„Barcelona is beautiful. Sure! But just to look more towards Madrid, I think: Madrid is more metropolis, more excitement, maybe more culture. And the Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid reflects that with the best Bleisure.” Sylvie Konzack
For me, Madrid is one of those cities that becomes more and more beautiful with each visit. The squares alone are like the capital’s power banks. Just like the countless museums and art houses with Spain’s artistic power. And the insane Retiro Park is everything that the Central Park or Hyde Park are for New York and London. If you stand at the Paseo del Prado and its Neptune Fountain, you can turn around once and have it all in front of you. And the new, old Hotel Ritz, which is at home here, has precisely this bleisure-city power passionately in its blood.
More modernity with Mandarin
For three years, the luxury hotel designed by César Ritz 110 years ago was closed. In autumn 2021, as Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid and together with its wonderfully international team, it again artfully said ¡Hola!
For this, some things were redesigned and the first impression very much changed: A filigree-golden leaf installation now hovers above the lobby hall like a modern mobile in reference to the neighbouring Retiro Park. The inner courtyard is now covered with pure glass and is the new centre of the icon. And the Pictura Bar, one of the hippest nightclubs in Madrid, is a haven for modern art: here, several portraits of local artists and influential personalities hang on huge walls, dressed in period costume.
Further back, at the end of a surprising snail-like corridor, the “Countess Maslov” is a windowless room with an eight-person table – named after the famous spy and Dutch dancer Mata Hari, who stayed at the hotel under the nickname. Eating here does feel a bit secret, especially since master chef Quique Dacosta’s creations of skate, eel & co. are not for delicate palates, I think.
Otherwise, nothing is hidden at the Mandarin Oriental Madrid. As classic as it has remained, it has opened up with a lot of Madrid emotion. Those who dine at the Ritz therefore also like to meet outside in front of the magnificent building in the garden restaurant “El Jardin del Ritz”.
Here you can relax and watch the kitchen brigade grilling and serving food and listen to the saxophone player. Here, luxury is simply a summer get-together with friends at long tables. 80 percent of the guests are from Madrid. Madrid is at home here at the latest.
Just start running
The next morning, I jog with a trainer from the hotel through the Retiro city park, which starts right behind the house. We run past exhibition halls and the lake with rowing boats – later I could open my laptop right here, but it’s the weekend. The Museo del Prado is just around the corner, a few metres further is the Museo Reina Sofía, and there is also the magnificent collection of the Museo Thyssen Bornemisza, and of course the many cafés in the squares and along the street invite you to spend hours looking at the city with your smartphone put away. And anyway: if you just start walking, you’ll cross countless historic neighbourhoods that awaken some fantasies that you could also live well in Madrid. Madrid gets even better with every visit.
Sylvie Konzack …
still found Madrid too strict, noisy and so little by the sea when she was a student. She now wants to see and feel more of Spain’s capital soon, also for a possible remote work stay.
At a glance
Getting there: Fly to Madrid or take the train. From Madrid-Barajas airport it is only 20 minutes by taxi or 40 minutes by metro to the hotel. If you arrive by train at Madrid Atocha station, it’s a good 10 minutes by metro or car to the hotel.
Hotel: The Mandarin Oriental, Madrid is an iconic hotel in Madrid with over 110 years of history. Since its renovation and opening under the Mandarin flag, the hotel boasts 153 rooms, including 53 suites. It has five gastronomic concepts led by three Michelin-starred chef Quique Dacosta. These include the gourmet restaurant Deessa, the Palm Court under the glass roof, the Champagne Bar, the Bar Pictura and the restaurant El Jardín del Ritz facing the square. There is also a spa.
Working places in the hotel: in the lobby under the glass dome, on the terrace of El Jardín del Ritz, in the bar in the sofas or at the desk or on the sofa in the room
Address: Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid, Pl. de Lealtad, 5, 28014 Madrid, Spain, Tel. +34 917016767
Photos: © Konzack, Mandarin Oriental