After one month Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques in Madrid already among best
Endorsed by the luxury Gran Meliá brand, this five-star hotel is the result of the thorough restoration of the well-known Hotel Ambassador, located in what was once the Santo Domingo Convent and the Palace of the Dukes of Granada of Ega y Villahermosa.
The hotel is now a landmark on the so-called "Velazquez tour", a powerful attraction for the growing segment of art and architecture tourism.
This tour around the narrow streets and charming corners of the "Madrid of the Austrias", includes leisure areas for both the royal family and their subjects, such as the Real Sitio del Pardo or the Retiro Park, and also all of the classic areas and attractions in Madrid where Diego Velázquez, the "court painter" for Felipe IV.
The architect álvaro Sans was in charge of the hotel renovation, and he has managed to create a contemporary building without losing any of its neo-Renaissance spirit. The architect Adriana Sans led the interior design project, achieving an exceptional theme based around the work of Diego Velázquez.
The former palace is a neo-renaissance building, clearly inspired by the Palazzo della Cancelleria in Rome, now restored to its original splendour after a number of previous successful and less successful reforms.
Due to its heritage value, this majestic building conserves some of its original nineteenth century elements such as the Elizabethan facade, the spectacular wrought iron and wood central staircase or the glass-vaulted cloister which now serves as the hotel lobby.
Another of its attractions is the Historic Garden and fountain, which thanks to exhaustive archaeology and recovery work now conserves its original structure, as well as the ancient palace stables, currently home to the Dos Cielos restaurant run by chefs Javier and Sergio Torres.
A benchmark for luxury "bleisure" hotels, the Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques has three different dining spaces, each with its own personality and character.
The Coroa Restaurant features a spectacular Portoro marble bar, and combines exquisite decoration and ambience with tables of different heights.
The Montmartre 1889 pays the greatest attention to detail and has a surprise in every corner: lithographs, velvet armchairs and aromatic plants form part of a coherent and well-designed decoration which really makes a difference. ■
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