Business Traveller (Middle East)
MADRID IS LIFE
The Spanish capital is promoting its slow travel offering, inviting visitors to enjoy authentic moments, from gastronomy and shopping to culture and nature
If life were a city, it’d be Madrid – that’s the message fronting Turismo Madrid’s new promotional campaign, which invites visitors from all over the world to enjoy premium experiences and a convivial atmosphere in the vibrant Spanish capital. Tapping into consumer demand for authenticity and slow travel, Madrid is throwing the spotlight on its diverse destination offering, encouraging travellers to savour every moment in the city. Here, Business Traveller rounds up some of Madrid’s most enriching experiences.
Madrid is home to some of the world’s most luxurious hotels, including the Four Seasons, which opened its doors in 2020 and the Mandarin Oriental Ritz, which has reopened after its iconic Belle-Époque building underwent restoration work. They join an extensive list of premium properties, including the historic Westin Palace, the Santo Mauro Autograph Collection, and the recently reopened Rosewood Villa Magna Hotel. Other new additions include the Hardrock Hotel Madrid, which opened in June.
Discover Galería Canalejas, a new home for exclusive fashion brands, a food hall offering unique culinary experiences, and 14 restaurants serving global flavours, located in the Barrio de las Letras (Literary Quarter). Other premium-sector favourites include Calle Serrano and Calle Ortega y Gasset in the wellknown Salamanca District. Beyond designer shopping choose from bohemian, alternative and vintage fashion, handmade clothing, artisanal souvenirs, outdoor markets, and more (www.esmadrid.com/en/shopping-madrid). Madrid is synonymous with quality, design, detail, and passion, evident in the plethora of boutiques and studios showcasing home-grown products. Look out for Salesas, Lavapiés, the Barrio de las Letras and Chueca, Malasaña, Conde Duque, La Latina, and Madrid de los Austrias – establishments selling everything from hand-crafted capes, gloves, hats, meninas dolls and fans, to Manila shawls, jewellery, handbags, tapestries, violetflavoured sweets, furniture and guitars.
Culture and art
Private tours of Madrid’s most famed galleries and landmarks are now possible, with the city's well-known Golden Triangle of Art – the Thyssen-Bornemisza, El Prado and Reina Sofía Museums – all offering this service. So too is Liria Palace, the official residence of the house of Alba in Madrid and the main location of its art collection and historical archive, as well as the Royal Tapestry Factory. Often-overlooked cultural attractions worth a visit include the Decorative Arts Museum, the Royal Observatory and the Royal Botanical Gardens.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Madrid is home to the oldest restaurant in the world. Founded in 1725, Botín promises authentic traditional cuisine. If you wish to delve further into the Spanish capital’s culinary history, the Illustrated Map of Century-old Restaurants and Tabernas has a foodie route for you (www.esmadrid.com/en/centuries-old-restaurantsmadrid). For a Michelin-star experience, treat yourself to a meal at Saddle. With chef Adolfo Santos at its helm, it’s the latest addition to the city’s haute-cuisine scene. It collected its first Michelin star in December 2020 and, more recently, two Repsol Suns — a distinction recognising culinary experience and contribution. There are 20 restaurants listed in the Michelin Guide 2021 (www.esmadrid.com/en/michelin-starred-restaurants) ranging from DiverXo, headed by Dabiz Muñoz with three Michelin stars, to Coque by Mario Sandoval with two and El Invernadero by Rodrigo de la Calle, also awarded a Green Star, a new accolade in the guide, acknowledging restaurants at the forefront of sustainable gastronomy. Halal food is also easy to find in Madrid (www.esmadrid.com/en/halal-travel-madrid#).