The Westin Palace Madrid – Where Tradition and Innovation Meet
The Westin Palace Madrid is situated in one of the best locations in the capital city of Spain, Madrid. Close to the Prado museum, historical monuments and some of the best tapas restaurants in town, this hotel is a very interesting mix of both history and innovation.
History of The Westin Palace Madrid
Built by order of King Alfonso XIII in 1912, The Westin Palace, Madrid was purpose built as a hotel. It was decided “the Spanish capital lacked suitable accommodation to meet the expectations of a newly emerging breed of traveler”. He wanted it to have modern conveniences and to reflect the city’s potential. This same ethos remains today, and the hotel has been restored time and time again to continue to reflect its history but also its relevance to the modern traveler.
During the Spanish Civil War, the hotel was commandeered by the Army and converted into a military hospital. Rooms and suites were filled with hospital beds while operations were conducted with natural light under the stained glass dome of the famous Cupola Lounge.
The city’s social scene had always been inextricably linked to the Palace hotel. Over the years, its luxurious facilities have attracted international celebrities and European royalty, some of whom have used the hotel to host some of the greatest parties ever thrown in the city. Famous faces to have passed through its doors include Matahari, Albert Einstein, Ava Gardner, Salvador Dalí and Bill Clinton.
To this end, there is museum within the hotel that shows its history from 1912.
The hotel installed all of the modern conveniences available at that time, even employing UK specialists to install indoor plumbing, which was non-existent in Spain at that time. Again, the hotel met the expectations of the new breed of traveler. There was also an on-site nursery for the staff’s children, an innovative idea at that time.
The Westin Palace Madrid Today
Today, as part of the Starwood Hotels & Resorts, The Westin Palace, Madrid is an important hub for business people, travelers, and locals. The current exhibition in the Cupola Lounge is the History of Samsonite luggage, “100 years traveling together,” with the hotel opening just 2 years after Samsonite commenced business. The exhibition is a celebration not only of the past of both brands, but also its present closer relationship through the collections on display. You can see some of the the stories of the most famous guests of the hotel, such as Mata Hari, Salvador Dali or Cary Grant, with Mata Hari’s trunk on display.
The hotel promotes that it is 100 years young, and still the grand dame of the Spanish capital.
The hotel is very aware that to maintain this position; they need to continue to reinvent themselves. Consequently, there are continuous yet sympathetic renovations that take place, to meet the expectations of a newly emerging breed of traveler.
With one of the most enviable locations in Madrid, The Westin Palace Madrid is in the cultural and financial heart of the city. It is in the very center of the “Art Triangle” between the Prado, Thyssen and Reina Sofia museums. It is cross the road from the Parliament and within walking distance from the Royal Palace and the Opera House, The Westin Palace Madrid enjoys a privileged and unique location.
Details about The Westin Palace Madrid
The hotel is a mini city within a city; such is the size of The Westin Palace Madrid. There are 467 guest rooms and suites, some decorated and furnished with stunning marble, precious fabrics and updated with every modern convenience.
The hotel attracts many business travelers. They come from all over the world, and many social events that go with business dealings are held at La Rotunda, the 1912 Museo Bar, and in other function areas throughout the palace. On a personal note, this is the fastest internet ever and makes it a pleasure to do any business.
Our room was perfect in functionality with a view over the park and the Fuente de Neptuno – a lovely fountain. Complimentary room service coffee was excellent as was the super fast internet. The rooms are also well appointed and I love that they have an iron and board in the closet. There is ample space to work and to relax. There are very grand suites in the hotel as well with the Royal Suite being 160 square meters, or with the 2 adjoinging rooms 225 square meters.
Food and Drink at The Westin Palace Madrid
Well when you can choose to start you day with a champagne, a super food, or a churros you are on to something very good. With breakfast going until 11am, this makes it easier for those who get into the Spanish mode of living and don’t get home to 2am – that would be us. There is ample choice of very good food, and a chef on hand to whip you up something individual should you not find it on the very expansive buffet. In this day where travelers still require different things, the hotel offers superfoods for breakfast and a gym that has all of the workout gear availbale to hire to save you packing the trainers/joggers etc.
La Rotonda, is the restaurant and lounge area under the ornate stained-glass dome. It is charming and elegant and is a meeting place for locals and guests who gather to meet for coffee and drinks at all times of the day.
La Rotonda is also where the very popular Sunday brunch with an opera performance is held.
Also at La Rotunda, you can try a unique gastronomic experience designed by the master ice cream maker from La Rioja, called 9 Dishes/9 ice creams. This is why The Westin Palace is known for its innovation. We will be writing about the actual dishes and menu shortly.
1912 Museo Bar
This has always been a favorite meeting place for people. Ernest Hemingway of course drank here as did Salvadore Dali. It remains a magnet for locals and visitors alike to meet at the bar. As with Spanish timing for meals, expect to meet people here at around midnight, an extremely civilized time for a cocktail or two in what is very much and English Gentlemans club décor.
Asia Gallery Restaurant.
A charming restaurant serves Cantonese and other Asian dishes.
It is amazing that we have not realized how much easier a concierge can make you life. I think our thoughts were that concierges were only for rich people to get those last minute tickets to the Lady Gaga concert. And a good concierge can do this, no matter if the show is fully booked out. That is a real story.
The Hotel Westin Madrid has amazing concierges, 3 holding the highly prestigious Golden Keys badge. Our concierge secured our tickets, told us where to eat, the best ways to get to places, and almost anything we needed or just wanted to know about.
Our 4-night stay at The Westin Palace Madrid went all too quickly as we enjoyed both the history and the innovation of this Spanish Palace.
Westin Palace Madrid
Plaza de las Cortes, 7
Madrid, , 28014
The writers were the guests of the Westin Palace Madrid and thank them for their hospitality and their friendliness.