In spite of its not entirely undeserved conservative reputation, Madrid’s got a few modern hotels that, in their own serious way, stand up to some of Barcelona’s more outré experiments. Behind the 1908 facade of a palace facing the famous Retiro park, the AC Palacio del Retiro is a deceptively contemporary hotel, one with swanky high-gloss modernist furniture and high-tech luxury-hotel amenities against the backdrop of the building’s century-old palace architecture.
They just don’t build them like they used to. Perhaps the best thing about a palace hotel like this one is that the floors were laid out with no consideration to profit — double-loaded corridors lined with identical shoebox-sized rooms are out of the question. Here you’ll find high ceilings, wide open-plan rooms, and a few suites that are downright palatial, appropriately enough.
Room service is available around the clock, and there’s one staff member per room, a high ratio indeed for a modern design hotel. On-site you’ll find a spa, fitness center, and copious business facilities, as well as an upscale modern-Mediterranean restaurant. And for location, sightseers could do worse — in addition to the Retiro park, the Palacio is close by to the Thyssen, the Prado and the Reina Sofia museums.
AlfonsoXII, Nº 14, Madrid
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