CHECK IT OUT THE PRINCIPAL MADRID
SPANISH hotelier Pau Guardans has opened a fivestar hotel on Madrid’s famous “great lane”, the theatre-lined Gran Via, with Michelin-star chef Ramon Freixa overseeing the kitchen and a rooftop terrace and bar offering some of the best views downtown.
The Principal Madrid, Design Hotels’ newest Spanish recruit, features 76 contemporary rooms and suites, housed in a century-old Spanish Renaissance building. Guests are received on the sixth floor Atico, or penthouse, where the informal reception area includes a bar, open fire and rooftop views from a conservatory-style dining room.
The corner hotel forms part of an avenue of art nouveau and art deco buildings but inside, the double-height ceilings, marble floors and large windows make the perfect backdrop for uncluttered modern interiors by Pilar Garcia-Nieto and Barcelona-based design studio Luzio.
While the public areas are cosy, the guestrooms are cool and crisp, decorated in varying shades of grey with pops of colour. Amenities include a flatscreen TV, free Wi-Fi, a 24-hour shoeshine service, Gilchrist & Soames bathroom unguents and a Nespresso machine in most rooms.
The hotel has the usual 21st-century essentials: gym, a wellness suite, and round-the-clock room service, but goes one step further with a 24-hour laundry and ironing service, and butlers and babysitters on standby.
DON’T MISS: Give the gym a miss and give your credit card a workout instead with the help of one of the hotel’s on-call personal shoppers.
DINING IN: Acclaimed Catalan chef Ramon Freixa scored two Michelin stars at the Principal’s sister property Hotel Unico Madrid; his new outpost will offer modern Spanish fare, and snacks 24/7. Dine in Atico or on the hotel’s rooftop terrace dotted with parasols and olive trees. Recommended dishes include Botifarra sausage with baby squid and chickpeas, or tagliatelle au gratin, inspired by a dish served at Venice’s fabled Cipriani.
DINING OUT: Restaurante MEATing on Calle de Valenzuela (Galician beef and market-fresh vegetables from San Sebastian) and Restaurante Arriba on Calle de Goya (another Freixa eatery).
ASK THE CONCIERGE: The hotel is perfectly positioned to explore the city’s best boutiques, bars, theatres and museums including the Prado and Thyssen.
CHECKING IN: Rooms from €230 ($330). More: designhotels.com.
ALSO TRY: Casas del XVI, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; QT Sydney; Sofitel So Singapore.