Great location near Madrid's top-class museums and popular Retiro Park
Full-service spa and a 24-hour gym
Plenty of family-friendly amenities such babysitting services and video games
Comprehensive business center, including bilingual secretarial services
Free airport transfers for guests who are staying in suites
Concierge can arrange special city experiences like cooking classes and soccer tours
The upscale vibe (with an enforced restaurant dress codes) may feel stuffy to some
Fitness center is small and has no windows
Some guests report inefficient air-conditioning
High prices for extras such as breakfast and minibar
The 104-year old, 167-room Hotel Ritz Madrid is one of the city's iconic luxury properties. Originally designed to look like a palace, the hotel's high-end interiors and top-notch service have made it a popular destination for celebrities and notable names. Ideally located adjacent to Retiro Park and overlooking the Museo Prado, and within walking distance to many of the city's attractions, the Ritz suits business travelers and well-heeled tourists. But the experience definitely comes at cost.
A favorite of international celebrities, politicians and business tycoons
Walking the red carpet into the Ritz Madrid's lobby is like stepping into an earlier time. The lobby's classically elegant furniture, high ceilings, marble columns, sparkling chandeliers, grand piano and towering flower arrangements telegraph a historic opulence unlike anything else in the city. As the Ritz is the go-to hotel for politicians, celebrities and other dignitaries, famous faces are often found in the on-site restaurant and bars. In fact, a look at the walls of the bar will reveal some of the hotels' legendary guests, including Rita Hayworth, Orson Wells and Ernest Hemingway. Legend has it that a cranky Hemingway was asked to dress up or move to another hotel; he put on a tie. This dress code is still enforced today.
Beautiful grounds, close to the Prado Museum and Retiro Park
The Hotel Ritz Madrid is in the center of the city, convenient to everything, but its location on the wide, tree-lined Paseo del Prado, adjacent to Retiro Park, makes the hotel feel like a palace from another era, amid acres of gardens. Interesting restaurants and high-end boutiques are within waking distances, and art lovers are just minutes away from Madrid's major fine arts institutions (the Museo del Prado and Thyssen-Bornemiza Museum are within a five-minute walk, and it's 15 minutes to the Reina Sofia Museum).
Classic luxury with period-style furniture and clever touches
Ritz Madrid rooms are lavishly decorated with brocade bedcovers, silk draperies, hand-knotted carpets and period furniture. Embroidered sheets are 100-percent linen, and bathrobes are embossed with the Ritz crest. Marble bathrooms have gold fixtures, with separate tub and shower stalls. There is a generous supply of high-end toiletries, including a loofah. Fresh fruit comes with each room, and minibars are stocked with a variety of tempting snacks and drinks. HD TVs and iPod docks and are standard, and CD/DVD players are available upon request. For the kids, the hotel offers cartoon DVDs, Playstations, and babysitting services.
Forty kinds of gin, live music, and babysitting services
The Hotel Ritz Madrid's luxurious offerings extend beyond the private rooms. Its restaurants and bar have developed an international reputation as among the best in Madrid. The sophisticated on-site eatery Goya focuses on Spanish cuisine incorporating French and Basque influences, while Sunday brunch, served on the terrace in the summer, is an extremely popular, see-and-be-seen affair. Traditional afternoon tea with clotted cream and English scones is served on silver and bone china in the lobby bar, with live musical accompaniment. Velazquez, the Ritz's intimate cocktail bar, serves 40 kinds of gin.
When it's time to head out and experience the city, the hotel's concierge team can arrange notable experiences such as a behind-the-scenes visit to Real Madrid's soccer stadium, cooking lessons, and a private tapas tour in the Latin Quarter.
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