The Westin Palace – a landmark hotel in Madrid, benefits from a superb location overlooking Plaza de las Cortes. As you ascend the marble staircase to reach the frescoed lobby, you’re confronted with a real sense of luxury and grandeur in the surrounding public areas. We upgraded for a nominal extra fee at check-in, and were pleased with our Executive room in its soothing rich tones, featuring functional french windows. Despite it being the height of winter, I enjoyed having the option of fresh air circulating in the room, as it always seemed a tad too warm for my liking.

This is a hotel with old-world charm and opulence, which manifests itself in the most fantastic stain-glass dome you’ll find in any European hotel – a real focal point where guests can congregate to enjoy drinks, afternoon tea or take breakfast. The adjacent 1912 Museo Bar is quite literally a who’s who of memorabilia from famous patrons who’ve stayed at the property. We did cocktail hour here en route to our dinner reservations, enjoying the ambient surroundings and service. A real highlight of our stay.

As touched on earlier, the breakfast setting is quite magnificent, but the offering itself though plentiful, left you wanting less choice but better quality. We did not eat at the hotel, but next time I’d be up for trying Asia Gallery – the onsite upscale Chinese restaurant. The rest of our weekend was spent perusing masterpieces at the nearby Prado Museum, which has a spectacular collection of Goya and Caravaggio paintings to name a few, as well as a spot of shopping and taking long walks in Retiro park, again a short distance away from the Westin Palace.

The Verdict
I make no secret of my love for Starwood properties, and our stay at the Westin Palace was a relaxing and rather decadent experience I’d repeat again without hesitation the next time we’re in Madrid.

Hotel – 8/10
Experience – 8/10