Spain’s más caliente hotels are opening in Madrid

There are countless reasons to add Madrid to your travel wish list: World-class museums, open-till-late tapas bars overflowing with jamon iberico and imperial architecture are just a few of them.

But this year, you’ll want to add brand-spanking-new luxury hotels to the top of that list.

While Madrid wasn’t exactly hurting for nice places to stay (it’s a centuries-old European capital after all), it’s not until now that it’s caught the eye of some of the planet’s most desirable travel brands, adding considerable international star power to its inventory of hotel rooms.

The wave started in September 2020, when über-luxe Four Seasons unveiled its first property in Spain as part of the Centro Canalejas project, which saw the seven-year restoration of seven historic buildings in the heart of the city.

The $600 million transformation includes a blingy shopping and dining complex with brands like Hermès, Cartier, and Rolex, and the 200-room Four Seasons Hotel Madrid (rooms from $1,000).

The arrival of a Four Seasons to a new destination is always met with fanfare, but the Madrid property was definitely built to impress: Occupying a former bank, the sense of arrival at the hotel’s double-height lobby is all about old-world opulence with its veiny marble columns, gilded spiral staircase and stained-glass ceiling.

An interior of a room at the Four Seasons Madrid.
Rooms at Madrid’s Four Seasons start at a thousand clams.
Four Seasons Hotel Madrid

But the hotel is especially proud of two size-does-matter features: an art collection, curated by Paloma Fernández-Iriondo, previously of Sotheby’s, that numbers 1,500 strong and a spa spread over four floors with a 46-foot-long pool.

The rooftop dining room from Michelin-star-winning chef Dani Garcia, who just landed in New York with Casa Dani in December, is the cherry on top.

Things only got better in 2021 when the iconic Hotel Ritz Madrid near El Retiro Park, first opened by King Alfonso XIII in 1910, reopened fully reimagined and modernized by Mandarin Oriental in April.

The lobby of the Mandarin Oriental Ritz Madrid.
Rooms at the Mandarin Oriental Ritz start at just over a grand a night.
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

The original Ritz was meant to be that glamorous hotel where European royalty would stay during their travels. And even as time wore on and the hotel lost luster, the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Elton John would often base their Madrid visits here.

But at the new 153-room Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid (rooms from $1,005), being a guest still means feeling like royalty — especially when they see personalized pillowcases embroidered with their initials resting on the bed.

Spanish architect Rafael de La-Hoz and French designers Gilles & Boissier restored this grand dame to be brighter than ever, flooding nearly every nook and cranny with light, which is going to come in handy if social media-savvy diners want to chronicle their experience at its numerous culinary concepts.

A dining area inside the Mandarin Oriental. Ritz.
The Mandarin Oriental Ritz is a renowned dining scene.
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group

Overseen by innovative Alicante-based chef Quique Dacosta, whose various projects have won him five Michelin stars, eating at the Ritz is currently the city’s most exciting foodie undertaking — if they can snag a reservation.

Deessa, Dacosta’s fine-dining paean to Spanish cooking, offers two distinct menus: one that celebrates his career’s most notable moments and another more contemporary sequence inspired by Madrid.

Dishes like stingray in a black-butter sauce and roasted sweetbreads made earthier with herbs and leaves picked in the mountains have already won the kitchen a Michelin star.
The end of the year was capped with the renovation and reopening of two other luxury bolt-holes: Rosewood Villa Magna and Santo Mauro, a Luxury Collection Hotel.

Interior of the Rosewood Villa Magna.
Rooms at Rosewood’s Villa Magna start at $850 a night.
Rosewood Villa Magna

The Villa Magna (rooms from $850), Rosewood’s first hotel in Spain, impresses with a calming ambience. Design-wise, there’s plenty to look at — a stained-glass window that wraps up the main staircase, a zigzag-patterned carpet, sculptural pendant lighting, full-marble bathrooms — but guests aren’t being hit over the head with flashes of grandeur. 

Instead, the handsome, considered aesthetic feels more residential than at other hotels. But in the back, there’s Tarde.O, a  dimly lit cocktail bar with a  massive lineup of top-shelf spirits.

Just on the other side of Paseo de la Castellana in the more locals-only district of Chamberí is Santo Mauro (rooms from $675), an aristocratic palace in one of its former lives that’s now a grand 49-room hotel.

Exterior of the Santo Mauro
Ritzy rooms at Santo Mauro start at $675.
Hotel Santo Mauro

An entirely more maximalist attitude colors every corner, from the verdant gardens, to the elaborate rooms, to a property “soundtrack” composed by Goya Awards-winner Lucas Vidal.

Designer Lorenzo Castillo’s pattern-mixing is  eye-catching with some rooms featuring abstract wallpaper contrasted with floral curtains and geometric upholstery, while others are  cloaked in a bold, Indian-inspired pattern.

If none of the above is speaking to you, wait another few months when both the W and EDITION open.