MADRID, SPAIN for Red Stick Spice: October 1-6, 2024

LONG LUNCHES

MADRID

Feel the heartbeat of Spain with a visit to its majestic capital. Meet its dazzling array of people and create memories that will last a lifetime.

 

While here you’ll  discover Madrid’s hidden jewels, with guided tours, private viewings and behind-the-scenes access. Eat tapas like a local, delve into the city’s breathtaking art, culture and architecture, and learn the secret language of flamenco.

 

Below are further experiences you can choose to add to your itinerary to enhance you experience while here in Madrid.

 

HOTEL RECOMMENDATIONS

Palacio de los Duques (5*)

A 5-minute walk to the cooking classes, the hotel is a remodeled palace on a quiet street near the Teatro Real and Royal Palace. Muted tones of brown and cream compliment the many Velazquez- inspired artworks on display throughout. Here you are at the heart of the city, but hidden from the hustle and bustle. There is a small rooftop pool, gym, spa, and three dining options.

The Madrid Edition (5*)

An 8-10-minute walk from the cooking classes, the hotel is central to the main shopping area in a 16th century monastery. The hotel has a distinctive style with wood furnishings and features on an all-white backdrop. There is a rooftop pool, spa and top-tier Mexican and Peruvian restaurants. It is a popular addition to the city’s nightlife and dining scene and as such, has a buzzy atmosphere.

Pestana Plaza Mayor (4*)

A 10-15-minute walk from the cooking classes, this hotel is in a prime location on the Plaza Mayor itself, the city’s most famous Landmark. This is a great choice for anyone who loves to feel apart of a bustling city, with great views to the square, perfect for people watching. The hotel has a contemporary finish but with wonderful nods to its historic location such as beautiful tile-work, exposed brick-walls and art work. There is a small rooftop pool, a spa pool in the vaulted cellars, a small gym, and a restaurant.

 

Eric Vokel Madrid Suites (4*)

A 15-minute walk from the cooking classes, this is a nice option for anyone wishing to stay in an apartment where the front desk is staffed 9am to 6pm and you are provided with an out of hours emergency number. The apartments are made up of either two or three bedrooms and are finished to a good standard with modern fixtures and fittings taking influence from the Scandi style. Kitchens are equipped with all required amenities including fridge-freezer, ceramic hob, oven, washing machine and dishwasher, as well as a kettle, filter coffee machine, orange juicer, and toaster. There is also the option to book a breakfast kit if you do not fancy making your own!

 

 

Four Seasons Hotel Madrid (5*)

A 15-20-minute walk from the cooking classes, this latest addition to the Four Seasons portfolio is connected to the high-end Galería Canalejas shopping mall and has over 200 rooms. There is a swimming pool, a spa that stretches over four floors, a pretty terrace and rooftop restaurant. Service is exemplary!

 

 

Gran Hotel Inglés (5*)

A 15-20-minute walk from the cooking classes, this stylish boutique property is located on one of Madrid’s most popular streets and yet you feel discreet and not a sound in the rooms. The Art Deco features blend with the recent contemporary remodeling, creating the perfect atmosphere for a relaxing stay. This small boutique hotel has 43 rooms, an excellent restaurant, a bar and a lovely spa. What really makes this hotel stand out is the attentive, professional service. 

OUR INSIDER’S TIPS

BEST PLACE TO SEE THE SUNSET:
Templo de Debod
BEST VIEW OF THE CITY:

Rooftop of the Riu Hotel & the rooftop of Círculo de Bellas Artes


PRETTIEST STREETS TO WALK DOWN:

Paseo del Prado, in the center (walk through the middle, under the trees), a grand boulevard. 

Calle Cava Baja in the La Latina neighborhood (especially after 8pm), a quaint street for bars & restaurants. 

Calle Claudio Coello, in the Salamanca neighborhood (go between 10a-1p), a quaint street for shops.


TOP MADRILEÑO PRODUCTS TO TAKE BACK HOME:

♥ Violetas, violet flavored hard candies, original shop: La Violeta, in Plaza de Canalejas. 

Álvarez Gómez, perfumes Madrileños since 1899, find in pharmacies & perfume shops (Primor, Druni, Douglas, etc.)

El_Quitasol_Goya-Prado Museum

 

BEST CHEFS & THEIR RESTAURANTS:

Dabiz Muñoz, DiverXo***

♥ The Sandoval brothers (Mario, Diego and Rafael), Coque**

♥ Rodrigo de la Calle, El Invernadero*

♥ Brothers David & Mario Villalón, though not chefs, opened a first-rate bistro in the center of Madrid called, Angelita. It serves locally sourced, organic ingredients and is well known for their extraordinary wine selection and as one of the best cocktail bars in the city.

 

MUST-HAVE MADRILEÑO DISHES & DRINKS:

♥ Cocido Madrileño, traditional chickpea-based stew, one of the top spots for this dish: Malacatín.

♥ Campo Reales, olives from Madrid marinated in garlic, thyme, fennel & oregano, a truly unique flavor, try them at the Mercado San Miguel.

♥ Vinos de Madrid, D.O. Madrid wines, where to have a glass: La Fisna Vinos, Vinoteca Vides, La Antojá & Pinkleton & Wine (in the Mercado San Miguel).

♥ Mahou, beer made in Madrid, where to buy: nearly any bar you walk into!

experiences to enhance your time in Madrid

Explore a selection of the most popular Madrid experiences by Insider’s Travel. However long you spend with us, our luxury, expert-led tours will make you feel like a true insider.

The Botín Experience

45-minute guided tour of the oldest restaurant in the world, El Restaurante Botín, before you have lunch or dinner. Learn the history & see the original oven from 1725, the medieval underground bodega & tunnels, before your 6-course meal.

MADRID & her Artisans: A WALKING TOUR

3 hours with your private artisan guide to meet the people behind the traditions that make Madrid what it is. The cape-makers who have clothed Picasso, Carolina Herrera and so many others. Enter the guitar maker’s workshop and learn the difference between the classical Spanish and the flamenco guitar. Visit the workshop of the leather-makers and visit the streets where the artisans first arrived in Madrid. 

MADE IN SPAIN SHOPPING TOUR

A 4-hour tour at your own pace with an expert personal shopper guide to browse the highest quality of authentic Spanish items such as ceramics, hand-made leather goods, merino wool scarves & blankets, olive wood products, gourmet salts, hand-made gloves, Spanish glass, tortilla stands & paella tins.  You are able to tailor the tour to suit your specific interests or needs.