The Hotel Ritz, Madrid


Hotel Ritz, Madrid  from

Upon arrival in Madrid, I journeyed to the historic Hotel Ritz, Madrid. I was very much looking forward to staying in this hotel. It was built in 1910 by French architect Charles Mewes and Swiss hotelier Cesar Ritz at the request of King Alfonso XIII. Since it opened The Hotel Ritz, Madrid has hosted celebrities, world leaders, and now me.

Just before my visit it was announced that the Mandarin Oriental and the Olayan Group had purchased the Hotel Ritz, Madrid. MO announced some grand plans including:

  • The garden will be excavated to install an underground gym and swimming pool
  • The roof will be raised to make way for new attic rooms on the sixth floor.
  • The bathrooms will be redesigned and gilded taps will no longer be used.

The renovation is expected to start in 2017, last for 18 months, and cost perhaps 90 million Euro. Much of our conversation with the staff was about the future of the hotel. No one yet knows the total scope of the renovations or changes. The hotel is looking a tad worn on the outside, but it’s still The Grande Dame in Madrid. And we had a wonderful stay!

Hotel Ritz - Madrid, SpainHotel Ritz - Madrid, Spain
Hotel Ritz - Madrid, SpainHotel Ritz - Madrid, Spain

When you enter the lobby you know immediately you’re in a Traditional, Historic Luxury hotel. Beautiful fixtures, antique furniture, ancient tapestries – a great bar – surround you. It’s perhaps a little dated, but still quite comfortable and luxurious. On a few occasions during the stay we relaxed here with a drink – including a few Dalitinis – a cocktail created by a young Salvador Dali.

There is no doubt that the hotel will change… it will be interesting to see what changes are made. One thing that will not change is the impeccable service. During our three day stay we were constantly amazed by the service standards, professionalism, and the way the staff anticipated guests’ needs and wants. Based on the history of this hotel and the current management – that standard of excellence will not change.

The hotel is located in Madrid’s “Golden Triangle” of culture. It sits directly opposite the Museo del Prado and close to the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia- both impressive galleries. Off the backside of the hotel is the Buen Retiro Park and Botanical Gardens. (I used to go visit there on weekends when I lived in Madrid!). And a 10 minute walk away, up the hill, is the chaos of Plaza Mayor. You cannot beat the location of this hotel.

These room classes may change… but here is the current alignment:

The Hotel Ritz, Madrid is an impressive hotel. I can’t wait to go back and see how the Mandarin Oriental group upgrades this beautiful hotel, while maintaining the history and unique Belle Époque decor. Currently the hotel feels like an welcoming oasis in the busy center of Madrid. I hope it remains so.

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