Hg2 : The Hedonist

A Hedonist’s guide to…

Madrid

Hotel Quatro
Designed by one of Madrid's best, Tomás Alía, the Quo is not only central and reasonably priced, but also very stylish. The seating arrangements in the hotel's restaurant could even mean you meet some of the other guests.
Le Marquis
The food may be so-so, but the decor sets Le Marquis apart - nowhere else in Madrid will you find a chair trussed up in a corset. Fetishism needs darkness to thrive, so definitely a dinner-only option.
Juana La Loca
An extensive menu is available from a chef who take his tapas seriously; the large TV in the corner may be a little distracting, but the excellent food certainly provides strong competition...
La Bardemcilla
This quaint tapas bar is plastered with photos of the film family who run it: the Bardems, of Javier Bardem and Ma Bardem fame.
Parque del Buen Retiro
This stunning open park retains an elegance brought by its former role as part of the palacial grounds. Now open to the public, families, couples and friends enjoy the tree-lined avenues and fantastic people-watching opportunities. Walk of a large
Luna Mulata
A sophisticated, multi-use space. Head chef Inés Montiel has gone for fresh and imaginative creations, such as pineapple shrimp rolls or duck magret with mango.
Etro
A little bit of retro and sprinkle of sparkle goes a long way at this clothing store.
Barbour
Hotel Abalu
If sexy retreat is what you're after, then Hotel Abalu is for you, with its secluded and decorated furniture and accessories from around the world. Although some streets in the local area can be 'dodgy', the high tech suites are worth a peek...
La Piazzetta
La Piazetta and La Dolce Piazetta are two new top-notch Italian eateries situated amidst the perennial buzz of the Plaza Chueca. One is a smart restaurant; the other caters to the sweet tooth.
Room Mate Mario
Mario Room Mate is part of a new concept hotel chain in which the hotel takes on a personality of its own, mimicking a friend you might stay with. Mario is 'a music composer and loves cinema'...
Viva Madrid
Open both during the day and at night, it's worth arriving at this beautifully decorated bar early in order to secure a table from which to admire its tiled décor, romantic prints and vaulted ceiling.
Cafe del Circulo de Bellas Artes
After paying €1 to enter the cultural centre, Circulo de Belas Artes, take a window seat at this stylish café belonging to Madrid's premier exhibition space and staffed by a small army of expert waiters.
La Otra Habana
Unadulterated mojitos and a raft of expertly shaken cocktails await those who choose to move to the Cuban beat. Don't expect to find a lot of space for your dance moves, but do expect a friendly, unpretentious crowd.
El Rastro
Enjoy Madrid's vibrant fleamarket on a Sunday morning in the La Latina sector of the city. Thousands of people search for bargains, while plenty of cafés line the route...
Nilo
The decor is fun (think animal prints kitsch chandeliers and bowls of champagne) and the Spanish/Mediterranean menu is surprisingly good value; go here to avoid the stuffy atmosphere of some of the more business-dominated establishments.
Cool
Cool is one of the most fashionable places to be seen in Madrid's hedonistic night scene, but check the night before you go, as the theme nights may not be for everyone.
El Bonanno
If you don't know anyone to start with, you soon will in this cheery bar frequented by the young and trendy...
Real Madrid
Real Madrid is the most successful football club of the twentieth century, and a trip to one of their games ensures a chance to watch some of the world's finest footballers.
Bar Cock
This long-established cocktail bar has an atmosphere of professional drinking, and is a Madrid institution.
Iroco
There's nothing particularly marking out this restaurant from the rest; nonetheless, it has become the place to be seen, and is therefore popular.
02 Wellness Centre
Aligning health, aesthetic, water and exercise needs exclusively for women. With the emphasis, unsurprisingly, on 'wellness'.
Calle Jorge Juan
A haven for hedonistic label-lovers, Calle Jorge Juan has high-end fashion all wrapped up.
Bristol Bar
For those seeking sports fixtures or a bit of expat bonding, Bristol Bar is a good alternative to its grimier Irish pub counterparts. There's a restaurant serving British and American dishes, and even a plentiful selection of gins - fancy that!
Calle Jose Ortega Y Gasset
The streets are paved with gold around these parts. Here, Calvin Klein, Escada and Armani compete with Hermes and Louis Vuitton.
Indiana Parque
About an hour away from Madrid in San Martin de Valdeiglesias this natural recreation park offers a wealth of activities including horseriding, abseiling, archery and much more.
Kikuyu
This chic contemporary restaurant located on the edge of the Chueca uses atmospheric candles, good background music and a delightful small, private garden to woo its fashionable clients. Make sure to book at weekends.
La Fontana de Oro
A large bar on the ground floor offers a wide variety of Irish beers and liquors as well as a limited tapas menu, while live bands perform most weekends to an often raucous crowd.
Korgui
A lovely lunch spot by day; in the evening, the cocktail bar comes into its own. Outside on a private terrace with chic black awnings and chRome metal chairs, they serve medium-sized pincho dishes, fusing Mediterranean, Mexican and Japanese tapas.
Toma
Owned by an American, its brunch is especially popular and thus oversubscribed. However, Toma would also be perfect for a romantic dinner for two, given its low lighting and magnificent view of the Conde Duque cultural centre.
Calmera
Just off the Paseo del Prado, this bike shop has been in operation since 1942.
Piscinas Casa de Campo
The large urban park of Casa De Campo has long been a recreational retreat for the people of Madrid, with the open-air and indoor swimming pools proving immensely popular.
Hotel Urban
This über-modern hotel is particularly popular with those who appreciate art as it houses an amazing private collection generously spread around deluxe rooms and corridors, adding a spiritual element to the overnight experience.
Tryp Ambassador
This elegant hotel is located in the historical city centre of Madrid, close to the Royal Palace, Teatro de la Opera theater, the courts and the Gran Vía.
Zen Market
Located inside the Real Madrid stadium, Zen Market is the place for dining on some seriously luxurious sushi with a prime view of the afternoon footy.    
Casa Labra
In the heart of Madrid's shopping district, Casa Labra provides the perfect opportunity to refuel with a quick tapa before returning to the fray, so don't be put off by its slightly drab appearance.
Brasserie de Lista
Popular with business people at lunch time and more intimate for evening pintxos, this bistro's specials are grilled meats and oven-roasted fish, with a good selection of wines and beers to accompany both meat and fish. French slant.
Hotel Amador de los Rios
Boasting all the advantages of an aparthotel combined with the glamour of a design hotel, Amador de los Rios is the perfect place to unwind between shopping in the exclusive Salamanca district and dinner at Italian restaurant Dilola just on the corne
La Vieja Estacion
Head south to reach this beautiful summer-only venue. With 10 bars, a restaurant, salsa rooms and open-air dance floor, you'll never want to leave.
El Jardin Secreto

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