Places to Stay: BLESS Hotel Madrid


Europe, Food and wine, Hotel, Spain / Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

Last month, Madrid saw a brand-new opening in the form of BLESS – a stylish, retro-inspired boutique hotel located on Calle Velázquez in the upscale Salamanca district

Décor

Designed by renowned Spanish designer and architect Lázaro Rosa-Violán, BLESS is the first such opening from international luxury brand, BLESS Collection Hotels, and it’s a very cool customer indeed. The attention to detail is incredible – they even pump in different scents depending on which room you’re in.

What I loved most was the retro décor – a mixture of lavish fabrics, period details and contemporary urban fittings. The hallway carpet had a vintage rose print, and a stunning Art-Deco spiral staircase ran from top to bottom of the building. Rooms have wooden parquet floors, jewel-green velvet sofas, colourful tiles, arty photography and William Morris-patterned headboards. The bathrooms reminded me of something you’d see in Williamsburg or San Francisco – trendy white tiles, 1920s freestanding baths, New York brand Le Labo products and solid metal fixtures. All in all, a very fresh and stylish look.

The suites are obviously more spacious, with lounge areas, terraces and views of the garden or Salamanca. Beds have memory-foam mattresses, Egyptian cotton linen and a ‘pillow menu’ to maximise comfort levels.

Food

The food at BLESS is overseen by Basque chef, Martín Berasategui, who has no less than 10 Michelin stars to his name. Breakfast is served in the lounge area, and consists of a buffet, a la carte menu or delicate tapas dishes. At Versus lounge, you can order picotea (nibbles), such as smoked mussels, oysters, patatas bravas and Spanish charcuterie.

But it’s at signature restaurant ETXEKO where Berasategui really shines. Etxeko means ‘homemade’ in Basque, and for our lunch we tried the Castilian soup, creamy calamari and prawn tagliatelle and lamb shank with Madrid cheese, followed by pistachio soufflé with ginger ice-cream. Everything was so colourful and beautifully presented – even the plates looked like works of art. Head Sommelier Cristina de la Calle – one of the best in Spain – recommended a bottle of white K5 Argiñano from Aia and a red El Rincon from Madrid to pair with our meal, and was spot on.

Drinks and entertainment

At night, the Versus lounge bar is best for a quiet drink with friends. The actual bar is modelled on a roulette wheel, so don’t forget to look up. For more of a party atmosphere, head either downstairs to Fetén, which has its own bowling alley and does some seriously good cocktails, or up to the rooftop ‘Picos Pardos Sky Lounge’ which has a cocktail bar, raw food menu, Balinese loungers and an infinity pool.

There’s also a gym (called Sweat Box), spa and hammam with beautiful Spanish painted tiles – an ideal hangout for anyone wishing to ease their pavement-pounded muscles. Or you can order a ‘Bathology‘ experience, where someone will come to your room and prepare a special bath for you. I tried the relaxing bath, which came with a body scrub of British roses and honey, a natural soap made from Argan oil and aloe leaf juice, and a body oil of sweet almond and lavender.

My guess is that come summer, BLESS will be the place to be in Madrid. So book now!

BLESS Hotel Madrid, Calle de Velásquez 62, Madrid. Deluxe rooms from £236 per room, not including breakfast. Book here

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