Hotel Ritz Madrid – Review

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When you hear the word Ritz, everyone immediately associates it with luxury and pampering. When it comes to the Ritz Madrid it sure lives up to its name. Madrid itself is only 400 years, that’s a young city by European standards. Hotel Ritz Madrid was built in 1910 according to the wishes of King Alfonso XIII. This iconic landmark established Madrid as one of the truly great European cities. Ever since, it has welcomed visiting aristocracy and dignitaries with inimitable style and luxury. For these reasons, the Hotel Ritz has a powerful baroque palatial presence right in the heart of Madrid’s ‘Golden Triangle’. I happened to be in Madrid on a record hot Sunday Summers day, so what better way to spend the afternoon than at the 5 Star Hotel Ritz Madrid. The Ritz is part of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group since May 2015. The hotel is owned in equal parts by Mandarin Oriental and the Saudi Conglomerate Olayan Group.
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The Interior

The Ritz has undergone extensive renovations but has managed to hang onto a lot of its original features. These original features are certainly beautiful and historically interesting. Very pleasing to the eye whilst enjoying a cup of tea, let alone some Cava. The sumptuous carpets made down the road at the Royal Tapestry Factory ensure that every step you take is in cushioned comfort. The fresh flowers just add to the luxury appeal this hotel is famous for. It also shuts out the normality of life which is important for one’s stay. I am a huge lover of fresh flowers and the presentation throughout the establishment is beautiful..

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Service

From the moment I stepped in, I felt welcomed and well looked after. Now before arriving, I confirmed my stay and they were onto it. For me you can have the best hotel out there but it’s the people that will complete your stay. I was quickly escorted to the Goya restaurant and greeted by all staff along the way. The summer terrace is where you need to be, the piano playing for me just set the mood instantly. The personal engagement from the friendly pianist himself was warm and sweet, from Cava to white wine, my glass was never empty. More so the conversations and engagement from the staff was reassuring that I belonged in this establishment. Dining alone can be sometimes lonely but thanks to all staff, that was never an issue.

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Function Rooms

For those wanting to host special events, there are 5 rooms of different sizes with a capacity for 8 to 500 people, suitable for banquets, weddings. For the future bride and groom, the Ritz is the obvious choice for grand weddings, as Los Jerónimos, the society church, can be found just next to the Ritz. It is also a perfect place for cocktails, meeting and product promotions, Vodafone was hosting an event during my stay. Now historically the Ritz Madrid was famous for the “Tardes at the Ritz”. Hosting evenings under the stars where 20 piece orchestras invited a young and elegantly dressed crowd to tango and fox-trot the night away, were highly popular until the 1960’s. During my stay I caught up with some of Madrid’s finest fashion designers. So a MenStyleFashion event like no other certainly came to mind.

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The Ritz Garden

Now what better place to see the night through than at the the Ritz Gardens, a magic place, where guests can enjoy a cool drink or a “tapas” meal among fountains and ponds, flowering plants, vine covered pergolas and under the leafy shade of exotic trees which were planted over 50 years ago and originated from the nearby Botanical Gardens. I had a cocktail or two and a seafood tapas and it was an experience that completed my stay. A place certainly well suited for a romantic night out. The live piano performance just reminded you of pure class and one I would return to in a heart beat.

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Rooms

There are 125 guestrooms and 42 suites and no two are the same. Some have balconies overlooking the square or the hotel’s gardens, others have chandeliers and silk canopies over the bed, and most are furnished with antiques and decorated with original artworks. At reception the staff were so excited about my room. The deluxe suite I had was very spacious and a Spanish party fit for ten people came to my mind.
My room overlooked the famous Prado Museum, others are facing the Garden or are facing the Neptune Fountain or the Plaza de la Lealtad with the monument commemorating the uprising on the 2nd May 1808.
All rooms are different, all individually designed and the subtle colours of the hand crafted carpets from the legendary Spanish carpet manufacturer, the Real Fábrica de Tapices or La Alpujarreña, in each room, determine the shades of wall coverings and fabrics used. The rooms are individually decorated in classic style with rich materials and antique-style furniture.
I adored the huge wardrobes that could have easily hosted 50 dresses let alone forty suits. The original panelled walk-in wardrobes are the pride of the hotel so much so you could stand in it. I could not resist doing so myself.
One of my treasures was the historical buttons near the bedside, it certainly took me back a few years. The bed display is exquisite and the crafted bed heads, in some cases showcasing the Royal Crown, gave a real regal atmosphere. For me, my bed sheets are so important, give me the right linen and I will sleep for ever. On this occasion, it was an instant assurance that this hotel lived up to its luxury name. The sheets felt amazing and any clothing designer would have respected the efforts that it took to keep them at such a high standard. It came to a surprise when I read they were of purest Irish linen, Italians would certainly have been impressed.
The bathrooms are fitted with marble and gold, and each guest has an embroidered bathrobe. I tried on a bathrobe and could not believe how heavy they were. I am always a lover of quality materials. Should you be a regular return guest, you can have a personal bathrobe embroidered with your personal initials and kept for you by the laundry department for your return visit. There are even Ritz bathrobes for children!
The emphasis throughout the Ritz Madrid is very quiet and relaxing, an experience taking you back in time. It’s why I remain in Europe for these unique historical moments that money can’t buy.

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Sunday Brunch

I was told by a few friends who have stayed at the hotel many times that the Goya restaurant is one of the best in the city. I was fortunate to be hosted for the legendary Sunday brunch. In summer it is served on the lovely terrace, which is open for drinks, lunch and dinner at other times. When I walked in, I was instantly taken back by the decorative food designs. Now the Spanish cuisine is very familiar too me, so I am a harsh critic when it comes to food. Remember, my background is Italian and I am very well travelled. I can honestly say it was a perfect place to experience Spanish cuisine at its best.
The variety was vast and the service was second to none. I’m a huge fan of shell fish and the variety here was fabulous. The food being served in one of the finest silver settings just reminds you that this is Hotel Ritz Madrid. I can only encourage you to give it a try, you will not be disappointed. For families, don’t be at all intimidated, the staff were very accommodating to families with children of all ages. One thing I noticed was that there were Spanish families eating here and for me that is a good sign that the food and place must be good. It also gave you an insight to the Spanish culture. The men certainly dressed well. Yes, if you’re staying here, make sure you make an effort, linen suits for men is certainly encouraged here.

The Location

The Ritz is set in the heart of the Retiro district. You are within walking distance of the Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza, the Zarzuela Theatre and the Retiro Park. The financial district is also an easy walk away. Considering how central it is, it’s peaceful and you feel like you’re away from a city that hosts the most bars in any capital city in the world. This spacious city is the party capital of the world and staying here gives you that respite one needs after a hard day and evening out in the capital. I have to say that once I entered the Hotel, I actually never left it until the very next morning. As the English would say, have a nice day or in this case; Buenos Dias.

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