After enjoying London, Paris and Amsterdam, my recent European adventures culminated with a final stop in Madrid, Spain. Now, there were two original reasons I picked Madrid, the first reason was I wanted to check out popular chef Dabiz Munoz’s amazing restaurant DiverXO. Being a foodie, their incredible short film promoting the restaurant caused me to instantly book the weekend in Madrid.
The other reason was finding Low Level 1 flights entering and exiting Europe. I was able to book one itinerary for 125k Skymiles entering Europe from MIA-LHR-CDG. I was able to stop for a few days in London because I booked this on 31DEC14, the last day before Delta Removed Stopovers on award tickets. The flights exiting Europe were Madrid to Fort Lauderdale via Atlanta. All 4 flights were just 125k and $99.60. I saved a lot of taxes by not departing to the states via LHR, it was a sweet deal for sure. By the way I booked additional flights on Air France and KLM to get to Amsterdam and eventually Madrid, Spain, but you can find many different options within Europe to get to your gateway city, such as train, coaches, and even renting a car.
Being a Starwood Gold Preferred Guest, and Delta Crossover Rewards Member, I enjoy the brand very much and was happy to see two Starwood Properties in Madrid. The Sheraton Madrid Mirasierra Hotel & Spa, an SPG category 3 hotel near the MAD airport, and The Westin Palace Madrid, an SPG category 5 hotel, near the downtown area. I felt the extra points and dollars I would end up spending, vs the small savings and hassle of taking a train into the downtown area for my 2 nights there, made The Westin a better option.
Not only did I make the right call , this property was Magnificent! This may have been one of the nicest hotels I’ve stayed at, certainly for what I paid, or didn’t for that matter!
The Palace Hotel was built in 1912. The hotel was developed by Belgian entrepreneur Georges Marquet by personal suggestion of Alfonso XIII, and the building involved a new material used for the first time: reinforced concrete. At the time of its construction, the Hotel Palace was the largest hotel in Europe. In 1999 The Hotel Palace was declared Bien de Interés Cultural, indicating it was a Historical site. I’m not certain when it became a Starwood property, but what a coup for the chain, because this was fabulous!
I arrived at around 2pm at the hotel. I took a quick shaggy selfie in front of the entrance, I was amazed by the lobby and architecture. My room wasn’t quite ready, but hotel and bell staff, were more than happy to take my luggage and hold it for when the room was available.
At check-in I was offered a welcome gift of a buy one-get-one free cocktail at the bar, usually it is a free drink coupon, but I probably would have had two anyway (this is a vacation after all) So with the room not ready I headed up to the “1912 MUSEO BAR PALACE”
The Museo Bar Palace just adjacent to the hotel’s glass atrium, featured a James Bond exhibit: BOND STYLE, a selection of photographs, displays pictures of the actors who played the famous spy for 50 years and some unique moments behind the scenes.
The bar looked classy with comfy chairs and couches. I enjoyed my blue €18 cocktail, served along with olives and nuts. The salty accompaniments worked as intended and I, of course ordered another drink. Thank goodness for that BOGO! The room was still not quite ready so I ordered some tasty afternoon tea type sandwiches; Smoked Salmon, Ham & Cheese, Cucumber, and a cured ham. There was also a Sushi restaurant inside the hotel called Green Tea Sushi & Cocktail bar I didn’t get a chance to try, but it looked awesome!
Once my room was ready I walked up the carpeted staircase and to the 3rd floor lobby. There are elevators, but I wanted to walk up the staircase, cause it looked cool, and I had to work off those sandwiches! Each floor had an amazing lobby, and the hallways were wide and elegant and brightly lit with chandeliers at each bank of rooms.
As an SPG Gold I was given a King Executive Room upgrade, which was awesome. The staff combined my free night and paid night which was great. The room was great, huge bed, lit pictures classy furniture, complimentary bottled water. The bathroom was large and all marble, and had Westin’s signature rainfall shower, along with my favorite White Tea Aloe products. I may have taken a few extras home. Okay maybe a dozen, shhh don’t tell!
There was an incredible Fitness Studio on the 7th floor, that rivaled my gym at home. Also next to the fitness studio, there was “El Jardín Secreto Del Chef” The Secret Kitchen Garden. An outdoor patio, with fresh herbs growing in their own pots hanging on the sill. I could only imagine the great dishes made with these fresh herbs, or ordering up a cocktail and putting a fresh thyme twig right in the drink. (There was a phone on the patio you can call for service!) The herbs smelled awesome, and this was a great secret find!
All in all this was an incredible stay, and a great value! I got one free night in an upgraded Executive King Room for 12k Starwood points. My paid night was about $192USD. For that night I earned 2, 826 for the stay, this included elite and promotional bonuses plus I also earned an additional 1060 Starwood Points for using my Starwood Personal Preferred American Express <–LINK on property and I even got 156 Skymiles for being a Crossover Rewards Member. Taking the money spent, points earned, and upgraded room together, this was easily a savings of over $500. Money and points well spent! I highly recommend this property when staying in Madrid, the city and the hotel were great and this made for a perfect end to a fun European holiday. – Noah Mark
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