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The Principal Madrid opens, Gran Vía's grand renaissance

The Principal Madrid
Located on the Spanish Capital’s grand boulevard, Gran Vía, The Principal Madrid is the latest coup from hotelier and Design Hotels™’ Original Pau Guardans. As the flagship property from his Único Hotels group, the palatial building dates back to 1917, housing 76 rooms and suites, a restaurant by acclaimed chef Ramón Freixa, a bar and year-round pergola. Modern Spanish luxe is at its loftiest heights at the crowning rooftop terrace and bar, with a sundeck and sweeping views of Madrid and beyond.

As the first five star hotel on Gran Vía, The Principal Madrid is redefining modern Spanish luxury. Guests are received at the heart of the hotel, the sixth floor Ático (Spanish for penthouse). Here, the stately polish of a grand residence meets the casual-cool of a private club. The informal reception area welcomes guests, while the Ático restaurant, bar and open fireplace set the social scene. The light-flooded sixth floor affords views of the ornate rooftops over the city, which can be enjoyed any time of year from La Pergola. A fluid design concept by designer Pilar García-Nieto and Barcelona-based studio, Luzio, creates spaces that seamlessly blend into each other. “We wanted to create a mix of styles: influences of a posh British club, the flamboyance and glamor of a palace in France, and the modern masculinity of a Manhattan loft,” says García-Nieto. The result is an eclectic mix – an elegant and homey retreat for the visiting and Madrilenians alike. 

The interiors of the corner Spanish Renaissance style building celebrate the grand scale of the turn of the 20th century style building: high ceilings, iron railings, large windows and marble floors. Outside, the ornately detailed exterior stands splendidly in line with the Art Nouveau and Art Deco facades of its neighbors. “We wanted to capture the era and feel of the grand hotels that were once sprinkled across Europe,” Guardans explains. “Most of them were linked to this concept of ‘traveling without speed’, which is an old concept and at the same time a very modern one. This idea of slow travel, taking advantage of time, truly discovering a location. With The Principal Madrid I want to redefine the Spanish luxury hotel market and create an authentic and holistic experience for our guests.”

Strong lines and muted colors dominate the 76 rooms and suites. Charcoal-hued carpets and sofas are complemented by the cool greys of the fabric wallpaper and bed covers. Mustard yellow benches and design classics like BKF’s Butterfly Chair provide contrasting highlights to the sleek rooms. Not only a design feat, The Principal Madrid is raising the bar of personalized service standards. Laundry and room service is available 24/7, and a butler, babysitter and personal shopper are a whim away. Those looking to steal moments of relaxation have access to a fully equipped gym, sauna and the Wellness Suite, offering a variety of massages and treatments. 

Those seeking a taste of Madrid will be satiated by the flavors of Ramón Freixa. The Catalan is one of Spain’s top chefs and a longstanding part of Guardan’s team. Freixa’s restaurant at sister property Hotel Único Madrid has been awarded two Michelin-stars, and his restaurant Arriba ranks high in a city known for its culinary prowess. Overseeing The Principal Madrid’s cuisine, Freixa’s diners can expect modern Spanish food with inventive dishes like crispy monkfish morsels with herbed mustard, or foie-gras en figue éclairs, to tapas classics like ham and porcini croquettes. Along with the full dinner menu, a selection of empezamos (finger foods) is available around the clock. Freixa’s cuisine is also served on the scenic rooftop terrace, among olive trees and bright red parasols, where Mojiterráneos or Cosmopolitans are savored, along with the view. Reviving the Gran Vía’s tradition as the after-work hotspot for an aperitif or a late-night drink, the hotel’s cocktail program serves up stiff classics alongside new concoctions, set to a DJ-curated soundtrack. 

The Principal Madrid is housed in a corner building on Madrid’s famous boulevard Gran Vía. It is a stone’s throw from Puerta del Sol, the Fine Arts Circle, Cibeles, and Puerta de lcalá, as well as the renowned museums (Prado, Reina Sofia, and Thyssen), important buildings, and parks. It is surrounded by shops, boutiques, restaurants and bars as well as by some of the oldest theaters in town.  Rates from EUR 230. 

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