Recently named as one of the world’s 50 best hotels, did Four Seasons Madrid live up to its acclaimed billing? You bet it did.
Words: Jonathan Whiley
What happens when you open a landmark luxury hotel in the first few months of a pandemic; the culmination of a seven-year project to transform seven historic buildings in the heart of a European capital? Why it becomes an instant hit of course, making it to number 23 on last year’s inaugural ‘The World’s 50 Best List’.
Four Seasons Madrid is a class act. Set in the very centre of the city with both Puerta del Sol public square and the sprawling Retiro Park (with its Palacio de Cristal – a 19th-century conservatory now used for art exhibitions), the location is hard to beat.
Its 200 rooms are smart and modern – perfectly pitched for both business and leisure guests – and there is grandeur aplenty with a lobby that nods to its former life as a bank with thick marble pillars and a stained-glass ceiling.
Mercifully there isn’t a whiff of stuffiness or over familiarity within the hotel’s historic walls with staff lending plenty of personality and a local crowd ensuring that most precious and sought-after quality; a lively atmosphere.
This is best seen at fantastic rooftop brasserie Dani, run by Spanish Michelin-starred chef Dani Garcia. Here some of his most famous hits (brioche with miso butter and truffle honey, red tuna tartare with stracciatella) sit alongside more traditional European and Andalusian dishes such as oozy Iberian ham croquettes, tableside Caesar salad, sole wellington and oxtail ravioli. It’s faultless and memorable; a dessert of tipsy cake with ‘Bailey’s drunk butter brioche’ is one of the best puddings I’ve ever eaten.
Breakfast serves up the same delicious rooftop views with alfresco seating to take in the morning sun alongside a la carte classics and an abundant buffet.
The hotel’s second restaurant, Isa, is much more sultry, but equally buzzy with Asian dishes with Mediterranean influences; think avocado with Thai basil nigiri, aubergine with caramelised miso and toasted sesame (so good we ordered it twice), lamb katsu sando, Iberian char sui pork and Wagyu gyoza with ginger and black garlic.
Cocktails are just as creative and draw a strong city-wide following with the likes of a N2 Colado with Nitro lacto-fermented pineapple and coconut and ‘Kakigori’ with roasted butter fat wash, vodka, sage, yuzu sherbet and rhubarb ice.
In short, you won’t go hungry; one afternoon we return to our room to find complimentary tapas and a bottle of Cava and another, a chocolate elephant alongside a tale of its importance in the city and its connection to the Spanish architect who built the building.
If that all sounds a bit indulgent don’t worry; the four-storey spa – the largest in Madrid – with a beautiful skylit swimming pool and outdoor sun terrace on the eight floor will help you to ease the guilt.
With world-class facilities, bags of character and plenty of charm this is a hotel which is very deserving of its ’50 best’ accolade. Four Seasons, take a bow – you have surpassed all expectations.
All listings featured on Mayfair Times are independently selected by our editors. If you book something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.