When you think of dining on traditional Spanish tapas, or even European dining in general, you think long, languid dinners with friends and more food and sangria than you could dream of. Ana la Santa offers just that. Traditional style tapas with a modern twist in a sophisticated dining space…sounds right up our alley. Ana la Santa, Madrid, inside the Me Hotel in the centrally located Plaza de Santa Ana, is the creation of Barcelona-based Tomas Tarruella and his company En Compañia de Lobos. Part of the Melia Hotel Group, the hotel’s culinary aim is to offer several different types of dining experiences, which is reflected in the design and layout of the space.
The space, designed by Sandra Tarruella Interioristas appears almost as four different venues. There’s a casual garden area for tapas, a bar counter for specialty cocktails, a formal dining area for large meals, and a cozy living room-esque lounge area. Whether it’s a lunch date with a friend, a romantic date night dinner, or a quick business meeting, there seems to be room for all at Ana la Santa.
Black metal shelving throughout gives the space an industrial feel, while a textured ceiling, warm woods, and rustic textiles add a natural element. The metal framed glass surrounding the garden area allows for clear sight lines while still keeping the experiences separate. It’s also super chic, almost Parisian in feel. In the space are furniture pieces and lamps from designers like Alki, Fredericia, Dadra, Verges, Gervasoni, and several custom pieces designed by Sandra Teerruella Interiors.
The sleek fireplace, concrete banquette seating and Jean Prouvé chairs add the perfect touch of modernity.
The split-level design allows for a natural flow while distinctly separating the dining areas. The lounge area is the natural place to begin, with the progression of rooms leading to the greenhouse for small bites, then the back area for formal dining and drinks at the bar. We can’t speak from personal experience but we’ve heard that chef Jorge Arnoldson’s paella is a winner. (We have however, had drinks on the upstairs roof of the hotel and stayed in the hotels plush rooms so can definitely vouch for those.)