We checked out one of Europe’s hottest hotels, Rosewood Villa Magna in Madrid. It’s truly exceptional, so very rare to find such intimacy in the heart of a large capital city. Our marketing director Stephen Bailey was the lucky one to make this trip.
Combining Location with Intimacy
Rosewood Villa Magna is situated on Madrid’s most famous thoroughfare, in the Spanish capital’s smartest neighbourhood, Salamanca. It’s where the city’s best boutiques and restaurants are found, just north of the centre, within easy reach of most Madrid highlights.
The facade was as a disappointment. Villa Magna looks nothing like a villa. It’s like a big apartment block, certainly nothing to win architectural prizes. The lobby isn’t overly impressive either, extending an impression that this is a big hotel in a big city.
Exploring a little further I found my sense of place. A lounge area with comfy sofas. Flowing naturally to a cocktail bar and an enclosed terrace. To the other direction it flows into an American-styled kitchen. Which flows into a casual lounge restaurant, then enormous windows showing chefs a work, then a terrace, then more. Each space felt personal and private, all are connected.
Exploring the Exceptional Living Spaces
This is where Villa Magna feels like a villa. Or like a home. These curated and carefully connected spaces create an intimacy that I always struggle to find in big capital cities, certainly in hotels with over 120 rooms and suites.
It felt like I was walking through my living room to dine at Amos Restaurant, led by Michelin-starred Chef Jesús Sánchez. Or taking fresh pastries from my own kitchen at breakfast. When I wanted to sit down with a beer I had this feeling of choosing from my many rooms.
The design is exceptional of course, as with Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco in Tuscany, the maternity hospital turned hotel Rosewood Sao Paulo, and their Hotel de Crillon in Paris, where Karl Lagerfeld designed two suites.
Green marble, stained glass, black and white tiles, a dazzling array of ceiling lamps, all very eye-catching without ever seeming to try too hard.
Madrid as a Layover Destination
Two nights at Villa Magna and I believe it’s a hotel worth travelling for. Many others agree. Rosewood Villa Magna recently came #10 in Travel+Leisure 2022’s list of the 100 Best Hotels in the World. Not bad for a hotel that only opened in October 2021.
As with many young hotels, the operations are not perfect just yet. The cocktails were a little flat. Adding a barrister to their staff would be beneficial. But overall, the service was fast, professional and ready to go the extra mile.
My visit was one of indulgence. I came to Madrid to try two Michelin restaurants in Salamanca neighbourhood, drink too many cocktails and party a lot. Of course, there are plenty of reasons to visit Madrid, the Spanish capital of art, culture and so much more.
Madrid also has the best flight connections to South and Central America. So it’s a great layover destination. And when exploring Spain, Madrid is the central hub from which you can travel to destinations like Andalucia, Barcelona, Basque and Valencia, in less than two hours by high-speed train.
Spacious Rooms That Feel a Little Like Home
I had a Grand Premier Castellana room and enjoyed the residential style, with the large seating area and polished marble bathroom with both bath and shower. Like everything in the hotel it’s done in a contemporary style that’s smooth and calming.
Suites are larger and have a separated living area with an additional bathroom. These can be combined with premier rooms to create two-bedroom suites.
Entry-level rooms on the lower floors are comfortable enough but with the relatively small price difference, it really makes sense to go for at least the Grand Premier.
Small touches make the difference at great hotels. Like a bottle of local Madrid gin awaiting us, then chocolates and cheese were delivered with the turndown service. After two days of partying the residential style really shines, as I’m sure it would when using Madrid as a layover destination. With so much amazing shopping and dining in the neighbourhood, Rosewood Villa Magna could be perfect for a relaxed weekend, before flying on to a more adventurous destination.
Finally…the Spa… and the Food…and More
Rosewood Villa Magna’s spa is small, just a sauna, steam room, treatment room and jacuzzi pool. But it’s wonderfully calm and pristine, with everything I needed for an hour of complete downtime.
The spa is included in the room rate, but its size means you must book a time or call in advance to check availability. While this obviously has a drawback, it meant I had a private spa experience on both mornings.
And to then take breakfast in what feels like your own living room is a lovely way to complete a morning, especially with a hangover. The food is definitely a winner but I’ll leave the Amos Restaurant experience for you to discover, there’s something special waiting for you there.
Just like there’s something special waiting when you go stay at Rosewood Villa Magna, one of Europe’s hottest new hotels.