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No publication: hotel Ritz by Belmond in Madrid

If the word “Ritz” makes you strong Association with high-society weddings, a wealthy American couples in the dreary woolen suits, British old men in trench coats and hats and pretentious celebrities, then you probably never stayed at the Ritz Madrid hotel advertising

O n one of the three existing in the world “old Ritzi” — legendary hotels, founded in the late XIX early XX centuries in Paris, London, and then Madrid by Cesar Ritz, the famous hotel Mogul, nicknamed “the hotelier of kings.”

The hotel was founded in 1910 under the personal order of the Spanish king Alfonso XIII: the monarch, who had to attend by the time the Paris and London luxury hotels Ritz, was horrified to find that the capital of his own Kingdom, can not boast of anything similar. So the Spanish metropolis got your “Ritz”. However, from the beginning his fate was slightly different from the Paris and London namesakes. But more on that later.

Tom, who’s been in the Ritz in Paris or London, feel the difference between the three hotels will be easy. No, the Madrid Ritz, or Ritz by Belmond — the same luxurious and majestic. Elegant antique furniture, chandeliers, decorative bronchovascular, ceilings with pilasters with arabesques carpets and Wallpapers some amazing beautiful colors — the interior in the style of belle epoque is quite traditional. But what surprises and impresses almost immediately, so it’s the atmosphere and mood of ease. You can walk from morning till evening in your favorite jeans and sneakers, not much thinking about their appearance, enjoy life, smile and all, to ask stupid questions to the Concierge, not afraid to get in return a puzzled look. In short, enjoy your vacation and not paying attention to all sorts of conventions and rules comme il faut. Ritz Madrid by Belmond really young and spontaneous, he refers to the life not so seriously, but everything in it very sincerely, he does not tolerate mincing and pretentious.

Yes, it’s not by coincidence about this hotel want to say, like a living thing. Sincere smiles of the staff — it seems that these people who see you for the first time, know exactly how to please you — became an embodiment of his philosophy. As absolutely benevolent, radiant downright homely atmosphere, the faces of the guests. Even the behavior of a Hollywood star Alec Baldwin, who conducted the hotel a weekend with his family (he appeared in public only in a tracksuit and sneakers and is readily opened and held the door open for many ladies, not excluding me) seemed like something totally normal and obvious. These relaxed pictures images of Prim and proper aunties in Chanel from the Paris Ritz and the Indian Nouveau riche from London would have seemed just some misunderstanding. As well-trained, but clearly keeping an emotional distance the personnel of these famous hotels.

The Madrid Ritz really young and spontaneous, he refers to the life not so seriously, but everything in it very sincerely, he does not tolerate mincing and pretending

Conversation with IMMA Casado, Manager of public relations of the hotel, clarified for me many secrets of the Madrid hotel Ritz by Belmond. The people who worked here, from knowing everything the Concierge to the cooks, often belonging to dynasties, many generations of whom worked at the hotel. Sincere and attentive to the customer here — unwritten law (by the way, the popular saying “the customer is always right” attributed to the founder of the Ritz, Cesar Ritz). If you stay at a hotel, do not be surprised that here will remember your favorite drink, the purpose of your previous visit and the name of your grandmother, you told me about maids and waiters. The roots of this tradition in the special destiny of the Madrid hotel Ritz by Belmond.

Being almost the only and certainly the first hotel school, which opened in the city, “Ritz” always became Madrid something much larger than just a luxury hotel. “When Madrid was happy, “Ritz” was happy with him. When Madrid suffered, “Ritz” also suffered” — said to me by the way Mrs. Kassado during our conversation. And this is not a sentimental exaggeration. The hotel involved in the life of the city and its inhabitants, — that is what has always been and remains “the Ritz”. During the civil war in Spain he had become a refuge for wealthy families who could not stay in their homes for fear of looting. During the Second world in the lobby was broken the hospital. The Goya restaurant at the hotel cafe and on the outdoor terrace is equally popular among the players, and among the guests Ritz by Belmond.

“When Madrid was happy, the Ritz was happy with him. When Madrid suffered, Ritz also suffered”

Partly this fate contributed to the perfect location. The hotel is located in the heart of the city, in Retiro, not far from the main attractions and places to stay. Of course, it’s hard to imagine a more convenient base for tourists. The most significant museums in Madrid — Reina Sofia Museum (Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia) and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum (Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza) is located a five minute walk. But if you’re lucky, every morning, looking out the window, you will observe the throng at the entrance to the main Museum of Spain and Prado to see the back of a bronze by Francisco Goya, one of the most famous monuments of Madrid. By the way, for fans of the Museum stay in the hotel prepared a special program Mad for Art, the cost of which included guided tours and tickets for museums Prado and Thyssen-Bornemisza. Original item: as a ticket to enter them in you will use the plastic key card from your hotel room.

Ten minutes will take you way up to the beautiful Buen Retiro Park (Parque del Buen Retiro). Shopping also on foot: you can walk to the massively popular among the intellectual youth and hipsters of the Madrid district of Chueca with the sports goods of leading world brands, boutiques very interesting young Spanish designers (exclusive, by definition, because it is unlikely that you will encounter in Moscow at someone wearing the same clothes) and shops with niche fragrances. Here is the Shoe street of Calle Hortaleza.

Straight ahead from Ritz by Belmond, in the street Carrera San Jeronimo, and also a maximum of fifteen minutes walk from the famous square Puerta del Sol. Here are all the supergiants youth fashion — Zara, Gap, Η&Μ. In the small tourist shops along the perimeter of the square, you can choose from traditional Spanish fans, from straightforward to unique, hand painted, buy lace shawl myself and my mother or baby dress for flamenco younger sister.

Of course, Madrid is also a city of delicious food. And it need not look far. The famous cuisine of the hotel in charge of one of the most famous chefs of Spain, Jorge Gonzalez. There is also their gadgets, chief among them — the rigorous selection of products and ingredients must be the freshest, the highest quality and most environmentally friendly. That is why only in the Madrid Ritz by Belmond menu in which are presented from traditional Spanish dishes to the recipes of fusion and molecular cuisine, almost always is updated and varies depending on the seasonality of the products and that can offer providers. There is classic and unchanging: for example, the legendary carpaccio with shrimps. In the directory bar is a true legend — DALItini cocktail, inspired by the great Salvador Dali, the first time to visit the Madrid Ritz in 1926, the year.

In contrast with the refined kitchen of the hotel, a trip for two main food markets in Madrid, Mercado San Anton and Mercado de San Miguel is reminiscent of a gastronomic Orgy. Both are also located a short distance for a walk just to work up an appetite. Fresh produce, shrimp and cheeses beckon views, scents and very attractive prices. The products can be bought, but you can try, here cooked for the tables at the numerous stands offering dishes based on different products (e.g., salad with three kinds of ducks — salted, smoked and cooked for 6 Euro in the Department of dishes with duck meat), or representing different ethnic cuisine, from Greek to Japanese.

But back from eating vital food culture. Hotel Ritz by Belmond — the best choice for those who want to have time for even a short trip to leave the city and see some of the gems of Spanish culture. Atocha train station is in walking distance — ten minutes to go. And the top of the hour you are in Toledo, one of the most beautiful medieval cities in Spain, where he lived and worked El Greco and the famous St Mary’s Cathedral, one of the most beautiful in Europe. Just as quickly you can get to El Escorial, which houses built in the 16th century, the imposing monastery and the Palace-residence of king Philip II. One of my hotel neighbors shared with me the opinion that staying at the Ritz by Belmond, a couple of days to learn all about the Spanish capital and its surrounding areas. And not because Madrid is small, but because the Ritz is really great.