Photo courtesy of Hotel Silken Puerta América Madrid
Hotel Silken Puerta América Madrid
Designed by 19 of the world’s top architecture and design firms (three of which have already won the Pritzker Prize), the Hotel Silken Puerta América Madrid may be the world’s ultimate design hotel. A colorful, towering ode to the best of modern design, the hotel is unlike anywhere else, with each distinctive floor imagined by a different creative, including the likes of Zaha Hadid (her vision is an undulating space-age den of all-black or all-white rooms and smooth fiberglass surfaces) and Jean Nouvel (his gradient exterior is just the tip of a vibrant, imaginative iceberg). John Pawson imagined the Zen-like, all-wood lobby, while architect Teresa Sapey created what may be the world’s only whimsical, design-conscious parking garage, a brightly colored and well-lit space inspired by Paul Éluard’s poem Freedom, which adorns the building’s facade.
Despite each floor’s unique and avant-garde aesthetic, the Hoteles Silken group refused to compromise on luxury, guaranteeing top-notch service and every modern amenity one would expect from a five-star hotel. And don’t forget the acclaimed restaurant, two trendy bars (one on the rooftop, with postcard-worthy views), and the indoor rooftop pool.
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A 25-minute metro ride from the city center, the Silken Puerta América Madrid is located in a less touristy business and residential district not far from Madrid-Barajas Airport. The surrounding buildings are less picturesque than those in the historic Hapsburg heart—more Brutalist than belle epoque—but the residential parts of the neighborhood have their own flavor, with a handful of hip restaurants and tapas bars. While you’re outside the city center, it’s worth paying a visit to Las Ventas, the largest bullring in Spain, built in 1929; whether or not you make like Hemingway and stay for a bullfight is up to you.
Need to Know
Rooms: 315 rooms, 34 suites. From $134. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Designed by the French architecture and design studio of Christian Liaigre, the Lágrimas Negras restaurant is a vision in black and white, with a seasonal, avant-garde menu inspired by the dishes of the Michelin-starred Basque chef Martín Berasategui, with whom the chef and gastronomic director have both worked. The inventive menu is paired with an equally impressive wine list, which draws on the 700-bottle “cellar” sculpture that separates the kitchen from the dining room. Its bar is a relaxed spot for a drink or aperitivo snack. The sleek, retro-inspired, and equally monochrome Marmo Bar, designed by Marc Newson, is a stylish rendezvous for scenesters and well-dressed business types for everything from a morning café con leche to tapas and cocktails; its tall windows open onto a sunny limestone terrace, lively in the evenings. But the hottest bar at the hotel is the rooftop Skynight Bar, whose retractable roof and glass walls guarantee panoramic city views to accompany the buzzing year-round scene. An extensive breakfast buffet is also served daily in the mezzanine-level MAD restaurant. Spa and gym details: Adjacent to the Skynight Bar, on the 12th floor, the indoor pool and gym have oversize windows looking out over the cityscape. The hotel does not have a spa.
Who's it best for: Design devotees and business travelers. Our favorite rooms: With each floor designed by a different architect or designer, choosing a favorite room at the Silken Puerta América Madrid is based entirely on personal taste. Zaha Hadid’s futuristic, all-white or -black rooms, made of sinuous lines, are especially popular, but perhaps Norman Foster’s minimalist midcentury-inspired style, Ron Arad’s round beds, or Arata Isozaki’s window screens will strike your fancy. Needless to say, rooms on the higher floors—including the Jean Nouvel-designed penthouse and the colorful Mariscal y Salas 11th floor—have panoramic views of Madrid’s city center. Explore the floor: On the Jean Nouvel–designed 13th floor, home to the penthouse, Skynight Bar, and pool and gym area, the architect connected the various spaces with a semicircular glass walkway. Here guests can see all the way down the entire colorful facade, on which is written the poem Freedom by Paul Éluard.