The Recoletos is the chic-but-relaxed area beyond the northern entrance to the Parque de El Retiro. Here you’ll find the wonderful new Loewe concept store on the corner of Calle de Serrano and Calle de Goya. This unique Spanish luxury house, under the creative direction of the multitalented Jonathan Anderson, has a ‘welcome-all’ policy and diverse product range, which is a refreshing take on high-end retail. Don’t forget to visit their on-trend Constance Spry-inspired flower shop next door in the entrance hall to their offices. Across the road is the magnificent Monumento al Descubrimiento de America celebrating aspects of the discovery of America.
Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques is centrally located at Cuesta de Santo Domingo, 5, near all main attractions like the Palace Real. Behind its grand Elizabethan facade you’ll find traditional luxury with an “avant-garde touch”. Highlights include the incredible Flos cable lighting installations and the decorator’s obsession with famous painter Velázquez.
The Museo del Prado is essential for any itinerary but re-book online to avoid the long queues. If time is limited, head straight for masterpieces by Goya (‘The Execusions'), Velázquez (‘Las Meninas'), Hieronymus Bosch (‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’).