Surrounded by the coolest neighbourhoods of Madrid, CoolRooms Palacio de Atocha has a great location if you’re looking to experience the centre of the Spanish capital, writes Andrew Forbes (The Luxury Editor). It’s so easy to get to from the high-speed AVE station or airport. If like me you come by car, one can simply pull up by the front door and take advantage of the valet parking service.
The grand entrance of this 1852 palace, watched over by the figure of the god of Hermes, leads to the original carriageway through the property, now the spacious lobby leading to the Pool Garden at the end. On the right is an intimate courtyard for arrival drinks and to the left, reception where you can sip a glass of cava, looking up in awe at the huge grand staircase (of historical and cultural interest for the city of Madrid).
Curiosity will draw you to the oasis at the heart of CoolRooms Palacio de Atocha. This courtyard garden with a fountain and pool is surrounded by summer seating, inviting you to relax, cocooned from the vibrant metropolis outside.
If you continue to explore, you will also discover the original 1852 ballroom. It’s a magical place of noble extravagance that is now a meeting room and event space.
Once checked in you won’t need a car or even take the metro as the city is on your doorstep, with the sights within easy walking distance. It’s less than 10 minute’s walk to Plaza Mayor, the 17th Century Square that’s a great introduction to the heart of the city. Check out the shop facades of the Casa de la Panadería, the Casa de la Carnicería, enjoy a craft beer in the Mercado de San Miguel food hall, or meander down the cobbled street of Calle Cava Baja to discover ancient tapas bars where you can try city delicacies like patatas bravas fried potatoes with spicy sauce or the classic bocadillo de calamari, a hearty sandwich with fried squid that’s so famous in Madrid.
Golden Art of Triangle
Madrid offers a world-class culture fix too. Take a few minutes walk from CoolRooms Palacio de Atocha towards Retiro Park and the renowned Golden Triangle of Art, and you can be marvelling at Velazquez, Goya and El Greco in the Prado, or the renaissance art of Thyssen-Bornemisza, and Picasso, Miro and Dali at the Reina Sofia art centre. The hotel will also be happy to arrange a private art tour too.
After a day of devouring culture and indulging in tapas, then you’ll be glad to kick back and relax in your large, elegant guest room. The accommodation at CoolRooms Palacio Atocha is distinctive for its spaciousness and mix of classical and contemporary styling. There are 5 Deluxe Rooms and 9 Premium rooms (up to 45 sm).
Accommodation on the lower ‘noble floors’, once home to the privileged owners of this palatial home, have high ceilings and striking mid-century and art-deco style features with bespoke lighting. Rooms and suites on the higher floor, once the servant’s quarters, offer spacious accommodation under the eaves.
Suites are up to 110sm in size, ideally suited to the hedonistic traveller seeking something truly special in the Spanish capital. We stayed in CoolSuite 44, with an entrance library with a minibar, a huge bedroom, a luxurious bathroom with Molton Brown amenities, and a private terrace with jacuzzi hot tub, outdoor seating and dining area and views of the city skyline.
Yet there was more. The second level had a unique tower-style living room with 360 views of Madrid – quite spectacular.
That’s a Cool Suite!
Expect all the luxe amenities like silky soft linens, extravagant bathrobes, and facilities like a Bang & Olufsen Bluetooth speaker, a well-stocked mini bar, with kettle and gourmet teas and an expresso maker.
Each room and suite has its own distinctive, striking style that invites you to linger just that little bit longer.
The personal touch
Of course, the big difference comes with the personalised touches, like the handwritten note in the room, the welcome amenity of an artisan vermouth, the renowned Madrid aperitif, the thoughtful dinner reservation in the restaurant by the pool, and the artisan Madrid sweets given at check-out.
CoolRooms Palacio de Atocha has gastronomy led by the talents of Executive Chef Eduardo Gutierrez, who is committed to making the restaurant the meeting place for the ‘cosmopolitan Madrid locals and the international traveller who stays at Palacio de Atocha.’ Start your evening in the elegant bar, or better still by the pool, sipping a refreshing El Patio de Atocha Spritz or a sumptuous negroni.
El Patio de Atocha
The restaurant has two areas, inside and out.
The intimate, cosy interior dining room with classic features and contemporary and classical art, sets the tone for an elegant evening. The chairs are covered in a vibrant ‘pheasant hunt’ fabric by Guell Lamadrid complimented by paintings of birds. Tables are set with Portuguese table linen, Schott Zwiesel glassware and tableware by Churchill and Pinson Living.
Summer nights see the poolside space as a favourite choice where dining is under twinkling lights, set to the sound of the fountain. This beautifully simple covered area has glass curtains, so it is open all year.
The menu includes fusion dishes like the Torrezno Nikkei with limeña (crispy pork with Peruvian-style potatoes and peppers), and the refreshing Scallop ceviche in mango tiger milk. One can also enjoy classic rice dishes with prawns and saffron aioli, black rice with squid, or grilled octopus. Other stand our dishes include cod fish millefeuille with cod chowder, as well as the Iberian beef cheeks with Pedro Ximénez sauce.
At weekends it is all about the CoolBrunch with breakfast favourites, Eggs Benedict, and cool dishes like tacos. El Patio de Atocha is also the setting for breakfast, which is a delight. Table service of prepared dishes makes for a very relaxing start to the day.
El 34 Tapas Bar
El 34 is the Cool tavern of the hotel. With its own street entrance and specific style and vibe, this is a contemporary interpretation of the classic Madrid tavern. When I stepped in for a cold beer, I was warmly welcomed by Marcelo who tempted me with tasty morsels of cured meats, and gourmet cheeses. Having tried these samples, I confidently ordered a number of dishes of artisan cheeses and the most wonderful cold cuts – really, Madrid is one of the best destinations for this kind of food. There is a wide selection of sharing boards, toasts with preserves, and a superb selection of Spanish wine, as well as typical Madrilenian vermouth on tap, and craft beers.
CoolRooms Palacio de Atocha also offers personalised stays based on themes such as wellness (including in-room workout equipment, massage treatments etc), gastronomy (with gourmet breakfast and tasting dinner) as well as day passes to enjoy the Pool Garden and restaurant.
In addition, the property will create bespoke, Madrid insider destination experiences including a Harley Davidson tour of the Madrid region, or discovering the mountains of Madrid driving a Bentley. For creatives, try the photography workshops or photo shoots in the most iconic spots of the hotel and Madrid with a pro photographer, while sports experiences include playing golf with top professionals at the best golf courses in the capital.
Address: Palacio de Atocha, C/ Atocha 34, 28012 Madrid, Spain