When you travel to the cultural capital of Spain, is there any better place to haul up than a 19th century palace? We discovered the sights, the shopping and the streets of Madrid with a stay at the 5-star Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques…
When in Madrid, book yourself into a palace! In the centre of the city stands the stunning Elizabethan façade that is the Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques (Gran Meliá Palace of the Dukes). It’s privileged location means that you can let your tourist 101 out in full force; you’re practically on the doorstep of some of the most important monuments in the city, including the Royal Palace, Royal theatre and the Cathedral of the Almudena, not to mention the abundant plazas and squares packed with some of the best bars, cafés, restaurants and snack stops.
Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques is an architectural feast for the eyes (and your snapchat!). The building is a blend of vintage splendour, timeless luxury and delicate contemporary touches with an avant-garde air. e palace itself is located on the site of what used to be one of the most important convents in Europe in the 13th century, the Convent of Santo Domingo. Today, the Meliá hospitality brand has managed to successfully maintain the character and elegance of the original structure: the residence of the Dukes of Granada de Ega. One of the major highlights of the property and a huge tick in our books is the spectacular and historically-important 1000m2 garden which is unbelievably tranquil and peaceful to walk through. Greenery in the middle of busy city life? Yes, please!
We arrive to a warm welcome where the front desk staff are attentive and fast with the check-in process. As we head up to our Supreme Room with a polite and helpful bellboy in the lift, we’re told that the hotel’s interior is inspired by the work of the famous Spanish painter velázquez, whose creativeness acts as a muse for the elegant and exquisitely designed rooms. More specifically, Las Meninas, the velázquez masterpiece, is the motivation behind the decor of the rooms at the Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques. The colour palette, the sharp, clean lines and fine textiles, have all been selected with the greatest of skill to recreate classical elegance with a modern air. All the rooms feature the latest technology, exquisite furniture and luxurious bathroom details to ensure you enjoy a unique experience of rest, comfort and style in the heart of the Madrid of the Austrias.
When we enter our Supreme Room, it’s evident that the utmost attention to detail has gone into its formation. Huge windows glorify the utter beauty of Madrid whilst natural light pours into the room, highlighting the ochre tones and classical atmosphere. There’s nothing but space in this 38sqm room where the comfiest king size bed makes for some of the best siestas and sleeps and the small living area is a restful addition, whilst the magnificent bathroom is all-inviting with its amazing tub and rain shower with waterfall effect. Under floor heating and the delicate perfume of the Clarins bathroom amenities will be a fabulous reminder of why the Meliá brand is great at making you fall in love with hotels over and over again.
Now, let’s talk dining. The hotel has three restaurants, two cocktail bars, a tea corner and outdoor areas with different gastronomic options. Of all the culinary offerings, it’s Dos Cielos Madrid by Hermanos Torres that gets the foodie crowd talking. Located in the area previously occupied by the Palace stables, and with an outdoor area in the historic garden, the restaurant’s menu is comprised of some of the Torres brothers’ (who have one Michelin Star) most emblematic dishes along with a menu inspired by the area of Madrid of the Austrias; Castilian and historic, along with classic allusions that have been recovered with a touch of creativity. is is the place to go for a friendly and fine-dining atmosphere and a true taste of old-school local favourites with a special twist. For special occasion dinners or even as a treat during your stay, this place won’t disappoint!
For those of you who are there to shop, get ready for major fashion envy. Gran via, the high street of all high streets is mere minutes away. Known as the ‘Broadway’ of Madrid, this is where you’ll find popular brands like Zara, Bershka, H&M, Salsa and many more. Stop o for a snack at one of the many quaint cafes serving delicious churros (crispy sticks of fried batter) with chocolate sauce, before continuing up Calle Fuencarral or Calle Hortaleza, dotted with cute vintage shops. One of the city’s oldest district and Madrid’s multicultural heart, Lavapies is where African, Indian and Asian influences come to life with charming restaurants and street-market-style shops. Surrounding the hotel area are the narrow streets of La Latina, in Madrid’s Old Town. A hidden gem packed with chic shops that you’ll spend hours wondering. Serrano is another area you might want to check out; it’s one of the trendiest and most expensive neighborhoods of Madrid, where travellers will find luxurious shops located in what were once small palaces.
When you’ve had your fill of the city, Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques is the best place to return to and make use of excellent facilities. There’s a breathtaking swimming pool and jacuzzi on the top floor overlooking the Royal Palace, the Almudena Cathedral and the famous district of the Austrias, with a solarium and cocktail bar. The unique ai Room Wellness features four massage cabins, sauna, Turkish bath, therapeutic shower, changing room and showers. Here, the most exquisite treatments provided by expert ai therapists will help to relax your mind and body, renewing your energy for another day in the great Spanish capital.
Much like many of its sister properties, the Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques is another 5-star win for Meliá, a hospitality giant that keeps on impressing us with its many thoughtful elements. This hotel is more than just a place to stay, it’s an extraordinary way of life and, just like us, you’re going to find it very hard to leave this stylish living!
For more information and reservations call: +34 912 76 47 47 or
visit: www.melia. com/en/hotels/spain/madrid/gran-melia-palacio-de-los-duques