A hotel sitting area with green chairs, a green sofa, a mirror topped coffee table, a floor lamp, round ottomans and tree drawings on the walls.
(Image credit: blesscollectionhotels.com)

A hotspot for Madrid's elite when it first opened in 1946, the iconic Gran Hotel Velazquez has been given a second lease of life as the first outpost of Bless, a new collection of stylish urban retreats and beachside destinations from Ibiza-based Palladium Hotel Group.

Located in the city's upscale Salamanca District, an energetic half-hour stride from attractions such as the Museo del Prado or Plaza Mayor, the 111-room property is the work of prolific Barcelona-based designer Lázaro Rosa-Violan, who layered the building's original details, from the grand marble staircase to the glass dome, with contemporary touches that give a true sense of place – like the bed headboards and wall murals in the guestrooms that reference 19th-century Madrid with hunting scenes and country landscapes.

On the ground floor in Versus – originally called Ruleta – sip on cocktails under a roulette wheel ceiling installation, while in Etxeko, which is dominated by a central crystal pen that holds a life-size bull, cast in silver alloy, chef Martín Berasategui justifies his 10 Michelin stars with a menu based on the Basque standards of high quality raw ingredients, like the delicious oxtail cannelloni served on a bed of mashed potatoes and drizzled with a tempraillo bordeaux sauce, or the red tuna hot off the Josper Grill.

Come summer, Pico Pardos Sky Lounge will be the best place for a nightcap and views of the Golden Metropolis and beyond.

A hotel bedroom with a bed, round side tables with lamps, a patterned headboard, a burgundy bed bench, a round table and wood and glass door cupboards.

(Image credit: blesscollectionhotels.com)

A hotel bedroom with a bed, a blue sofa, red leather chairs, a wooden desk, two square white pillars and large windows.

(Image credit: blesscollectionhotels.com)

A restaurant with decorated tables, brown chairs, a brown sofa with a glass feature on it and many round pendant lights.

(Image credit: blesscollectionhotels.com)

A bar with a dark wood top, blue tiles on the side, light wood bar chairs, wood and glass liquor cabinet and many round pendant lights.

(Image credit: blesscollectionhotels.com)

Two ten pin bowling alleys with display cabinets on the left, wall paintings on the right and square lights built into the roof.

(Image credit: blesscollectionhotels.com)




Calle de Velázquez, 62


Lauren Ho is the former travel editor at Wallpaper*. Now a contributing editor, she roams the globe, writing extensively about luxury travel, architecture and design for both the magazine and the website, alongside various other titles. She is also the European Academy Chair for the World's 50 Best Hotels.