Chueca is Madrid’s beloved “gay barrio” and it’s nothing if not assertively and unapologetically gay. Criss-crossing streets and plazas are brimming with lively gay bars, trendy shops, raunchy sex clubs and, of course, glamorous hotels.
As you can imagine all the hotels in Chueca are LGBTQ+ friendly – it kind of goes with the territory – making it the ideal place for gay travelers to use as a base camp to explore the city. It also helps having a room waiting within easy staggering distance from Chueca’s vivacious nightlife, or to invite any local friends you might meet on your adventures.
Here are our ten picks for the most accommodating in – and near – Madrid’s little pocket of gay paradise.
Room Mate Oscar
Room Mate Oscar is unmissable in Chueca, looming over one of its most central plazas Plaza de Zerolo, near Gran Via and adjacent to some of the neighborhood’s best gay bars. Indeed, it has its own trendy and popular rooftop bar with a great view over the city.
It’s not a “gay hotel” per se, but it attracts a lot of gay clientele, as you would expect in such a location. The words ‘Do You Want to Sleep with Me’ are brazenly displayed on the front – a valid question for a hotel! The decor here is chic and modern – with a rationalist style reminiscent of the Bauhaus movement. Its 75 rooms sell out quickly during major gay events – especially at Pride because the hotel offers a prime view of one of the main stages – and rates start at 100€ per night.
Only YOU Boutique Hotel
If you ́re looking to push the boat out a little, you can’t go wrong with this LGBTQ+ friendly hotel, which is as much a piece of art as a hotel. Only YOU Boutique Hotel Chueca is built within what was a 19th century mansion, the doors parting in the entrance hall to reveal intricately carved tiled walls and gorgeous artsy decorations – all the work of famous interior designer Lazaro Rosa-Violan, which has earned it prestigious design awards such as the Best Boutique Hotel in the World. Not to mention, it’s just a few meters from the action in Chueca. The service is some of the best in town and it is not uncommon to be greeted with a free glass of champagne upon booking in. Single rooms start at around 210€ a night.
Petit Palace Ducal
A boutique hotel, café and co-working space in Chueca that prides itself on diversity and inclusion. Part of a large chain, the Chueca version has a modern, clean and homely feel to it – with characteristic wooden furnishings and lamps in the entrance hall and dining areas. On that note, their breakfast buffet is second to none. Petit Palace Ducal is located right on Calle Hortaleza, one of the main streets running the length of Chueca. Pricewise it fits in the middle of the road category with rooms starting at between 100-150€ per night.
Hostal La Zona Madrid
Not the most glamorous option on the list but it’s clean, crisp and affordable. Hostal La Zona is aptly named as it sits beside the popular street Fuencarral, which is one of the most popular shopping areas in the city. It was formerly a gay-owned hostel but has since changed management and now isn’t gay-specific, but you can’t beat the location in the gayborhood within easy staggering distance of all the main bars. The rooms are pretty basic, but clean and the balconies are a great place to enjoy your morning tea and while people watching. Single rooms during mid-week start at 70€ per night, which includes breakfast until noon.
Axel Hotel Madrid
Not actually located in Chueca but this hotel really is the gayest of the gay hotels in Madrid and just a fifteen-minute walk away through Sol. It’s found on Atocha Street number 49, in the famous “Barrio de las Letras”, and is surrounded by the most emblematic streets of the city, in a bohemian atmosphere that combines shopping, good gastronomy and lively nightlife through its many cocktail bars. The hotel has 88 rooms with avant-garde designs, which are allegedly inspired by the cultural and political revolution of Madrid in the ’80s.
In Axel Hotel Madrid you will find a gay meeting point in the capital, with its innovative spaces made specially so you can treat yourself and have fun, always loyal to Axel’s concept of style, design, comfort and cosmopolitan environment. There is a bustling rooftop bar with a large terrace and heated pool, both of which are popular with hot guys during the weekends. Oh and feel free to enjoy the “DO Disturb” signs that can be hung on the doors by the daring, as the corridors become prime cruising spots by night during the hotel’s busier periods. Rates start at 110€ per night.
Madrid House Rooms
Another middle-priced but perfectly located option. Madrid House Rooms offer not just the basics, but also a stylish – albeit basic – design. They are spacious and clean with inspirational quotes above the beds inserting just the right amount of personality to them – the well-stocked mini-bar certainly adds to it as well. Madrid House Rooms is especially popular with couples most likely due to the Queen rooms as they are large, well designed, and even include a jacuzzi – it’s up to you to find the companion(s) to fill it though. Basic double rooms come at around the 80€ mark.
URSO Hotel & Spa
Stepping it up a notch to five stars, URSO is a self-proclaimed “small luxury hotel of the world” and it certainly lives up to this grandiose name. They offer a suite containing a large luxurious bedroom, a marble bathroom and a frankly huge living area bathed in natural light. There is a minimum two-night stay, but that includes breakfast for two, access to the water and spa area, Hammam massage and gym (with prior reservations), a 10 percent discount at their classy-looking bar and a very welcome bottle of cava upon arrival. Naturally it’s on the pricier end of the spectrum with costs starting at 300€ a night, but it is the perfect location for a romantic getaway and found right on the northern edge of Chueca.
7 Islas Madrid
This lavish family-run hotel is technically in Malasaña, the area adjacent to Chueca, which might as well be an extension of the gayborhood since it is but a stone’s throw from the action and has its own vibrant nightlife. 7 Islas describes itself as “an oasis in the city” and a “home from home” – both descriptions fit its plant-filled relaxed interior. The rooms have a studio flat feel to them and are spacious to say the least. The hotel is pet-friendly, and the staff is incredibly accommodating be you human or animal. They serve a mean cocktail down in the hotel bar and the food is great quality as well, should you not wish to venture out to a nearby restaurant one night. Prices start at around 100€ mark but go up by a sufficient amount in season.
On the other end of the spectrum is this super gay budget hotel. It is gay-owned and flamboyantly so – with modern rooms decorated with garish colors like pink, yellow or blue and pictures of hot men or gay icons adorning the walls. It is ideally located once more with its windows overlooking one of Chueca’s main plazas. Rooms cost just over 60€ a night and the staff go out of their way to provide a welcoming atmosphere for their guests.
Not a hotel or chain, but rather a booking platform and app for rooms, apartments and homes and it allows you to book from gay and gay-friendly hosts around the world. They have hosts in more than 200 countries and territories with more than 1 million total listings. Understanding the gay scene is much more easily done with the help of a local and home-sharing is one of the best ways to meet someone living in the city who knows how things work, where and when are the best nights to go out, and what places to eat at and which to avoid.
If you are traveling to Madrid during the high season (May to August), on the weekends or during major gay events, you’ll need to book these rooms in advance to ensure availability. Many of these LGBT+ specific properties are small and book quickly when in high demand.
All major hotels speak English in Spain, although a little bit of effort in Spanish never goes amiss. If your rooms are ever lacking anything, never be afraid to let the staff know and feel free to ask the helpful people at reception about how to get the best out of your stay in Madrid – and how to optimize your fun in the vigorous unapologetically gay area that is Chueca.