Arrival Experience: At the very beginning of Gran Via near Banco de Espana, this historic building, now housing the Principal Hotel (part of Design Hotels), was converted from a mid-range hotel to one of the area’s most trendy. Many rooms face the glorious, art-deco Metropolis building giving them a private glimpse of one of the city’s top architectural structures (although at inspection it was unfortunately scaffolded for renovations). A series of stairs leads to a manned-station where security greets guests and helps them with their luggage. Arrivals can wait for the sole elevator to the sixth floor reception where sparkling wine is delivered promptly.
Dining: A clubby lounge area sits to one side where guests can curl up with a book or chat over coffee. Further inside is the bar area with an outdoor terrace covered for shade. On the other side of reception is the main restaurant serving a fine breakfast buffet of Spanish favorites and light meals the rest of the day. Cuisine is overseen by two Michelin-starred chef Ramon Freixa. An outdoor terrace features numerous tables providing exquisite views of Madrid. But, the real showcase comes when guests climb to the seventh floor roof terrace where red fabric umbrellas and lounge chairs are accompanied by a bar and snack service menu.
Rooms: Carpeted hallways are quiet leading to contemporary guest rooms with massive, pillowtop beds wrapped in expensive linens and duvets. Leather chairs and velvet sofas provide lounging space with coffee tables covered in design books. Minibars, espresso machines, hot water kettles, desks with international power ports, and large closets with garment bags and slippers are all nice touches. Bathrooms feature Gilchrist & Soames toiletries, and combination tubs have multi-directional water streams. Large flat-screen cable TVs and free wireless Internet provide entertainment.
Amenities: A computer with free Internet and printer access is available by the lobby, and guests can request to borrow iPads from reception. A Wellness Suite for massage services and fitness center are available to guests. With one of the best locations in town, tourists and business travelers alike will find this to be an ideal spot for their visit. Those hopping the airport bus, instead of the metro, need only walk one block down the street to the nearby stop. This member of Design Hotels is one of the city’s freshest faces and is already hitting all the right high notes in its first year of operation.