Recommend March 2018 - 28

Iberostar: Madrid & Lisbon
Globetrotting

Michelle MArie AreAn

onsitereview

Two cities captured our hearts: One was vibrant and lively, the other charming and picturesque.
Michelle Marie Arean

Madrid
STAY
Iberostar Las Letras Gran Via is centrally
located at the gateway to the Las Letras
neighborhood, which gets its name (it loosely
translates to "The Letters") because of the
area's propensity for attracting writers during
the Golden Age of Spanish theater and
literature. To this day, the property in this
literary neighborhood continues to attract
writers and book lovers. The historical
building, dating to 1915, was originally the
home of an architect and transformed into
a hotel in the 1980s, and today it honors its
neighborhood's name by featuring various
poems throughout the property that are
hand-painted on the walls-there are 121
poems in total. This 109-room hotel features
uniquely designed accommodations, and if we
had to pick one place we'd love to call home,
we'd go for the 2-story suite, complete with
its own alfresco deck. Hotel features include
28 march 2018

a rooftop terrace that transforms into a bar
each spring; a cozy library with books left by
authors and guests; a fitness center; and three
restaurants. Don't skip out on having pan con
tomate (bread with tomatoes) at Gran Clavel,
traditional Spanish tapas at the wine bar, and
a vermouth tasting at the Vermuteria. Room
rates start at $82.

Dine
A must is dinner and a show at El Corral
de la Moreria, where guests are treated to a
traditional flamenco show complete with live
music while feasting on traditional Spanish
tapas, paella, local wines and much more. El
Corral de la Moreria is frequented by a host
of celebrities including Harrison Ford, Nicole
Kidman, and Liza Minnelli-as guests walk in
they can take in the wall of fame.

Do
Take a stroll through Retiro Park and make
sure to check out the Palacio de Cristal (Crystal
Palace) while you're there; then head to Puerta
del Sol and don't miss your photo-op at the
Origen de las Carreteras Radiales-the point
where all of Spain's major roads and highways
meet. Other must-sees include Palacio Real, El
Mercado San Miguel for lunch, and the trendy
neighborhood Malasana.

HiDDen Gem
After breakfast at the hotel one morning, a
few of us took a stroll to the Chocolateria San
Gines for a taste of its famous churros and hot
chocolate-it definitely lived up to the hype.
Here's a tip: Because of its popularity, this 24/7
locale attracts huge crowds-our 10 a.m. arrival
was met with no lines, but late one afternoon
around 5 p.m. we saw lines wrapped around
the block.
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