On the evidence of a recent trip, Madrid seems to have recaptured much of the creative spark that made it one of the exciting cities in Europe during La Movida, or the cultural flowering that followed the death of dictator Francisco Franco, in 1975. Despite all the recent upheavals, the Spanish capital is more richly endowed, artistically and gastronomically, than ever. A flurry of debuts and renovations has also resulted in an expanding roster of luxury hotels. The Four Seasons Hotel Madrid opened in September 2020, followed by the relaunch of the Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid in April 2021 and the Rosewood Villa Magna in October 2021.
Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid
Formerly The Ritz hotel, the Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid has long been the city’s grande dame. Madrileños feel a deep attachment to the property, which was opened in 1910 by King Alfonso XIII. Created in collaboration with César Ritz, the father of The Ritz Paris, the hotel was a symbol of the modernity and luxury the king sought for his capital after travels to London and Paris.
The last time we stayed here, the property had abundant charm but was in serious need of renovation. Three years and $121 million later, the 153-room hotel has been transformed and now boasts new amenities, such as a heated indoor swimming pool, a steam room and a state-of-the-art Technogym fitness center.