The opening of a new grand dame in Madrid is the first step towards a brighter future for the capital
We could all do with a bit of glamour in our lives right now and the Madrilenians need it more than most as the aaa replica designer handbags city currently has the worst Covid 19 situation in Spain and is back in local lockdown.
With only a third of hotels open and few international visitors, it is all cheap louis vuitton bags from china uk looking pretty bleak on the tourism front. There is, however, a glimmer of hope in the rather spectacular form of the Four Seasons Hotel Madrid which, against all odds, opened its doors at the end of September fake louis bag albeit with only a quarter of its 200 rooms available. Utter madness? Maybe.
Adrian Messerli, general manager of Madrid’s most luxurious and now most expensive hotel, is doing his best to be upbeat. “The opening is a little ray of sunlight and positivity for the city of Madrid amid the current negativity. We are creating 254 jobs plus all the indirect work involved with putting a five star hotel into operation.”
Cheering news indeed, but where are the guests going to come from? “Reservations are low as international travel into Spain is very high quality designer replica handbags wholesale limited, but we have had a lot of Madrilenians coming in to have a look around and have a drink or something to eat,” says the stoical Messerli, who is from Switzerland and has worked at Four Seasons hotels all over the world.
The hotel has stringent hygiene measures in place, which includes disinfecting rooms on a daily basis and constant cleaning of public areas but there is no testing on arrival at the moment. Guests can chat with staff on an app replica louis vuitton , so direct contact can be kept to a minimum while maintaining the personal touch.
It is a real shame that the hotel has not been able to open with all the Designer Louis Vuitton Replica Handbags pomp usually associated with such grand events as it is an important development not just for the Madrid hotel scene but also for tourism in the capital and the city itself. This has been a massive project that I have been observing since 2013 replica designer handbags when it got underway.
You Discount Replica Louis Vuitton Bags could hardly miss it as the site called the Centro Canalejas takes up a huge triangular block right in the heart of Madrid, encompassing seven buildings that were formerly the headquarters of banks and insurance companies. It is immediately adjacent to the Puerta del Sol, which is the central point not just of the city but also the entire country.
It might seem like an ideal location, but it is not that straightforward. Not everyone regards downtown Madrid as the perfect area for high high quality designer replica handbags end hotels or shops come to that, owing to a few grungy streets 1:1 replica handbags around the centre (which have been considerably smartened up in the past decade). Luxury hotels and boutiques have traditionally been concentrated in and around the Salamanca neighbourhood cheap louis vuitton bags from china uk , which is only a couple of miles away but feels like a different 1:1 replica handbags city with a much more upmarket vibe. This is like choosing Piccadilly Circus rather than Knightsbridge in London.
The centre is smartening up though, with five star hotels such as the Gran Hotel fake designer bags Ingls and the Gran Melia Palacio de los Duques high quality replica handbags china , both a few minutes’ walk from the Puerta del Sol, opening in recent years. (Neither of these is currently open at the moment, however.) A W hotel is being built opposite the Centro Canalejas, while a mile away by the Prado museum, the revamped Ritz is set to reopen as a Mandarin Oriental hotel at the end of the year.
As well as the hotel, the complex comprises 22 private residences (also run by Four Seasons) and the Galera Canalejas, a three storey shopping arcade where Herms is already open and Loewe, Fendi and Louis Vuitton will be among the designer names, as well as top beauty and jewellery brands. The third floor will be a food hall with outlets by leading restaurants.
While the interiors are totally new although lots of original decorative features have been repurposed the ornate faades encasing the complex have been preserved and spruced up, removing decades of pollution to return them to their former glory. The most distinctive, projecting like the bow of a ship, was designed in the late 19th century by the Catalan architect Jos Grases Riera for the Equitable Life insurance company known as La Equitativa in Spain and housed the headquarters of a string of banks in the course of the 20th century.
This was the first major commercial building in Madrid and the catalyst for a new flamboyant financial area. Grand architectural projects were commissioned by banking and credit institutions, creating some of the most beautiful architecture in the city. A cluster of gentlemen’s clubs sprang up too, including the sumptuous Casino de Madrid opposite the Four Seasons.
Also adjacent is the 18th century Real Academia de Bellas Artes, which has an astounding art collection including paintings by El Greco, Goya and Zurbarn, but gets surprisingly few visitors. This is likely to change with the presence of the Four Seasons, as are the fortunes of the many traditional independent shops in the vicinity, such as Capas Sesea, which has been selling exquisite capes, made on the premises, for more than a century.
While the location means the guests will be surrounded by the most characterful parts of Madrid, the aim is for the Madrilenians to come in and feel part of the hotel too. When they wander into what is now the lavish lobby, some will no doubt remember the days of doing their banking there. Now they can have a glass of vermouth in El Patio bar, or a cocktail inspired by traditional figures in the city the gin based El Sereno is named after the night watchmen who used to patrol the streets of the neighbourhood and had keys to let people into their buildings after an evening out.
The atmosphere is nothing like as stuffy as you might expect. On the top floor, with a roof terrace that has panoramic views across the city, there is a bar and brasserie rather than a formal restaurant. That said, it is run by Dani Garca, the chef who closed his restaurant in Andaluca, where he had three Michelin stars, to join the project.
“We just want to bring a bit of joy, a bit of life back to the city centre”, says Adrian Messerli. Madrid has a long haul ahead but has never lost its spark and right now the Four Seasons feels like the first step towards a brighter future for the Spanish capital.