Plaza de la Independencia, 3, 28001 Madrid, Spain
| +34 914 32 29 11
Photo courtesy of Hospes Madrid
Hospes MadridFrom its perch overlooking the iconic 18th-century Puerta de Alcalá, at the northwest corner of the verdant Parque del Retiro, the Hospes Madrid appears to be a traditional institution of the Spanish capital. Built for a widowed duchess in the late 19th century by renowned architect José María Aguilar, the red brick townhouse is a prime example of Bourbon Restoration architecture, but, when the luxury Hospes chain took it over, the design team transformed the onetime private apartments into an ode to minimalist modern style, complete with frameless mirrors and clean-lined white leather sofas. The ground-floor café, too, was once a landmark for the upper echelons of Madrileño society; the new owners reimagined the Cafetería Independencia as a sleeker version worthy of a design magazine spread.
But lovers of tradition and design need not fear. The Hospes team didn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. They preserved original architectural details such as ornate crown moldings and wood beams, alongside the café and restaurant’s acclaimed cuisine and prime sidewalk views. And they even improved a few things, too, converting the old stables into a luxury spa and turning the top floors into duplex-style suites overlooking the park. So maybe the Hospes Madrid isn’t quite the beacon of old Madrid it seems, but that’s not a bad thing.