“An extravagantly decorated Edwardian palace opposite Retiro Park, near the ‘golden 3’ museums, with stylish bedrooms, tasty tapas and a top-notch spa”
So vast is this palace that it has space for 50 bedrooms, ranging from a decent size (the rooms) to a frankly indecent size (the larger suites). Designer Isabella Claramont has combined the ornate splendour of the original 1908 structure (high ceilings, flowery stuccowork, grand arched windows, red-marble fireplaces) with unashamedly modern furniture (chunky brown armchairs, chrome and glass cabinets, vast plasma TVs, desks with black-leather swivel chairs). It’s a bold juxtaposition, a little incongruous or ostentatious for some perhaps, but kept easy on the eye by the muted colour scheme of brown, grey and white.
Huge beds occupy pride of place in the middle of the room, some angled towards grand arched windows overlooking the interior courtyard (quieter) or the broad avenue of Alfonso XII (leafier). Bathrooms are decorated in sleek grey and chrome; showers are powerful rainfall types and most rooms have baths, too.
Some fourth floor rooms are livened up by bright Lichtenstein comic-prints on glass bathroom doors; one is an attic room with portholes over Calle Montalbán. Third floor rooms have dark walnut-effect laminate floors and huge grey plexi-glass wardrobes, giving them a particularly hard, modern feel. Those on the second floor retain the original parquet with its pretty, meandering inset.
We loved the Presidential Suite, which has panelled walls with bookshelves, fabric wallpaper and translucent gold drapes screening a tall windowed balcony, plus a huge Jacuzzi in its interior. Another one of our favourites is the panoramic corner Luxury Suite, with its intricate Rococo plaster moulding set off by a long-armed chrome lamp and simple stick-man art by Eleazar. In its bathroom, 2 of you could sit in the whirlpool tub and look through maple leaves to Retiro Park, before cooling off in the separate shower cabinet.
Breakfast (excluded from the room price) is a buffet, with cooked dishes like huevos revueltos con chistorra (scrambled eggs with a very tasty local sausage), toasted pan de hogaza (rustic sandwiches) and the classic churros con chocolate (fried dough twirls with hot chocolate), to supplement the usual yoghurts, fruit salads, cold meats and pastry selection. There are no fewer than 5 fresh juices (try the carrot and lemon, very tangy and healthy-tasting), plus 4 infusions (including cherry), 7 types of tea, and Madrid’s full range of coffees.
On the ground floor is the contemporary and intimate The Suite Bar, with brown walls, geometric curtains and red lamps, where simple but delicious tapas-style dishes are served for lunch and dinner alongside a creative cocktail menu. We enjoyed a relaxed lunch of Iberian ham croquettes followed by hake on a bed of grilled vegetables. While we found the food tasty, we did feel that it was a little overpriced, plus most guests dine out, which means the atmosphere here is pretty quiet.
Alternatively, you could slip out to the renowned Horcher restaurant or the simpler Spanish Viridiana for dinner (both just a block away).
We felt that due to its design and location, the hotel is perhaps best suited to adults. That said, cots and full-size extra beds are available free of charge for under 12s, with a supplement for older children.
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available
Babysitting is available by arrangement
Baby cots are available on request
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking