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Intur Palacio San Martin 3.5

Sol, Madrid, Community of Madrid

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Review Summary

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  • Central location between Puerta del Sol and the Royal Palace
  • Housed in a grand historic palace packed with Old World charm
  • Rooms with flat-screen TVs and minibars; some have balconies
  • Restaurant serving good Spanish cuisine; outdoor seating available
  • Excellent breakfast with hot and cold items (not included in all rates)
  • Charming, cozy lobby bar with comfy couches and a huge skylight
  • Large, top-floor conference hall with panoramic city views
  • Tiny fitness center with four machines
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout the property


  • Economy Rooms are dark and some lack windows
  • Room decor is old-fashioned rather than classic

Bottom Line

The 94-room, upper-middle-range Intur Palacio San Martin is a charming historic hotel with a wonderful location within easy walking distance of most major attractions. Decor in the common spaces is classic and elegant, and the many gorgeous architectural details of the original 19th-century building lend the property an upscale feel. However, the rooms look old-fashioned rather than charmingly traditional, especially the red carpets and the heavy wooden furniture. In-room amenities, however, are modern, and include free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and minibars. The restaurant serves an excellent breakfast and a tasty Spanish menu for lunch and dinner, and the lobby lounge is a favorite among guests for a quiet afternoon or a nightcap. There is also a tiny fitness center, but it only has a handful of basic machines. Guests looking for something more contemporary may want to compare rates at Catalonia Plaza Mayor.

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Historic hotel with cozy interiors and gorgeous original architectural features

Intur Palacio San Martin is housed in a beautiful 19th-century building that was once the first U.S. Embassy in Madrid. Its lovely brick-and-stone facade and cute shaded terrace have a strong local character, but what really wows at first sight is what is behind the main door. The wide entrance with ornate wall and ceiling moldings, marble finishes, and tall wooden doors has been beautifully restored, and a heavy wooden table where the doorman once greeted diplomats is now the front desk. The building was declared a National Heritage Site in the early 2000s for its historical significance and refined architectural style, and therefore most of its original features remain, including handsome wooden staircases with wrought-iron railings, lovely wall moldings, and a beautiful ancient elevator.

The main lobby area is located in what was once the building’s courtyard, which is now covered by a large glass roof and decorated in a homey yet elegant style, with cozy couches and armchairs around heavy wooden coffee tables, lots of plants, and warm lights. Other areas, such as the restaurant, have a slightly more contemporary style, with a mix of elegant wood paneling, stylish gray and white wallpaper, and a dark palette with silver accents. 


Central location on a quiet square blocks from the Royal Palace and Plaza Mayor

The hotel is located on a charming little square home to a gorgeous 16th-century royal monastery, a bookstore, and an early 18th-century palace. Although right in the heart of the historic center, the square is mostly quiet, with little foot and vehicle traffic throughout the day and night. There are dozens of restaurants, cafes and shops around the property, and one of Spain’s most famous department stores, El Corte Ingles, can be found a block away. This location is particularly convenient for those looking to explore the city on foot, as the hotel is within blocks of most major attractions, including Puerta del Sol, the Royal Palace, and Plaza Mayor, all about a five-minute walk away. Popular Sunday flea market El Rastro can be reached on foot in about 10 minutes, and some of Madrid’s most famous museums, including the Prado and the Thyssen Bornemisza, are just a 15-minute walk from the hotel. It is a 20-minute walk or 20-minute metro ride to Puerta de Alcala, Retiro Park and high-end shopping along Serrano Street. The airport is a half-hour drive away. 


Classic rooms with flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi and minibars

The hotel has 94 rooms, all decorated in a classic style with red carpets and heavy wooden furniture. Golden embroidered chairs with matching heavy curtains and comforters lend rooms an elegant Old World feel, but some may find the style a little too old-fashioned. Most rooms have street views, but the cheapest units overlook the lobby and get little fresh air and natural light; a couple of these rooms lack windows altogether. In-room amenities are on par with similarly priced hotels in the area, and include free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, air-conditioning, safes, and minibars stocked with water, sodas, beer, and a couple of snacks. Only a few rooms have electric kettles, and Junior Suites are equipped with Nespresso machines. Bathrooms have been partially renovated and feature big beige tiles, older black granite counters, shower/tub combos with glass screens, and hotel-brand toiletries. Hairdryers have been upgraded to professional-quality ones.


Spanish restaurant, lobby lounge, meeting space, fitness center, and free Wi-Fi

The restaurant is located in a somewhat dark space off the lobby with a mix of generic contemporary decor and historic features such as a fireplace and wooden display cabinets with bookshelves. It serves an excellent breakfast buffet with quality hot and cold items, as well as a traditional Spanish menu for lunch and dinner. The restaurant also features a few tables in a shaded area on the square. The cozy lobby lounge, with comfy couches, a huge skylight, and warm lights at night, is a favorite among guests for planning the day, holding casual meetings, and having a quiet drink in the evening. The hotel also features a large conference room with panoramic views on the top floor, and a tiny fitness center with a handful of machines. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel. 

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Plaza San Martin 5, Madrid, Community of Madrid 28013, Spain