Gran Hotel Inglés — Madrid, Spain
Since 1853, the Gran Hotel Inglés hotel had entertained a kaleidoscope of VIPs from Virginia Woolf to Henri Matisse, but after 165 years, the grand old pile in Madrid’s historic Barrio de las Letras quarter was showing its age.
Happily, the Rockwell Group has just completed a stylish tip-to-toe renovation, keeping intact the fine bones of Juan Jose Sanchez Pescador’s original design whilst breathing new life and modernity into the public spaces and 48 rooms. The lobby’s 20ft-high ceiling sparkles once more with chandeliers, whilst the bedrooms are swathed in leather, wallpaper prints of vintage hotel postcards, and marble.
In-house restaurant, Lobo 8, meanwhile, frames oak columns against chef Willy Moya’s comforting menu of traditional tapas and Madrilenian classics like calamari sandwiches, and braised bull-tail stew. A particularly nice touch is the hotel’s library of some 600 volumes curated by Spanish publisher Zenda, which are also available to guests on Kindles.