Luxurious, upscale, independent boutique hotels define the Autograph Collection by Marriott. They are independent hotels located around the world, which promise to offer individuals a unique, customized experience. The historical AC Palacio Del Retiro lives up to the Autograph Collection demands, presenting a supreme location for exploring Madrid and a one of a kind historical hotel experience.
Located across the street from the famous Retiro Park, steps away from the Prado Museum and Gran Via, Madrid’s hottest shopping street and borders the alternative neighbor of Chueca. One could never run out of ways to entertain themselves while staying at the Palacio Del Retiro. Not only is the location among the best in the city, but the hotel itself offers amenities and services to entertain all. From the minute you arrive, the friendly staff are at your service and will do everything to ensure your stay is pleasant.
My brother and I arrived in Madrid, tired from a long trip from the western United States. Instead of dealing with a hostel after a long flight, I reemed 90,000 Marriott Reward points for the ONLY 5 star hotel on Retiro Park in Madrid. Since the Palacio Del Retiro is part of the Autograph Collection, I thought 30,000 points a night wasn’t a bad deal at all! Not to mention, it would be my brothers first time staying in a 5 star hotel! So I figured, why not start the trip off with a bang!
We arrived very tired, but in great moods. Once we entered the hotel the receptionists were friendly, greeted us in Spanish, but right after I asked, “Hablas ingles?,” she instantly transitioned to English. At the time of checking in, the reservation system was not working, but they took my word on everything that I claimed without any questions asked. I explained I had booked a room for 3 nights with two beds, using rewards points and that I was a Marriott Platinum elite member. We joked about how I could have just made everything up, but of course this was not the case. After a quick passport check and copying our information, we were provided with keys to our room, a voucher for the internet, a complimentary breakfast, and informed our welcome gift would be delivered shortly. The welcome gift is provided to all Platinum Elite members and in this case was two bottles of water and mini cheesecakes. Minutes later we were escosrted to our room by the same receptionist who checked us in.
Our room was small but magnificent. Large French oak doors from the hallway opened into our room, using a key that appeared to be from 1900! Although the room was small, it was extremely comfortable, offering two single beds pushed together, a desk, a wardrobe, safe, and a large bathroom with an oversize soaking tub, standalone shower, double sinks, and a separate stall for the toilet. The room gleamed with originality, offering original features from when the building was built in 1908. The beds were also extremely comfortable and after a long trip across the Atlantic, it provided for a great sleeping surface!
The hotel offers a mini bar/lounge in the lobby although despite its mood lighting and unique feel, I never once saw a soul inside. The hotel did not seem very busy while visiting. Even at breakfast time, I never spotted more than 2 or 3 people in the café. Breakfast is served in a lounge/café area open to all guests and no concierge lounge is available for Marriott Elite guests. Instead, a complimentary continental breakfast is offered which includes 3 mini croissants, one of which was chocolate. Breakfast also included orange juice, coffee, fruit salad, and toast with jam. Marriott Elite guests can upgrade to the full service breakfast for an additional 12 euro which includes cook to order eggs and an array of other breakfast delicacy.
Finally, the hotel has a spa on site which is open to all guests. Down the spiral staircase to the basement is a large Jacuzzi, dry sauna, and heated lounge chairs. Smooth jazz music plays in the background and makes this small day spa a great place to relax after a long day wandering Madrid or after a business meeting. Access to the spa is free to all guests.
Overall this hotel is a true beauty from the grand marble staircase to the one of a kind artwork located throughout the hotel. This hotel offers a unique experience in a fantastic location for exploring Madrid! I would warn travelers though that the lobby is not open 24 hours and if you plan on returning after a late night out on the town, you may find yourself locked out. This happened to my brother and I. On a Thursday night/Friday morning around 4am, we found ourselves stuck outside for more than 30 minutes, while we rang the buzzer and called the hotel trying to get back in. It appeared as though the night security watch man had fallen asleep in the backroom! Otherwise, this hotel is truly distinctive, and worth a visit!
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