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Oldest Hotel In Madrid Undergoes An $18 Million Makeover

When the Gran Hotel Inglés opened in Madrid in 1886, it featured modern five-star amenities that most hotels in the city lacked, namely electricity, a full-service restaurant, and indoor toilets. Nowadays, Madrid is a cosmopolitan European capital, but the Gran Hotel Inglés’s still manages to excel with its service, food, and design.

Although the hotel began as a five-star resort, over the years its star began to fade. By the early 2000s, the hotel, which had once hosted celebrities like Henri Matisse and Virginia Woolf, had become a shadow of its former self.

Luckily, in 2014, Hidden Away Hotels, which is owned by husband-and-wife team, Ignacio Jiménez and Carmen Cordón, were brought in to renovate the faded glory. The couple, who had recently finished converting a 16th-century palace into one of Mallorca’s poshest hotels, Posada Terra Santa, recognized the potential in the Gran Hotel Inglés.

Jiménez and Cordón tapped the Rockwell Group, the AD100 firm behind 15 Hudson Yards, Union Square Café, and the New York EDITION hotel, to undertake the makeover. “From day one, we saw enormous potential in the project,” David Rockwell, the president and founder, told The Daily Beast. “The hotel had always been a cultural icon, so playing a part in its rebirth fascinated us.”

After three years and $18.4 million, the renovation of the Gran Hotel Inglés is complete. Located in the historic Las Letras neighborhood with its quaint cobblestoned streets, which was once home to writers such as Quevedo, Lope de Vega, Góngora, and Cervantes, the hotel, on Calle Echegaray, is adjacent to a top-notch selection of eateries.

The swanky new lobby of the Gran Hotel Inglés includes tufted leather sofas, wingback chairs and patterned carpets, while the LobByto bar features an expert selection of designer cocktails. Meanwhile, the restaurant, Lobo 8, serves traditional yet innovative Madrid cuisine like “broken eggs” over fried potatoes, stewed Ibérico pork cheeks and oven baked seabream and baby squid. The dishes are paired with a selection of premium sherries.

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Finally, the 48 guest rooms, which are spacious and sumptuous, have been decorated with an island flair that includes slate-gray curtains, crisp white duvets, and cyan throw pillows. The bathrooms preserve some of the old world luxury with standalone clawfoot tubs, custom-made in Canada, with views of the neighborhood’s terracotta roofs.

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