushed together. I wasn’t surprised, then, when we witnessed one of the hotel’s guests purchasing the hotel linen at reception. Needless to say, I think we will be doing the same!


The rainshower is incredibly luxurious being both very large and with the best showerhead we have used. One of the other (many) things we loved about this room was the natural light – this category of room overlooks the streets of the Salamanca area and you can also open the massive windows up for some fresh air, which is a rarity in hotels.


For a medium-sized hotel, Hotel Villa Magna has a decent amount of facilities for its guests. Need a haircut? A hairdresser can be booked through concierge and will arrive for the service in the specially-made petite hair salon on the hotel’s below-ground floor. There is of course a good-sized gym, ideal for business travellers, and my personal favourite, the spa, Club Wellness by Kiara Kare which includes treatment rooms and a steam room. I had the luxury of having a 60-minute massage here and it was just to die for. The massage therapist came across as extremely experienced and was incredibly sensitive to any injuries or sore spots – I highly recommend booking in for some R&R if you can while staying at Villa Magna.


The service at Hotel Villa Magna was excellent. The front of desk staff were particularly friendly and welcoming, the staff at Tse Yang were experienced and attentive, while the concierge – the biggest test in service at any hotel – was helpful in booking a great restaurant in the area for us at very short notice. I also got spoilt rotten during my stay here and the staff sent many a delicious edible and drinkable gift to our room, which was a lovely touch. The housekeeping staff were on the ball, and quick to deliver on any requests we had such as delivering different pillows courtesy of the pillow menu. The turn-down service is particularly good and aside from the usual slippers and mat by the bed, the hotel also provides a gorgeous pillow spray to lull you to sleep.


We had the pleasure of dining at the gorgeous Tse Yang restaurant while staying at Villa Magna and it was a welcome departure from Spanish food while in the country’s capital. The Cantonese restaurant is beautifully designed with an authentically Asian, ambient interior complete with wooden screens and wall art and it has one of the most extensive wine lists we’ve seen in a while. The food is delicious, although not the best Cantonese we’ve had. However, I have to give Tse Yang the benefit of the doubt coming from Australia where the Asian restaurant market is highly competitive and the Asian food is some of the best in the world. We loved the attentive service here and how the staff serve you from a little trolley at your table, and the atmosphere was incredibly cozy and romantic. It’s a fantastic little addition to the hotel, and works beautifully sitting next to the hotel’s Magnum Bar and outdoor courtyard.


Hotel Villa Magna also has a gorgeous and classic-designed restaurant, Restaurante Villa Magna where breakfast alone is served in the low season, and dinner is also served throughout the rest of the year. I loved this space and especially loved the outdoor courtyard adjoining the restaurant, which was a divine little spot to have a lazy breakfast, surrounded by trees and local birds. The breakfast spread consists of a small buffet area of cold meats, fruit, cheese and pastries, while the a-la-carte menu itself has full hot meals. The lounge, just next to the lobby is oversized and again, beautifully designed. Here they serve an all-day menu of sandwiches, salads, casual food and drinks. Each of the dining areas at Villa Magna have an accompanying outdoor terrace which is hard to come by in city hotels and in our opinion, a strong selling point for the hotel.

In The Neighbourhood

Hotel Villa Magna is nestled in between the coveted shopping strip of Calle Serrano on one side and the commercial and business district on the other side, making it the ideal temporary home for leisure-seekers and business travellers alike. The immaculate streets of this upmarket area are lined with manicured trees, befitting only the most high-end and designer stores. Better yet, there is direct access from the hotel straight into the famous Spanish department store, El Corte Ingles. To book your stay at Hotel Villa Magna click here.

the devil is in the detail:

  • The beautiful interior design
  • The location
  • The spa services
  • The spacious rooms

they could up the ante by:

  • Having a pool - that's about it!

go here if you are after a:

hotel with beautiful, old-fashioned charm and modern amenities

this is in the same realm as: The Upper House, Hong Kong