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Digital Subscriptions > Lonely Planet Traveller (UK) > September 2016 > Keep it cool in Madrid

Keep it cool in Madrid

The atrium at Madrid’s Hotel Urso
PHOTOGRAPHS: TOM GUEST, CLAIRE RICHARDSON

August is Madrid’s quietest month of the year, with many Madrileños absconding to the Spanish coast, a good number of businesses shut for their staff summer break and relatively few tourists pacing the city’s squares. In return for braving some blazing Castilian sunshine, you’ll find fewer crowds in the galleries, shorter queues in tapas bars and a few local fiestas and street parties for those stoic souls who remain in town. One fine place to cool down is the Hotel Urso – ideally poised for exploring the bohemian streets of the Malasaña neighbourhood to the west and the grand galleries of the Prado and Thyssen Bornemisza to the south. The hotel is a minor masterpiece in itself, with original Art Nouveau stained glass, iron bannisters and floral fabrics giving little suggestion of its former life as a paper factory. Guest rooms are just as handsome, with high windows; lean over the balustrade and people-watch over the thoroughfares of the capital.

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