A flagship of the Spanish hotelier Melia Group, the Gran Melia Fenix is one of Madrid’s best five star business hotel, yet also host to many celebrities from Gregory Peck (attended the ribbon cutting ceremony of the hotel in 1953), The Beatles, Cary Grant, Rita Hayworth and nowadays, home to David Beckham for over 2 months. The hotel’s Presidential Suites is not only among the largest in Madrid, but also one of the most spectacular, with an oversized outdoor garden terrace equipped with a jacuzzi and ample indoor spaces.
When setting out to conceive the project, Architect Fernando Canovas del Castillo was briefed to create a classic luxury hotel, which would imitate the great European hotels of the beginning of the XIX century. He not rose to the challenge but gave birth to a classic hotel with a powerful character, classic and elegant, yet informal and very warm. I loved the hotel’s main lobby with its painted glass atrium and the Martini Bar which is, together with the Epoque Restaurant (the hotel’s fine dining) among the most sought after dining and entertainment spots in Madrid, a favourite of foreign travellers and locals alike.
The hotel has an excellent downtown location, within steps from the city’s luxury shopping street Calle Serrano as well as a short ride from the city’s most important sightseeing. The hotel is conveniently located within short distance from many of the headquarters of large foreign and national corporations. The views of the Plaza de Colón at night are as spectacular as during the day. I loved the rooms and suites with balconies and I could not believe my eyes at the beatiful warm weather bathed in sunshine during the first week of February.
The hotel best accommodations are the rooms and suites with a jacuzzi and those with terraces. The view over Plaza de Colón is a must worth splashing out. Most suite guests and Melia Rewards members benefit from the RED services range of amenities and services, including exclusive access to the 10th floor Level Red Lounge which serves breakfast snacks and champagne with canapes in the evening.
Service throughout the hotel is of a solid five star standards, yet, I have to admit I was impressed by the Front Office and Housekeeping. And it is not just the warmth and welcoming spirit but also the pride many staff show to work for the hotel. Interactions with housekeeping almost made me feel like a resident in a private castle, with the utmost attention to details. I loved the appearance of the staff, especially ladies, in crisp uniforms, elegant hairdo’s and always wearing a nice perfume. This, to me, also shows respect towards guests as well as to themselves.
I was glad to learn from the hotel they are already working on many improvements such as bedding (to add a pillow menu), increase the speed of wi-fi (already complimentary). I also dared suggest adding an even higher level of personalization with the RED Service, the change of bathroom amenities to natural, if not, ideally organic (presently, they use a cosmetic brand, rife in chemicals and preservatives) as well as name recognition which is extremely important for a luxury hotel which aims for such a high positioning.
A comprehensive photo gallery of the hotel is available on our Facebook page as well as a photo gallery of the best luxury shopping on Calle Serrano.
Oliver Petcu in Madrid
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