What had our hotel been before it was a hotel? An embassy? A private residence? Whatever. Located in a chic residential area just north of the old Bourbon section of Madrid near the Prado, we were placed here by luck, taking our chances with Priceline and being nicely rewarded for doing so. Basically a business hotel, the Nh Abascal was within (healthy) walking distance of everywhere in the city that we wanted to go. And also steps away from a metro stop in case we got lazy. And look at this beautiful staircase that delighted me and gave pause to my height-fearful companion.