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Hotel De Las Letras Hotel 4 star
Easyexperts
Gran Via 11 Madrid, Spain -
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Amy Adejokun Section editor

The Hotel De las Letras stands at the heart of the famous Gran Vía and is a modern establishment with a Bohemian ambience. Having opened in 2005, it offers functional yet welcoming guest rooms, each with its own particular charm as dictated by the literary quotation found on the headboard. The hotel hosts a large number of cultural events and hardly a day goes by when you won't come across some famous actor or writer about the place. The cuisine here is modern and varied, but one of the defining features of the hotel is its rooftop, which becomes a delightful mirador overlooking the city during the spring and summer months - perfect for relaxing with an aperitif in very smart surroundings.

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    • Hotel De Las Letras

      De Las Letras   -   © S. Almudena / EASYVOYAGE

    • Hotel De Las Letras

      De Las Letras   -   © S. Almudena / EASYVOYAGE

       
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    Location 8.82 /10

    The Hotel De las Letras stands on Madrid's symbolic and ancient avenue, the Gran Vía. This is also the hub of the city's cultural life, with various cinemas and theatres, not to mention a shopper's paradise, home to all kinds of shops and particularly fashion boutiques. The city's main attractions, such as the Puerta del Sol, the Plaza de Cibeles, and even what they call the 'Triangle of Art', which incorporates the Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza, and Reina Sofía Museums, are all within walking distance of the hotel. It is also very conveniently located for public transport links, with a bus-stop just by the entrance where you can catch a bus to just about anywhere in central Madrid. The closest metro stations, Gran Vía (lines 1 and 5) and Sevilla (line 2) are barely 200m from the hotel whilst Barajas airport is only around 10 mi away.

    Accommodation 8.20 /10

    The quotations from global literary figures (a different one printed above every headboard) bring a very original touch to the hotel's functional yet welcoming guest rooms. They all enjoy indirect natural lighting, giving them both a dark and warm feel when the curtains are closed. You can choose between rooms that overlook either the Gran Vía, Calle Clavel, or the rather large inner courtyard (although only 6 of the 108 offer this choice). Apart from the literary quotation, the rooms are also noteworthy for the colours of their walls, be they blue, orange, yellow, chocolate brown, or red. Functional, spacious, and welcoming, they are all furnished with a comfortable bed, a minibar, a safe, two telephones, an LCD television, and a sofa. Welcoming and practical as well, the bathrooms are equipped with a telephone-type hair-dryer, a make-up mirror, a selection of hospitality products, a bathtub, and a double wash basin, all set in white azulejos (earthenware tiles). The wardrobes in the bedrooms are concealed behind an opaque glass door and bathrobes are also provided in the superior rooms. Those on the upper floors, meanwhile, boast one added extra, and what an extra it is! If you're lucky enough to get one of these rooms you'll have a jacuzzi and a terrace overlooking the heart of Madrid, or at least the city's rooftops, which, as you'll see, is nothing to be sniffed at! There is even a split-level duplex room tucked away in the tower of the building, which also boasts a lounge area with two terraces, complete with jacuzzi and small solarium area. The hotel's guest rooms are divided into 74 standard rooms, 15 superior rooms (7 with a terrace, 6 with a terrace and a jacuzzi), and finally the split-level duplex room.

    Overview 8.20 /10

    The Hotel De Las Letras opened its doors in 2005 though the original building was actually built in 1917 by architect Cesáreo Iradier. Its elegant façade incorporates various balconies and coloured lintels whilst the neo-Classical building itself is in fact a historic building that was entirely renovated to transform it into a hotel. It initially housed a hotel on the first two floors and all sorts of shops and units throughout the rest of the building, including a tobacconist shop, a stationer's, apartments, and offices. The U-shaped basement of the building, meanwhile, houses a very welcoming library, with wooden floors and walls, comfortable white sofas, and a bookcase providing a very warm ambience. This is also where you'll find the hotel's business centre, complete with a table and two computers offering Internet access. Up on the top floor, meanwhile, you'll find a lovely terrace area which is only open from May to October, and there's no point making a reservation as it's all about the tapas (sushi with patatas bravas, various salads, etc.) and the cocktails here. The setting is decorated with herbs such as rosemary, lavender, and thyme, and when it gets too hot sprinklers are turned on to cool you off. With a floor area of around 300m², the hotel also boasts two conference rooms made up of panels, making it ideal for organising meetings and events.

    Food and drink 8.45 /10

    Another of the hotel's major assets is its cuisine, which is both high quality and varied. DL's Restaurante and Mini DL's lounge bar on the ground floor can be accessed indirectly via reception or directly from the Calle Clavel. Breakfast is served as a buffet though a menu is also available. Although the latter is quite varied, you'll notice that the prices are rather high, averaging at around £18, contrary to the other meals of the day served here that offer better value for money. The 'mini tapas' menu is simply mouthwatering, as are the snack and cocktail menus. The restaurant also offers two different types of set menu every day, one consisting of international cuisine, the other Japanese, for around £16 and £18 respectively. The former consists of a choice of two starters, a main course, and two desserts, and includes a drink. With the Japanese option, meanwhile, you can choose between four set menus, each as copious as the last. Both of these set menu options are available every day (including weekends) for lunch and dinner.

    To know

    This is one of the most modern establishments on the Gran Vía, where a large number of the capital's hotels are concentrated. It is also one of the few hotels to have its own restaurant. The hotel is actually part of the Anima Hotels group, which decided, among others things, to incorporate a restaurant into the hotel. Another of the defining features of this Catalan hotel group is its environmentally-friendly approach. Guests at the Hotel De las Letras, for example, have the option of donating ?1 to the WWF organisation upon check-out as part of the 'Checkout for Nature' initiative they have set up. This establishment is a real literary tribute, as you're sure to notice on arrival at the hotel with the first quotation displayed on the rug in the lobby: "El alfabeto es un nido de pájaros del que proceden bandadas y bandadas de palabras" (which translates as 'the alphabet is a birds' nest spilling over with flocks and flocks'), an extract from writer Ramón Gómez de la Serna's Greguerías. A little further along, next to the lifts, you'll notice another quotation taken from 'Historias y Cronopios y de Famas', by Argentinian writer Julio Cortázar, which reads 'Instrucciones para subir una escalera' ('Instructions for climbing the stairs'). Such quotations are also found on the landings and in each guest room, printed onto the wall in various colours. The literature that decorates the walls here is frequently complemented by different artistic events, the result of various agreements the hotel has with film producers and publishers, so the place is often bustling with writers, film directors, actors, etc. Every guest receives a welcome gift of a CD-book full of poems and music. Room service is available until midnight. When we visited in 2011 the hotel was undergoing an extension of its facilities in order to incorporate new lounge areas.

    Equipment

    • Shuttle bus
    • Car park
    • Handicap access
    • Restaurant
    • Internet access
    • Air conditioning
    • Spa

      sauna, hammam, spa, massage, Turkish bath, beauty salon, keep fit

    • Swimming pool
    • Sports equipment

      fitness, gym, sports

    • Whirlpool bath
    • Safe
    • Non-smoking rooms
    • Solarium
    • Meeting room

    advantage

    • Warm, bohemian ambience
    • Some of the rooms open on to a large terrace with a jacuzzi (a true luxury at the heart of the Gran Vía!)
    • Friendly staff

    disadvantages

    • The modest size of the reception area, where there aren't even enough sofas to relax on
    • The price of some of the food and drinks, such as the £18 breakfast
    • No car park

    Traveller Reviews

    -
    • Overall Score 7.96/10
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