When Aftab and I were thinking about where to go on a city break it was pretty much decided based on the hotel. You see Luxury Travel Bloggers have a list of hotels that they really want to stay at and sometimes the destination is secondary. Aftab had a Small Luxury Hotel gift voucher and he had always wanted to stay at The Principal Madrid Hotel.
Now I would never say no to a Small Luxury Hotel as it’s one of my favourite groups and following my recent trip to Prague I was excited to stay in another one of their hotels. With that our destination was decided and off we want to Madrid.
After nearly missing our flight never have I been so excited to step into a hotel. When you step into The Principal Madrid hotel you are immediately greeted by a lovely doormen and you instantly feel like you have entered a wonderful peaceful haven. The Principal Madrid epitiomises boutique luxury. On entry to the hotel the doormen took our luggage and directed us to the 6th floor where the main reception is situated.
I absolute love hotel lobby’s and the hotel lobby at The Principal Madrid was plush and full of rich and vibrant colours. The hotel lobby was so detailed, that the level of attention to detail was extremely difficult to capture.
While we were waiting to be checked into the hotel we were offered two glasses of cava which went down an absolute treat. Once we were checked into our room (516) we took our glasses of cava and enjoyed the glorious blue skies of Madrid on the terrace.
Have you ever slowly fallen in love with a room? Well that’s exactly what happened….I slowly fell in love with our room. But as we all know some of the best love stories are those when you slowly fall in love. I slowly fell in love with our room at The Principal Madrid and by the end of the weekend I was sad to say goodbye to the wonderful peaceful sanctuary of it all. The room itself was very sleek and minimalistic and regular readers know I don’t do clutter. My own bedroom in London only has 4 pieces of furniture in total, so as you can imagine this room was well suited to my personal preference.
The bathroom also reflected the room style and was minimal and very sleek.
One of my favourite features in the bathroom was the shower itself, I do love a power shower and this one was a fancy power shower with different shower heads, which came in useful when I needed an afternoon shower but didn’t fancy rewashing my hair.
The hotel provided a selection of non-branded toiletries which were really were lightly fragranced. Though the brand is not one you would recognise I am someone who appreciates a great product whether it is a well recognised brand or not. We were initially only provided with one set of toiletries for the both of us and as used quite a bit in my first shower I had to call guest services for more and they were happy to oblige and bought up additional shower gels and body lotions.
I mentioned that I slowly fell in love with the room well the moment that love truly crystallised was after our night out (which started on the terrace below)and I returned back to the room to sleep. After a glass of champagne, a bottle of Cava and several large gin goblets, I slept like an absolute baby in this room! The room was a sanctuary of peace, the bed was so comfortable and the hotel blackout blinds were the absolute best.
When I finally woke up from my amazing sleep and reached out to check what time it was I was mortified to find out it was 10.30am, I was expecting it to be 7.30am! Now most hotel breakfasts finish at 11.00am however at The Principal Madrid they take into account that their guests want to sleep in during the weekend or maybe they know that Madrid is a late night city and the party doesn’t start until 12.00am and closes at 7.00am so that extra 30 minutes makes all the difference.
One of the things I love most about luxury hotels is the breakfast! For me the breakfast is the jewel in the crown and I was to be damned if I was going to miss it so I got dressed quickly and practically sprinted down to breakfast. The breakfast at the hotel is served in the same space as the Atico or outside on the terrace.
Now I am not sure if my expectations were unrealistic but I was expecting to find huevos rancheros on the menu especially as that was what I was craving after my night out in Madrid.
Though my huevos rancheros craving was not satisfied, there were plenty of options on the menu so I did opt for pancakes and scrambled eggs both of which were delicious and I really enjoyed devouring.
What I love about Small Luxury Hotels is that they have boutique luxury covered without any comprise to amenities and with the extra added touches. The Principal Madrid was no exception to this rule, boutique luxury with the extra added touch.
Before our night out in Madrid, Aftab and perused the hotel terrace and took in the buzz and vive of the terrace bar.
I loved this additional touch to the hotel as it was extremely buzzy and a brilliant way to start an evening out in Madrid and a perfect spot to enjoy the glorious Madrid sunset.
As well as the hotel terrace the hotel also had the most gorgeous winter terrace which I feel in love with and it was so grammable it was one of the first pictures I put on Instagram.
If I return to Madrid in winter I fully intend to make use of the terrace and drink full bodied glasses of Spanish red wine.
I had an area just around the corner that had sunbeds for those who wanted to sun worship and enjoy the glorious heat of Madrid. Though we didn’t sunbathe we did spot some other hotel guests having a break from site seeing and taking time out to just get some R&R.
In addition the hotel had a special extra added touch, restaurant Atico* by the infamous chef Ramon Freixa. Though most hotels have restaurants, they don’t have restaurants that produce such high quality food and service.
We kick started our meal with a glass of Lauren Perrier champagne which was the best way to start the evening.
For our entree’s we were served leak and olive. The starters were just a taste of our meal to follow…..
The menu at Atico is pretty extensive and I was tempted by a lot of the main dishes. After much deliberation, I opted for the black rice with squid ink and soft shell crab. I absolute love my seafood and I was over the moon with the dish. The black rice was moist and the soft shell crab was everything you would want. I have been back in London now for several weeks and I am still dreaming of this wonderful dish.
For Aftab’s main he had lamb shoulder and potato puree. I had a taste of the lamb and it was really delicious. Both Aftab and I really enjoyed our main dishes and even though we were really full we still found room for dessert.
We both had the same dessert of choice, the lemon pie millefeuille. The millefeuille was one of the lightest I have had in a long time. The dessert was the perfect ending to our wonderful dinner at Atico.
Aftab and enjoyed our dinner at Atico and if you are in Madrid I would certainly recommend booking a table at the restaurant.
One of the extra added touches which sets The Principal Madrid from other boutique 5 star hotels apart from others was the concierge. The concierge at The Principal Madrid was not just good, he was brilliant! When we initially checked into the hotel he took time out to show to run through the hotel map and gave us a detailed guide on Madrid, tapas bars, rooftop bars and general top sites. Furthermore on our second evening when we were stuck on where to eat he recommended a fantastic restaurant to us.
I absolutely loved The Principal Madrid hotel. This revelation doesn’t come as a surprise to me as there hasn’t been one SLH pre blogging days (Vault House Karakoy, or current blogging days (Boho Hotel Prague) that I haven’t enjoyed and wouldn’t recommend. If you are looking for where to stay in Madrid and fancy a special boutique luxury hotel in the heart of Madrid then I would certainly recommend The Principal Madrid, great location, great service and great food.
*Our meal at Atico was complimentary