Today (September 14, 2015): Review of The Westin Palace Madrid (Spain).
- Location: Google maps
- Hotel website: The Westin Palace Madrid
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso
Commissioned by King Alfonso XIII in 1912, the newly restored, 467 room Westin Palace Madrid is set near the Prado, historic monuments and some of the best tapas restaurants in town. It was ranked as one of the world’s best hotels by Condé Nast Traveler’s 2010 Gold List. More than a century after its construction, the Grand Dame of Madrid continues to reinvent itself to further build upon its legendary hospitality.
In this review (more info and photos below my Youtube clip and slideshow):
- Pros & things I like
- Cons & things to know
- My verdict
- Tips for future guests & save money
- Best time to visit
- How to get there
PROS & THINGS I LIKE
- The Westin Palace Madrid enjoys a terrific location, one of the best, if not thé best in town. Situated in the city center, at the charming Las Letras neighborhood, and within walking distance of the most prestigious museums of the city, such as Thyssen Museum or Prado Museum, the iconic “Palace” is the ideal hotel to explore the Spanish capital.
- The elegant hotel is steeped in history. Located opposite the Spanish Parliament, the Palace was built at the initiative of King Alfonso XIII to accommodate travelers at the turn of the century. Built over a period of 18 months, it soon became the most modern hotel in Europe. More than 100 years later, after several refurbishments and respecting its Belle Époque essence, the building has now been declared a Site of Cultural Interest.
- Since it was opened on the 12th of October 1912, the Palace has been the cosmopolitan refuge for artists, politicians, and businessmen. Celebrities such as Picasso, Dali, Albert Einstein or Madame Curie have all strolled along its corridors.
- The hotel’s restful and comfortable 467 rooms & suites provide a relaxing atmosphere both for work or leisure. They are all nicely decorated with antique furnishings and original mahogany and plaster details. And when it comes to sleep, the Westin Heavenly Bed is a blissful sanctuary for a tranquil night.
- With 20 versatile function rooms of almost 2,400 square meters with an abundance of natural light, the hotel has the most comprehensive banqueting & event facilities in Madrid downtown.
- The lobby is sumptuous, and makes quite an impression when you enter the hotel for the first time.
- The property’s La Rotonda restaurant, located under a beautiful glass dome, is the place to enjoy a memorable lunch or dinner and experience one of the best Sunday brunches in the Spanish capital. The hotel also has two other eateries: the refined Asia Gallery (considered one of Madrid’s best Asian restaurant), and The Palace Bar which offers a bistro menu.
- WiFi is complimentary to all guests, as long as you have made your reservation on the official hotel or Marriott website.
CONS & THINGS TO KNOW
The Spanish capital is somewhat lacking the presence of true luxury hotels, although some projects are currently under construction. The Westin Palace Madrid is one of the better hotels in town. Nevertheless, despite the historic context and extensive refurbishments, it feels more 4 than 5 stars:
- Not all rooms are great, partly to be forgiven given the architectural design of the original converted palace. During my stay, I was allocated in a rather dark, uninspiring room on the top floor, with very small windows (which was not worth the daily
- While service is good, I would not rate it as excellent. Especially during busy time, it’s very difficult to access the front-desk.
- There are only 4 small elevators, located in two different corners of the building. This makes the waiting time for the elevators quite long, often above a tolerable limit.
- This is not a modern hotel. The facilities are old, and the design feels tired in many areas.
- Location: 8/10
- Design: 7/10
- Rooms: 6/10
- Food: 6/10
- Service: 7/10
- Overall experience: mediocre: 6.8/10
TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
- Save money: enjoy complimentary VIP perks when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. upgrade, daily buffet breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and one complimentary lunch or dinner).
- Save money: book your room with an additional 25% off making use of a Best Rate Guarantee.
- Save money: Marriott Bonvoy elite members are well treated here, with – among other benefits – free WiFi, a room upgrade (when available), early check-in or late check-out (when available), and complementary breakfast (for top tier members). Read here my review of Marriott Bonvoy.
- Save money: read my tips for getting the best deal at a luxury hotel like The Westin Palace Madrid (and/or receive many free perks).
- Read my tips for preparing your trip in time.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The best time to visit Madrid is in the fall (September to November) or spring (March to May), when balmy temps blow through the city, making it come alive. But if you don’t mind drab weather and a rather listless Madrid, visit in the winter when hotels reduce their rates. Peak tourist season is summer — despite nearly unbearable heat — but many Madrileños close up shop this time of year and take vacations themselves.
HOW TO GET THERE
Madrid can easily be reached by plane, train or car. For those coming by plane, the hotel is located a 40-minute cab ride from Madrid Barajas International Airport (MAD). Check the Wikipedia page of Madrid Barajas International Airport for a continuously updated list of airlines that have direct flights to Madrid.