What you have here is the third installment of our series of hotels in historic buildings in Spain, but as in the previous publication there is so much we have not published, we decided to produce a second and maybe a third part, dedicated to the spectacular architecture in Madrid and the best urban hotels.
On this occasion to start our route we leave behind the Gran Via and once again start from the Plaza Mayor, specifically from the hotel with the same name, the Mayor Plaza, a 4 star hotel in the heart of Madrid with iPad in the room, free Wifi, hydromassage shower…. and built on the land that formally housed the residence of Lope de Vega.
The decoration is pure avant-garde and the services are of the same level, state of the art technology, avant-garde spaces, designer illumination…. But, above all what makes it really unique is the building where it is situated which converts it into a hotel for couples, groups and families on holiday in Madrid. It is one of the most coveted hotels of all the capital, a stone’s throw from the Puerta del Sol, the San Miguel Market, Opera, Santa Ana and the Latin Quarter.
If we continue in this zone, going down to the Puerta del Sol we will find another outstanding hotel in Madrid, part of the Petit Palace chain, the Hotel Arenal, situated in the Calle Arenal, one of Madrid’s most important commercial streets together with Preciados, and just a few paces from Opera and Kilometro Cero.
It is an architecturally classic Madrid building with very fine interiors, where they have maintained the tiled walls and vaulted ceilings in some of the common areas (restaurant, the business centre, the Internet Corner and the reception). In contrast the bedrooms of this hotel in the centre of Madrid are pure modernity and offer an avant-garde style not normally found in hotels of this category.
We leave behind us the Puerta del Sol and follow the Carrera de San Jeronimo to, almost by the Parliament building, where we find the imposing building of the Hotel Urban, an exquisite art deco 5 star accommodation, that is situated in a newly constructed avant garde building. This is one of the latest new buildings worthy of mention that, together with some luxury apartments in the Gran Via, have incorporated the Madrid style architecture and with a swimming pool on the roof. The hotel includes a gallery for expositions where one can see collections of Egyptian art of great value.
Arriving at the Art Triangle we cannot ignore the building of the Thyssen Museum. Although it is not an hotel and it is impossible to organise a stay in the incomparable rooms, it is really worth a visit, not just for the outstanding value of the art collections but also for the historical wealth of the building.
Known as the Palace of Villahermosa, it is one of the examples of palace architecture in Madrid, well conserved and with a spectacular situation, just in front of the Retiro park. It is the zone that was the courtesan area of Madrid and nearby you can see a number of other buildings worthy of admiration such as the Palace of the Duque de Lerma, constructed in the Quinta del Prior, where now stands the emblematic Hotel Palace Madrid.
Connecting with the street of Alcala, is highlighted the impressive building of the Banco of Spain, which in the era of the Palace of Villahermosa, was the Palace of the Duke of Bejar. The extension of the Thyssen, which was undertaken by the architect Rafael Moneo, is one of the examples of the new local architecture which will surely mark an historical milestone.
On the other side of the street, in the area of the Plaza Lealtad, we can find various hotels in historical buildings of Madrid that have managed to cope well with the passing of time and have gained ground over the years. One of these is the mythical Hotel Ritz of Madrid, with a building that was constructed in 1908/1910 and was renovated just after reaching one hundred years.
With the building of the Madrid Stock Exchange just a few steps away, we come across another luxury hotel in Madrid, where its majestic history has conjugated to the perfection with the modernity and innovation of the rooms.
It is a pretty building dated the beginning of the 19th century with 5 floors with access from the Calle de Antonio Maura which after the renovation and conversion into an hotel, has still conserved the principal elements of the local courtesan architecture, spectacular palatial ceilings, baroque balustrades, lighting and impressive staircases.
Very near to this hotel, in front of one of entrances of the Retiro Park, in another ideal candidate for a romantic getaway to Madrid, the well known Hotel Savoy Alfonso XII, a boutique hotel with views of the Retiro, constructed in an ancient palace in the 19th century, with impressive high ceilings, finished in white marble, large windows and quality materials.
All this together with modern rooms with the latest technology, designer avant-garde furniture, a restaurant with excellent cuisine…… A perfect example of what is Madrid, history embracing the future.