People row on water at Estanque Grande del Retiro
Madrid

One city, five ways: Madrid

Along with the buzz of its terraces and nightlife, Madrid has a rich cultural offering and more than 33 million square metres of parkland. No matter what kind of traveller you are, Spain’s capital has something for you

Dining room or Deessa

The gourmand

With one of Europe’s most vibrant culinary scenes, Madrid is experiencing a real revolution in fine dining: 22 of its restaurants hold a total of 29 Michelin stars. The city has just welcomed chef Quique Dacosta (who has three stars at his namesake eatery in Denia, Alicante, and two at El Poblet, Valencia), who has joined Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid to launch its signature restaurant, Deessa (pictured above) and oversee the iconic Palm Court. Next door, between the Library Quarter and La Latina, you can embark on an exquisite tapas trawl, trying delicacies such as the fried artichokes with Kalamata olive emulsion and roasted pine nuts from Viva Madrid, and Russian salad with white prawns at Jauja Café. If you're looking for Michelin stars, try Dabiz Muñoz’s eccentric DiverXO along with other big names such as La Tasquería, which serves a fine variety of meat.

Long gallery at Thyssen Museum

The art connoisseur

Three large museums face Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid – the so-called ‘Art Triangle’ or ‘Golden Triangle’: the Prado, the Thyssen and the Reina Sofía. The Prado Museum, Spain’s largest art gallery, houses a vast collection of Spanish Baroque by artists such as Velázquez and Goya. The Reina Sofía Museum is home to Guernica, the masterpiece by Pablo Picasso. Minutes away, you’ll find the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum (pictured above), which covers the Gothic to the avant-garde. Located in the opulent mansion that once served as workshop and home for the painter and his family, the Sorolla Museum is another must visit. Book online beforehand, and don’t forget that this year ARCOmadrid – Spain’s largest contemporary art fair – is being held from 7-10 July at IFEMA (just 30 minutes from the city centre), instead of its usual dates in February.

Interior of Andres Gallardo's shop

The luxe lover

While the big luxury brands – including Madrid’s very own Loewe – are located near Serrano Street on the capital’s golden mile, other neighbourhoods such as Cortes are the perfect destination for seeking out indie designers. Here, you’ll find Fernando García’s denim tailor shop The Concrete Company Madrid and Andrés Gallardo’s flagship (pictured above) selling handcrafted jewellery, handbags and other objets d’art. His porcelain jewellery has received awards from the Madrid Institute of Design. Close by in the Las Salesas neighbourhood, Oteyza (2018 National Fashion Award winner) produces spectacular Spanish capes and hats. Bed down for the night in the Royal Suite in one of the Mandarin Oriental’s turrets – the original location devised by César Ritz. It comes with two private entrances, a spacious dining and living room, pantry and master bedroom with walk-in wardrobe and luxurious bathrooms.

Palacio de Cristal at Parque Retiro

The weekender

If you want to supercharge the start of your day, Retiro Park (pictured above) welcomes runners from 6am. This ‘green lung’ – Spain’s candidate for inclusion on Unesco’s World Heritage List as a Cultural Landscape – covers 118 hectares and is home to more than 15,000 trees. Whether you spend the day sightseeing or shopping, make time for a few hours relaxation at the new inner-city sanctuary of the spa at Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid. When dinner calls, visit the Sala de Despiece in Chamberí and ask to sit at the bar, where many of the dishes are finished before serving – it’s quite a show. Before retiring for the evening, be sure to stop in at Salmón Gurú, which is ranked 22 by The World’s Best Bars. Its new menu – which includes augmented reality – is inspired by mythology. Nightcaps are best taken at Pictura with its Golden Triangle-inspired décor.

Matadero Madrid

The family traveller

Since it opened in 2011, Madrid Río has become a family recreation favourite. The park, which runs parallel to the River Manzanares, has 17 children’s play areas with equipment made from sustainable materials. The northern end is connected to the Casa de Campo, where visitors can hire pleasure boats, and its southern end borders Matadero Madrid (pictured above). This neo-Mudéjar cultural centre offers bike rental, organises workshops for children and screens kids’ classics, with live music and animated films on Sundays at midday.

Mandarin Oriental Madrid
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Mandarin Oriental Madrid

Plaza de la Lealtad 5 , Madrid 28014, Spain

+34 91 701 67 67

Palacio-de-Cibeles

Through the lens: Madrid

Discover the essence of Madrid – from art to architecture – with our photo gallery capturing the Spanish capital’s cultural vibe