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I’ve been watching construction on the Four Seasons Madrid progress for several years. Today, the hotel is open, standing regally in the center of Spain’s historic capital.
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When I moved to Madrid in 2008, the massive building that’s now home to the Four Seasons (it’s actually a complex of seven connected buildings) stood empty and alone, just steps away from the city’s most central square: Puerta del Sol. In 2013, construction started. Since then, I’ve walked past the construction site countless times. I grumbled when the renovations shut down a key stop on Madrid’s subway system for several months, and “ooohed and ahhed” when the original facade was meticulously restored to perfection.
When the hotel announced a May 2020 opening date, I was thrilled. I texted back and forth with my hotel-obsessed friends (read: most of the TPG and TPG UK staff) asking when they’d come for a visit.
Then COVID-19 hit, and as we all know, the world changed forever. Madrid suffered immensely, and Spain imposed one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe. The hotel, unfortunately, couldn’t open in May for obvious reasons, but I was surprised and delighted to hear it planned to open in September — and it did.
While I was thrilled, I had a lot of questions. Madrid was (and still is) dealing with an enormous health crisis. At the time of this writing, Spain is under a state of alarm, non-residents are not allowed in or out of the city with the exception of medical or work purposes, and U.S. citizens are still not allowed to enter the E.U. Spain (with the exception of the Canary Islands) is on the quarantine list for U.K. citizens. Basically, it’s still very hard to travel throughout Spain, Europe and the entire world.
How would a hotel operate without tourists? And does Madrid need a luxury hotel of this magnitude while thousands are out of work and the nation’s economy is in rapid decline?
After getting to tour the property, my tune quickly changed. I realized that perhaps this opening represents the hope Mardrileños and Spaniards need to remember that at some point the coronavirus will be behind us and we will be able to get back to some sort of normal life once again.
For the very same reasons people are binge-watching “Emily in Paris” or sharing viral Tik Tok videos, touring the Four Seasons Madrid represented a wonderful escape I so desperately needed. I think you’ll feel the same, even if you can’t visit just yet. Here’s why.
An icon with a storied history
The Four Seasons Madrid resides in a complex of seven different buildings that date back to