WHAT’S IT LIKE
The Design Hotel-member Principal Hotel is one of the most exciting things to happen to Gran Via, Madrid’s most action-packed street. It was converted from a former hotel to a hip, boutique option facing the glorious, art-deco Metropolis building. The lobby entrance is small, but an eager bellman awaits to assist guests up the small series of stairs and into the small elevator to visit the top-floor reception area. A small living room is also a pleasant place to wait for a taxi by the main entrance, however.
Sit-down reception is a nice perk, and the clubby lounge area is on one side in a library-themed area that is more contemporary than most other hotel lobbies on this street. Further inside, the bar spills to an outdoor terrace covered for shade while the main restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating on the panoramic balcony.
Spanish-themed cuisine is the focus of the two Michelin-starred chef Ramon Freixa that oversees the hotel’s culinary team. Make a point to climb to the seventh floor roof terrace where red fabric umbrellas and lounge chairs are a great spot to relax for a nap or enjoy a snack.
Next to reception, a computer with free Internet and printer access allows guests to print out boarding passes or email loved ones, but there is always the option to borrow iPads from reception. A Wellness Suite for massage services and fitness center are available to guests, but there is no large gym or spa as the hotel is in a historic building with limited rooms.
It’s too bad there is only one elevator, which is quite small and means there are long waits on occasion. There is a spiral stairway coated in marble that can help to save time. Guest rooms are oversized with modern décor and large windows, many of which peer out toward Gran Via.
The leather chairs and velvet sofas create a sexy space that is accented by design books and bonuses like a Nespresso machines and swanky lighting. Other in-room perks include free wireless Internet, minibars, hot water kettles, international power ports, and large closets with garment bags to take home. Bright bathrooms coated in tiles feature Gilchrist & Soames toiletries, and combination tubs have massaging water pressure.
This is a design hotel that will attract a younger clientele although its price point is certainly not for the recently graduated. Its location near public transportation including the convenient airport bus give it an added bonus. Tourists and business travelers alike will appreciate this latest addition to Madrid’s already expansive hotel scene.