NH Collection Madrid Suecia
One of Madrid's classic hotels was remodelled to create the five-star NH Collection Madrid Suecia, which quietly exudes glamour from its handy-for-everything location. Elegant yet understated design, plus a cool café, a decadent cocktail bar and a buzzing roof terrace, combine to create a warm and relaxing atmosphere.
- Annie Bennett, Destination expert
The hotel is on a quiet side street right in the centre of Madrid, next to the Círculo de Bellas Artes cultural centre, where there is a café and roof terrace as well as exhibition spaces and a cinema. The Teatro de La Zarzuela, where the Madrid form of operetta is performed, is around the corner. The Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza and Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando museums are all within 10 minutes' walk, as are the shops around the Puerta del Sol, the Gran Vía and Fuencarral street.
You can also walk to the bars and restaurants in Chueca and the Barrio de Las Letras in five minutes. The Plaza de Cibeles, where the airport bus stops, is five minutes away and it is half a mile (800m) to the Retiro Park. Banco metro station is around the corner.
Style & character
The Suecia opened in the 1950s and for decades the hotel was a meeting place for Swedish residents in Madrid – 'Suecia' is Spanish for Sweden. It was a favourite haunt of Ernest Hemingway and Che Guevara stayed there too. Star designer Lázaro Rosa-Violán remodelled the ground and mezzanine floors, where Art Deco details mix smoothly with contemporary style in the stylish restaurant and café.
A somewhat secret white brick-tiled passage leads from the café to the dimly lit Hemingway bar, where scarlet velvet banquettes contrast with the leopard print carpet. It is very private and it would be almost an insult to the iconic writer's memory not to take advantage of the opportunity to indulge in a bit of decadent behaviour. Definitely a place to slither off a bar stool after one too many Daquiris.
Service & facilities
The multilingual team is very welcoming and always on hand to answer any questions. There is a friendly, unstuffy atmosphere here. The café and roof terrace bar are usually busy with non-guests, which make the hotel an entertaining place to hang out in.
The small, basement gym with Technogym machines is open 24 hours a day. Treatments are available in your room, including massages (from €100/£90) and facials (from €75/£67). Hair and make-up services can also be arranged on request.
On Sundays, check out is often available on request until 3pm, with no extra charge.
- Fitness centre
- Room service
There are 123 rooms and suites on 10 floors. Some on the upper floors have large terraces. There are sumptuous beds with striking black-and-white photographs on the back wall, pale wooden floors and olive green and raspberry rugs. If you need to do some work, desks have a socket panel, comfortable chairs and good lamps. All rooms have a Nespresso machine, a kettle and a well-stocked minibar. Spacious bathrooms have grey slate-effect tiles, bathtubs and overhead and handheld showers, NH own-brand toiletries and a superb Black Mambo hairdryer.
Food & drink
The Casa Suecia restaurant and café are run by Lluis Canadell of the renowned Boca Grande in Barcelona The restaurant menu includes Mediterranean and international dishes, such as Galician octopus with purple potato purée (€20/£18) and steaks cooked on the Josper grill (from €20/£18), as well as pasta and salads.
The café has an appetising menu, including ibérico ham (from €15/£13), salads (from €8/£7) and little dishes of sizzling shellfish (€12/£10).
For cocktails and enormous gin and tonics, choose between the Hemingway bar and the Ático Casa Suecia roof terrace, depending on the time of year.
Breakfast is served in the restaurant until 10.30 am on weekdays and noon at weekends. If you have an early start, basic items are on offer from 5am. Juices, coffee and tea are all of a high standard, as is everything on the buffet, which includes pancakes, pastries, charcuterie, cheese, yogurts, cereal, a selection of milks and fresh fruit. There is an à la carte menu for hot food and gluten-free options are available.
The room service menu includes burgers (from €20/£18) and salads (from €14 (£12).
Value for money
Double rooms from €165 (£148) in low season; and from €235 (£211) in high. Breakfast €21 (£19). Free Wi-Fi.
Access for guests with disabilities?
The property is accessible; there are adapted rooms and a platform lift links the entrance and the Casa Suecia café with the reception area and restaurant.
Complimentary cots are available on request and the hotel has connecting rooms. Children up to the age of 11 stay free of charge in an existing bed.