“We couldn’t resist staying at the iconic, Westin Palace Madrid during our trip to the Spanish capital”
Exuding history and grandiose, The Westin Palace Madrid (click here) was first commissioned by King Alfonso XIIII in 1912. Every inch of the hotel is steeped in history, from the 16thcentury tapestries hanging in the Rotunda to the lobby’s original chandelier and the 70’s frescos throughout.
The Westin Palace Madrid is located at one of the city’s best addresses. The hotel stands opposite Las Cortes (the Spanish Parliament), the Prado and the Thyssen-Bornemisza museums. Some might say the Westin Palace is truly the heart of Madrid’s Golden Triangle of art.
Our check in was long. My immediate impression was that the hotel was big, I mean really big! With the crowds made up of mainly American’s, it was 3:30pm when we arrived from the train station and it wasn’t until 3:50 that we reached the front of the line. There were a lot of people!
At ten to four, we were told that our room was still not ready for us to go up to, which I thought was very unusual. We were already being upgraded to a better room thanks to the Kiwi Collection but fortunately for us I think the front desk attendant thought the room should have been done, so we were upgraded AGAIN to an executive suite (so no complaints there).
While we were waiting, I took in our surroundings, the marble lobby sat underneath an original 1912 palm chandelier, with the afternoon sun shimmering in, it created a subtle light show.
Note: What really is quite extraordinary is that the entire building only took 18months to build from start to finish, (keeping in mind, small renovations at my house have taken longer).
Thanks to the upgraded suite from the Westin and the Kiwi Collection, we were now staying in the executive suite on the first floor. Our room was extremely spacious, with a marble-clad foyer, separate oval lounge room which had a wonderful view of Cánovas Square& the Neptuno water fountain from the suite’s 3 Juliet balconies. During our stay we were lucky enough to be able to enjoy the afternoon sun from here.
We were told that the entire wing (where our suite was) had just recently undergone a refurb. While incorporating some contemporary touches, the suite to me, still felt quite “classical”, and did well in retaining much of its original charm, (Especially thanks to the styled 19th-Century brocade drapes & the striking period cornicing) I think a more modern fit out wouldn’t have felt as appropriate.
We were also very lucky with our timing. We were able to watch a concert which was playing across the street in front of the Spanish Parliament on our second night which was rammed full of people and on the 3rdday we got to watch the Fiesta de la Transhumanciawhich takes place every year. Talk about great location!
Food & Beverage
Buffet Breakfast: Quite frankly, the breakfast buffet food was extremely lack luster and in my opinion not worth going to (unless you are after an American style buffet, catering for large crowds), not even the beautiful rotunda could make up for it. However, due to the great location of the property, there are plenty of great cafes that offer a more traditional Spanish breakfast.
On the other hand the Sunday Opera Brunch is an absolute must. Which is also Served in La Rotonda. The food was a lot better for starters and watching the opera singers surrounded by original tapestries dating back to the 16thand 17thcentury, singing below the incredible Belle Epoque glass cupola (a huge stained glass dome) was quite an experience.
Asia Gallery: A wonderful Chinese restaurant within the Westin Palace. We were treated to a wonderful lunch here and I highly recommended it. Do yourself a favour an order the Iberian Pork Dumplings with Asian mustard = next level deliciousness.
Pool & Gym
The gym was good. It on the top level with a view of the city. There was a good selection of gym equipment with a TRX section, treadmills, machines etc.
There was no pool.
- Great location
- Steeped in history
- Opera Brunch
- Asia Gallery
- Long wait time to check in (It is a busy hotel with 470 rooms that are nearly always at full occupancy, so the longer than usual wait times can be forgiven.)
- Breakfast buffet was average
A hotel that transports you back in time and with a famous guestlist spanning from Einstein to Picasso to Hemingway, staying at the Westin Palace Madrid is a must at least once.
The Westin Palace Madrid
Plaza de las Cortes, 7,
28014 Madrid, Spain
Phone: +34 913 60 80 00