Four Seasons Opens its First Hotel in Spain
After an eight-year renovation of a historic building in Madrid, the Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Madrid opened in September 2020. With 161 rooms, 39 suites, 22 private residences, a rooftop restaurant, a four-level spa, and a lounge, it is the hotel group’s first property in the city. The accommodations are at the heart of Centro Canalejas Madrid, an urban development project that involved combining seven historic buildings into one and rejuvenating the surrounding streets. The project also comprises the architecturally stunning Galería Canalejas luxury shopping mall. A team of architects and designers carefully refurbished the interiors and restored 16,700 artifacts throughout the buildings, retaining many original interior elements.
The most iconic building that makes up the multi-use project was the El Palacio de la Equitativa, completed in 1887, which served as the Spanish headquarters of the Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States. The building underwent several renovations and now houses the main lobby, guest rooms, and suites. The rotunda, topped by a copper cupola, has become a city landmark. Constructed more than 100 years ago, it overlooks Calle de Sevilla and Calle de Alcalá, two major thoroughfares in the city.
Spanish architectural firm Estudio Lamela led the architectural design, and worked with another local firm BG Architecture. An international team of designers, BAMO, Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, AvroKo completed the hotel interiors. Renowned Spanish designer Luis Bustamante designed the private residences.
Led by Executive Chef Omar Mallen, the hotel offers several dining options, Dani Brasserie on the rooftop, El Patio in the lounge, and Isa which will open in the lounge area at the end of the year.
The hotel launched the enhanced global health and safety program, Lead With Care, in May 2020 in response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. To inform the program’s development, implementation and ongoing updates, Four Seasons entered into a consulting agreement with Johns Hopkins Medicine International, the global division of health care and research leader Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Incorporating a mix of contemporary and historical elements, San-Francisco-base studio BAMO used a restrained but sophisticated colour palette with muted tones of ivory, creams, browns, golds with accents of olive greens, and mauve to bring tranquility and old-world luxury to the suites and lobby lounge area.
London and New-York based Martin Brudnizki Design Studio used vibrant orange, green, gold metal, a rich material palette, and an eclectic mix of furniture and accessories for the interior of the Dani Brasserie.
Renowned Michelin-starred Chef Dani García oversaw the concept and menu of the Brasserie Dani. With breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus, the Malaga chef offers informal haute cuisine and reinterpretations of classic recipes.
Marta Centeno Sampere, Director of PR & Communications, reached out to Spain for Design about the the challenges of opening during the pandemic.
What were the challenges of opening and operating during the pandemic?
Four Seasons Madrid was in the process of getting ready for its first opening in Spain, so we were able to adapt to local Covid_19 regulations and our Lead With Care program.
Hotel openings are already challenging and demanding, but we had the added pressure of opening under a global pandemic with all the uncertainties surrounding it. We had to review processes, for example, training for which we organised more sessions with fewer trainees. This change increased the lead-up time to the opening. All in all, we are proud of how the team adapted to the new situation. Everyone worked together to ensure a smooth and safe opening.
What does the hotel offer for Madrid residents and tourists that sets it apart from other hotels?
Four Seasons to Madrid sets new standards of luxury in the city and supports its positioning as a luxury destination. Located in the heart of Madrid, it offers some of the largest rooms in Madrid. The hotel is within walking distance of some of the most important tourist attractions, including the best shopping with the upcoming Galería Canalejas shopping mall in the historic Barrio de las Letras (Letras neighbourhood).
From the very beginning, we set our eyes on the local market. We want to ensure that locals experience the hotel and visit our locales regularly, including the Spa, the largest urban spa in Spain. We developed our food and beverage offerings with “madrileños” in mind. We want to offer an authentic and welcoming experience focusing on the quality products and the service for which Four Seasons is known.
Images courtesy of Four Seasons.