Opening a luxury hotel is an ambitious endeavor at the best of times, but at the height of a global pandemic it must have seemed impossible at times. But as a hyper-luxurious base for exploring the Spanish capital, the Four Seasons Madrid is a triumph.
Seven historic buildings (including Banco Hispano Americano, Banco Español de Crédito and Equitable Life Assurance) have been painstakingly transformed into Spain’s first Four Seasons. With an impressive rooftop restaurant run by Michelin-starred chef Dani García, a four-level spa, and a sun terrace with indoor pool, it’s an exciting addition to Madrid’s luxury hotel scene.
Smack, bang, in the center of Madrid – in fact, the whole country (the Kilometro Cero plaque, a few steps away, marks the spot). For tourists and shoppers who appreciate the finer things in life (there’s a Hermes boutique in the lobby and the luxury Galería Canalejas shopping center soon to open with flagship products like Loewe, Fendi and Louis Vuitton), there can be no better location. The Retiro Park and the Prado Museum are a short walk away, while the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando is across the street.
It took eight years (with some difficult Covid-related complications) to transform seven historic buildings, including the former Bank of Spain. The atmosphere is classically elegant with a Spanish touch and many original features (16,000 objects to be precise) have been restored, including the large marble pillars of the bank and the spectacular stained glass ceiling by the artists. Spaniards Maumejean in the El Patio hall, which has been lowered for a dramatic effect.
Rooftop Restaurant Dani is where the city’s color and flair shine with mirrored bars, leather banquettes, tasseled burnt orange umbrellas, and tropical fronds.
The hotel’s artwork also deserves special mention. The 2,500-person collection, mostly made up of emerging Spanish artists, was curated by Paloma Fernández Iriondo, formerly of Sotherby’s.
The spa is said to be the largest in town and worth stopping by for a treatment or session in the rooftop pool and sun terrace. It’s relaxed but not too well-being – the welcome drink during our stay was white sangria. The facials are courtesy of cult skincare brand 111SKIN and the essential oils for soothing massages come from legendary aromatherapist Michelle Roques-O’Neill.
The El Patio Lobby Restaurant and Bar is full of vibrant and beautiful Madrileños that come together over coffee, cocktails and croquettes.
Soon, Isa, a gastrobar serving Asian-inspired tapas accompanied by creative cocktails created by bar manager Sophie Larrouture.
But it’s on Dani’s rooftop that you really get your money’s worth. With panoramic views over the city and beyond, famous Michelin-starred chef Dani García serves exceptional tapas. Main courses include the nitro tomato and green pepper gazpacho, yellow salmorejo (a must order), and the spicy jus puff duck pie. Save room for the berry salmorejo with herbal pesto and vintage iced sherry vinegar or the apple pie with almond cream and amarula.
There are two hundred rooms and suites. All are equipped with Hermès bathroom products, Villeroy & Boch porcelain and a 65-inch TV. The service is exceptional. All concierge requests (room service, pillow menu, express ironing, extra earplugs …)
All of the standard deluxe rooms are fitted with extremely comfortable king size beds and marble bathrooms and the terrace suite has a balcony perfect for balmy Madrid evenings. The opulent Royal Suite, in the office of the former chairman of the bank, can be yours for £ 15,000 a night.
Shopaholics and chic city dwellers.
Four Seasons Hotel Madrid, Calle de Sevilla 3, 28014 Madrid, Spain