Spanish art lovers will geek out at the new Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques, a luxury hotel tucked behind Gran Vía where reproductions of famous Diego Velázquez paintings loom large in every room. But don’t let the Elizabethan façade and Golden Age paintings fool you: Palacio de los Duques is a state-of-the-art property complete with Nespresso machines, Bluetooth speakers, and bedside thermostats in every room. These perks, plus the see-and-be-seen pool bar and exceptional restaurant, set this newcomer an echelon above the competition.
Paying homage to the building’s history as a palace and convent, rooms are furnished classically with heavy drapes, bronze accents, and wall-to-wall carpeting. But there’s no shortage of modern luxuries here—59-inch LCD screens, iPhone docking stations, and a pillow menu land this property squarely in the 21st century.
Don’t forget to open the closet; slippers, robes, and a complimentary umbrella are hiding inside. And who doesn't love a complimentary hidden umbrella?
With underfloor heating, deep-soak tubs, Clarins beauty products, and waterfall showers, you’ll want to spend some quality "me" time in these bathrooms.
Set above what was once the cloister of a 13th-century convent, the hotel lobby is grand, bright, and welcoming. Check-in is a breeze at the long, low front desk, especially if you indulge in the complimentary glass of cava, Spanish sparkling wine, offered by the receptionist.
This compact fitness center features ellipticals, a stationary bike, dumbbells, and Technogym treadmills outfitted with Bluetooth technology (break a sweat while watching Netflix). Apples, granola bars, teas, and fresh towels are complimentary.
Dos Cielos, a new concept by the locally renowned Torres brothers, may be the hotel’s top selling point. Poised to become one of the hottest restaurants in the city, its adventurous, seafood-heavy menu hits the sweet spot between Spain’s taste-bud-thrilling nueva cocina and hearty, soul-satisfying Castilian cooking.
The rooftop bar at Palacio de los Duques boasts some of the most breathtaking panoramic views of the Spanish capital— but, lucky for hotel guests, Madrileños haven’t discovered it yet. Order a citrusy glass of albariño and slip into the pool for some primo relaxation.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The rooftop terrace is often booked for private events; inquire ahead of time to ensure it's accessible during your stay.
You’re in the heart of Madrid’s most regal district at Palacio de los Duques—steps from the Royal Theater, Palacio Real, and Plaza del Oriente. For farther-away sites, catch the metro (Lines 2, 5, and R) at Ópera, located three minutes from the hotel.
Palacio de los Duques is dangerously close to Madrid’s most fabled churro spot, Casa Ginés, a 24-hour café where towering platters of crisp-fried doughnuts are served piping hot by white-clad waiters. Churros con chocolate are the perfect way to end a tapas crawl on and around Cava Baja, the city’s most archetypal—if slightly touristy—tapas street where you’ll find stalwart old-school restaurants like Casa Lucio; Casa Lucas; and Botín, the oldest restaurant in the world founded in 1725.
A five-minute walk from the hotel, La Coquette, Madrid’s premier blues bar, offers a terrific—and free—nightly show from Tuesdays to Thursdays in an arcaded brick cellar. Although the venue’s size might be likened to a sardine can, the upside is that every seat is front-row— it’s always a thrill to watch the talented musicians jam out right in front of you. When the show winds down, keep the night going at El Amante, a nearby discoteca frequented by Spanish celebrities.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Unlike other luxury hotels in Madrid that feel stuffy and tired, Palacio de los Duques wows guests with its cloud-like beds, impeccable service, and world-class amenities. Though the hotel rooms’ omnipresent Golden Age art motifs might scare off millennials, the rooftop pool bar and envelope-pushing restaurant are worth going out of your way to visit.