Monday, April 9, 2018

The Westin Palace: Madrid's Belle Époque Jewel





A gorgeous Belle Époque landmark, Madrid's Westin Palace brings glamour and sumptuous living to the heart of the Spanish capital. Overlooking the Plaza de Neptune on the Carrera de San Jerónimo, this stately 5-star hotel is at the centre of the city’s fabled ‘Golden Triangle of Art’ - home to some of the world’s finest galleries - just steps from the Prado, Reina Sofía and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums. Built by order of King Alfonso XIII in 1912 and recently restored to its original splendour, it is one of the largest and most ornate Victorian-style hotels in the city, lavishly decorated and furnished with stunning marbles, precious fabrics and antique furnishings. Built on the former site of the palace of the Duke and Duchess of Medinaceli, the regal building has been a centre of Spanish society for almost 100 years with a string of famous guests having stayed there from Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, Orson Welles, Rita Hayworth, Cary Grant and Richard Attenborough. The entrance hall, decorated with murals of Italian Renaissance gardens, leads through to Rotunda Hall crowned with a magnificent Art Nouveau stained glass dome, flooding the elegant elegant dining room with natural light by day and soft candlelight by night. On weekends the Sunday Opera Brunch is considered one of the best in town and is serenaded by a private opera performance. The hotel's elegant 1912 Museo Bar – former haunt of Hemingway and Dali – is one of the most decadent places to while away an afternoon, with polished-wood walls and deep, sea-green leather chairs. Dripping with glamour, the Palace has been the place to be seen since it opened a century ago, and with high hopes would to be the perfect home away from home for our week while exploring Madrid.




Rotunda Hall crowned with a magnificent Art Nouveau stained glass dome

Closeup of the Art Nouveau stained glass dome

Fresh flowers and comfortable upholstered seating in the Rotunda

Tea in the Rotunda

The hotel's elegant 1912 Museo Bar – former haunt of Hemingway and Dali

Beautiful plush velvet sofas and tapestries line the marble tiled rotunda

Enjoying a martini in the rotunda before dinner on our first night in Madrid

Green Tea Sushi Bar

Sushi at Green Tea Sushi Bar

Westin Palace Executive Chef Jose Luque

Chocobarrica ice cream with red fruits and red wine coulis

Salt cod fillet Biscay style, with grilled leek and Guenica pepper ice cream 
served on a bed of potatoes

White prawns from Huelva with an icy sea water, chamomile and lemon dressing