Luxury is certainly not a new concept in cosmopolitan Madrid. The Spanish capital city’s historic Calle Gran Via has long drawn shoppers and architectural enthusiasts to its mile of high-end boutiques, plazas, and public artworks. And the city’s beloved Mandarin Oriental Ritz has long been the choice of visiting dignitaries who bask in the glamorous hotel’s Belle Epoch allure. But the city now boasts a new hospitality center on which the spotlight currently shines most brightly: the Centro Canalejas Madrid project, poised to become Madrid’s most luxurious destination.
Located at Kilómetro Cero, the point from which all distances are measured in Spain, Centro Canalejas consists of seven historical buildings (two of which are more than a century old and listed as Cultural Heritage Sites) that have been lovingly and painstakingly transformed into a single dynamic destination. The multi-use center includes luxury shopping mall Galería Canalejas, a 13-restaurant food hall featuring new concepts by renowned chefs, Spain’s first ever Four Seasons Hotel, Four Seasons Private Residences, and a rooftop restaurant by Spanish Michelin star chef Dani Garcia – all of which combine to create a new international location for luxury shopping, leisure, and gastronomy, and all within a 20-minute walk of the city’s most desired sites such as the Royal Palace, El Retiro Park, and world-renowned art museums.
Designed by the prestigious Estudio Lamela, with interior design by the interior design firm BAMO (alongside NY-based Avroko for ISA restaurant and Martin Brudnizki from Sweden for Dani Brasserie), the project was many years in the making due to the immense respect for the enclave’s historical legacy. More than 16,000 items were rescued and restored by artisans, such as the majestic original Art Déco stained glass piece that once hung over the operations hall of Banco Zaragozano (1940). It now shines in the central atrium of Galería Canalejas, where Banco Español de Crédito’s (1920) original mailbox and the bank’s imposing 19-ton, reinforced safe door are also on display.
Galería Canalejas’s boutiques also house historic pieces. Hermès displays the unmistakable green marble counters of the Equitativa building. At Zegna, an exceptional 1920s lamp and the key plaques to Banco Español de Crédito private safes are displayed. Maison Cartier pays homage to the city with an exquisite tapestry in which its iconic panther strolls through Madrid’s Royal Botanical Gardens. Additional boutiques include Aquazzura, OMEGA, Rolex, Saint Laurent, Valentino, Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo, Georgio Armani, and a beauty gallery by ISOLÉE.
The Four Seasons Hotel Madrid, located in the building’s prow-like landmark corner, features direct access to the Galería. The hotel’s grand lobby, where former bank teller stations now serve as reservation and concierge desks, is illuminated by a diaphanous stained glass ceiling restored piece by piece. The elegant space is now one of the city’s most urbane meeting spots where guests can enjoy crafted cocktails (and the hotel’s bespoke vermouth) within the shadow of a bold and contemporary original KAWS sculpture. Additional important artworks dot the museum-like walls of the hotel’s seven stories that house 200 expansive rooms and suites, many of which overlook the dramatic Madrid skyline.
The hotel’s four-level urban Spa has quickly become Madrid’s quintessential temple to wellness. The sublime oasis of peace and well-being features 15,000 square feet of tranquil space, in which state-of-the-art treatments are performed by leading aestheticians. Pre or post-treatment, relax on a chaise by the hotel’s indoor pool, or on its sun-splashed terrace while overlooking the whole of Madrid.
Also affording stunning panoramas is Dani Brasserie, Spanish celebrity chef Dani Garcia’s eponymous restaurant atop the Four Seasons, where he proposes a journey through the recipes that have marked his professional career, earning him three Michelin stars in 2018. The restaurant’s rooftop terrace is Madrid’s ‘place to be,’ and a luxurious setting in which to enjoy Garcia’s eclectic dishes and exotic cocktails. Four Seasons Madrid is also home to ISA, offering Japanese haute cuisine with a Mediterranean flair. Within a club-like atmosphere where a DJ spins nightly tunes, head chef Jhonny Setjo serves refreshed versions of traditional dishes, adapting them to seasonal produce and ensuring that each is unique and unparalleled. Menu items are enhanced by ISA’s unique signature cocktails, each of which fuses the most exotic of flavors under the concept of haiku, where the complexity of feelings is expressed in the fewest words possible.
For additional culinary exploration, the Galería’s new subterranean Food Hall presents 13 restaurants in a variety of concepts and cuisines suitable for a romantic date, a dinner with friends, afternoon ice cream with the kids, or the simple yet wonderful pleasure of dedicating a perfect evening to oneself.
Madrid has always featured reasons to visit: The Prado, Museo Reina Sofía, Plaza Mayor, and expansive and bucolic El Retiro Park will forever hold appeal. Centro Canalejas Madrid provides a new reason to plan a visit. With its perfect blend of modern luxury and Spanish heritage, the Four Seasons Hotel Madrid and neighboring Galería Canalejas provide this vibrant city with a new social center and a focal point for art and culture.