Located in the swanky and sophisticated neighborhood of Salamananca, Hotel Villa Magna put us in the heart of the fashionable side of Madrid while seamlessly embodying that same flair throughout the hotel. Intertwined with modern chic, is a solid foundation of classic elegance. This is hardly surprising as the very ground it is built on has a history of its own. The hotel stands in the footprint of the Palace of Anglada. The Moorish influenced architecture of that palace and its infamous parties, hosted in harmony and style all resonate throughout the hotel to this day. In every detail, there is noticeable attention paid. The functionality of a staircase, as one example, is not merely to get guests from one floor to another, but stained glass is used to create the wall between the interior and exterior of the building, transporting you from one realm to the other with rays of colorful light during the day and simply charm you after sunset as jeweled baubles guiding you to and from the evening’s events.
Villa Magna is perfectly situated and lovingly welcomes guests. Service is impeccable and the rooms are exceptional. On our first night, all we wanted to do was, well, everything. Madrid is a city of contrasts, style, passion and fashion, with a dash of the old intermingling with the new at every turn. We were in it, really in the thick of it. All we needed to do was take one step out the back door of the hotel and we were in shopping heaven and spoiled for choice when it came to dining options. When we turned our attention to what was out the front door, we knew we would need more memory on our phones. Every “must see” monument, building, museum and park are just at our feet staying at Villa Magna. Back door or front, we couldn’t go wrong, so what did we do? We made the right choice in selecting this hotel…even though it left is with more options than we had imagined. With all that swirling around us, the pull of the impeccably tailored hotel won out and we opted for wine served out on the patio. Such a glorious evening escape. We used that time wisely, and plotted our route for the next day’s adventure. The setup is perfect for relaxing and talking; casual seating on a glass-encased patio with some of those notoriously delicious Spanish wines at our disposal. Checks all the boxes for the first night and maybe a few more throughout our stay. The wall of cascading water is on the back side of the room while dead center is an arrangement of urns brimming with flora, to draw the eye from one place to another. We are protected from the elements but tastefully surrounded by everything the senses need to know one is outside.
From here, the stained glass that was seen in the staircase is now visible as an exterior wall, rising above the glass ceiling of the patio. It is just as glorious from the outside, at night, as it is with the sun bringing its colors to life mid-day, creating art in the spiraling stairwell. There’s enough here to almost never step outside of the hotel, but Madrid is calling to us. We planned and plotted. Had to see Buen Retiro Park…Parque del Buen Retiro, if I do show off my little bit of Spanish. This is the lovely park you may have seen in images with rowboats on a manmade lake with the towering statuary in the background. The park is massive and intimate at the same time. There is so much space that you’ll not be elbow-to-elbow with anyone and on some days, you may find your own little corner all to yourself. Of course, that’s not normally the case when at the Palacio de Cristal inside the park. This glass and steel structure from the 1800’s, originally built to showcase flora and fauna from the Philippines, is now open to the public as it innocently casts linear shadows that do wonders for any photograph. Its shape, that of a Greek cross, is almost lost on visitors so eager to grab a selfie or clear shot through one of its many panes of glass, offers symmetry as each of its four “arms” are of the same length. Because of this architectural fact, even on busy days, you’ll be able to find room for yourself, even if it is not overlooking the point of the park you may want, it is about balance and symmetry and you’ll make a great memory regardless. Madrid makes it easy to create those. From Prado National Museum, Royal Palace of Madrid, to Plaza Mayor, we were enjoying this city, but there’s no place like home and when in Madrid, we’ve decided Villa Magna is that home.