Several new luxury hotels have recently opened in Madrid, with others on the way – swiftly making it one of Europe’s most fashionable cities. Always appealing for art lovers and foodies, it is now also attracting shoppers who like a label. And it’s no accident, but a deliberate move by the local authorities to attract high spending visitors. Leading the pack is the Four Seasons Madrid (the brand’s first outpost in Spain) for its location, facilities, food and all the touches, such as floral displays, associated with the brand.
Hotel Review: Four Seasons Madrid
You only need to enter the broad, bustling lobby – with a magnificent stain glass skylight above – to realise that the Four Seasons Madrid has already become a magnet for both locals and visitors. The imposing building (the lobby is double height) was once a bank, and many of its ornate original features have been retained, giving the place an ageless style despite the fact that it only opened in late 2020. You get the same reassuring feeling that it’s been around for years everywhere in the hotel. It’s part of a remarkable, outwardly seamless, conversion of seven mainly 19th century buildings on a landmark site.
Despite its impressive footprint, there are only 200 rooms and suites, several with balconies, allowing them to be among the biggest in Madrid, even those at entry level. And all are bright, including those overlooking the inner courtyard garden. Décor is stylish, comfortable and contemporary but pleasingly neither fussy nor glitzy: with high quality finishes, wooden floors and cabinets, subtle lighting, thoughtful layouts and helpful features. Bathrooms are bright, with marble fittings and Hermes amenities.
A particular feature of the hotel is the over 1,500 striking works by young Spanish artists displayed throughout. But the real star of the Four Seasons Madrid is the amazing spa – the biggest in Spain – spread over four floors. It has eight treatment rooms, offering every conceivable form of pampering; and a glass-roofed heated pool with a view on the eighth floor, with an outdoor sun terrace. There is also a spacious fitness room with the latest equipment.
The hotel’s large brasserie, Dani, overseen by Michelin-starred celebrity chef Dani Garcia, is as popular with Madrileños (there is a separate street entrance) as it is with guests. They come not only for the food, but for the rooftop terrace, and the panoramic views of the city. It’s a clever concept: you can try some of Garcia’s signature dishes, such as his nitro tomato with green gazpacho, or you can choose from a wide range of vibrant, but more casual, Mediterranean, Spanish and Japanese inspired plates, both light and substantial. Either way, you can be sure of fine ingredients, a buzzy atmosphere and friendly service.
Dani is also the venue for the extensive breakfast buffet, featuring many Spanish specialities, which you can eat inside or on the terrace. El Patio, the lobby bar, in what was once the main hall of the Banco Español de Crédito, is the place for coffee, drinks and all day dining, including snacks, sandwiches, tapas, pastries and full meals.
The subdued lighting in Isa, the hotel’s other restaurant – originally conceived as a cocktail bar with food – gives it a club-like vibe. Head barman, Miguel Peréz still conjures up some of Madrid’s most exciting concoctions, but now chef Ignacio Vara also has a major role serving up dishes with a strong Japanese emphasis.
If luxury shopping is your thing, then you’re in luck, with the Galeria de Canalejas shopping centre – part of the same development – directly accessible from the Four Seasons Madrid, with brands such as Armani, Dior and Cartier, and a Hermes store just off the hotel lobby. The Galeria’s food hall is home to a variety of restaurants. And you are also in walking distance of the artisan shops of the Barrio de las Letras area.
Many of Madrid’s main sights, including the pivotal Puerta del Sol, virtually next door, and the 16th Century Plaza Mayor, with its shops, restaurants and lively food market, Mercado de San Miguel, are also an easy walk away, with the royal palace (Palacio Real) and Madrid’s newest museum, the recently opened Royal Collections Gallery, only a few minutes further on.
Madrid’s world class art galleries, the Prado and the Thyssen collection are also no more than 10 or 15 minutes away. And right by the hotel is the neo-classical Real Academia de Bellas Artes, Spain’s equivalent to the Royal Academy. It has over 1,400 works by numerous major Spanish and European artists, including Sorolla and several paintings by Goya.
THE FINAL WORD
It’s rare that a major new hotel establishes itself, and becomes a local institution, as fast as the Four Seasons Madrid. And for excellent reasons: central location, fine facilities, spacious rooms, good food and seamless service.
Double rooms with breakfast at the Four Seasons Madrid start from £735 per night. fourseasons.com