Madrid – Luxury Bounce Back
As a tourism destination, the Spanish capital is awakening from the recent coronavirus impasse with renewed vigour, charm, and sense of identity.
Madrid has re-positioned itself as one of Europe’s leading luxury destinations, enhanced by the opening of a swathe of new elaborate hotels, Michelin-starred restaurants, boutique shopping centres, galleries and performing arts options.
While this comes as no surprise for those of us that have enjoyed experiencing Madrid’s unshackling over the past decades, the fact remains that the EU’s second largest city (behind Berlin) is only now promoting itself as a rival to the continent’s more traditional luxury metropolises, such as Paris, Milan and Zurich.
When I visited Madrid a few weeks ago, in addition to being thrilled to visit so many exciting new venues, I was delighted to accept the Madrid City Council’s invitation to moderate a multi-national forum focusing on their renewed premium tourism initiatives. An event, attended by a mixture of Madrid’s most established high-end leisure experts, venues and service providers, as well as representatives of the UK luxury tourism trade, that increased the already ascending levels of excitement about tourism and travel.
The energy and sense of a post-pandemic ‘new beginning’ is tangible thanks to the myriad new amenities, venue openings and extravagant tourism-service opportunities.
As these photos show (all taken during my recent trip), Madrid not only continues to shine amidst some of the world’s most pleasant weather and natural light, but also benefits from an explosion in upmarket hotel facilities, roof terraces, restaurants and shopping venues.
The recent wholescale refurbishing of the Four Seasons Hotel Madrid and Mandarin Oriental Ritz lead the way in both cuisine and new-found boutique hotel ambiance. Backed up by The Westin Palace, NH Collections, Orfila and Villa Real the city’s top hotels are complemented by the opening of new Michelin star restaurants – bringing the city’s total to 20, in addition to 65 other establishments with a Michelin Plate standard recognition.
New cocktail bars and glamorous roof terraces can also be enjoyed across the city – including Hotel Riu Plaza Espana (27th floor); Ginkgo Sky Bar; La Terraza de Oscar; VP Plaza Espana Design and La Terraza de Hotel Emperador.
Luxury shopping is on the up: in addition to countless stores offering options for foodies, local handicrafts, fashion and international luxury brands, British visitors can now (post-Brexit – as living outside the EU) claim Tax-Free (VAT Refunds).
Furthermore, Corte Ingles, one of the country’s most well known shopping establishments is offering British visitors an additional 10% discount on all products. Backed up by premier personal shopping, VIP concierge and private instore fashion advice.
Easily accessible on foot, Madrid is a magnificent southern European city. I recommend soaking it all up – from El Retiro Park, Prado Museum and Royal Palace to the vibrant city-centre areas around Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol and Gran Via.