After my trip to Scotland, visiting to experience Trump Turnberry I was ready for my next trip to be somewhere warmer. A destination that wasn’t too far away, but had copious amounts of sun and fun at hand. Spain was on the list, but it was a case of deciding where. Did I tick off the 2017 bucket list of going to Barcelona, try somewhere a little different like Seville or go somewhere that I knew would tick all the boxes in Madrid? As you can guess, I went for the latter.
When it came to choosing the hotel for our trip, there was only one hotel I wanted to stay at and that was The Principal. The Principal is a small, boutique luxury hotel that is a part of the Small Luxury Hotels collection. From experience, you can never go wrong with a hotel that is associated with Small Luxury Hotels. I wasn’t wrong either, another showstopper of a hotel was presented to us on our arrival in to Madrid.
The hotel is based off the main street of Madrid, called Gran Via. This meant that everything we could have possibly wanted to do or see was within a 15 minute radius on the hotel, putting us in the most accessible part of Madrid.
We were greeted with a warm welcome as soon as we stepped onto the stairs and our luggage was immediately taken off us and carried up the stairs. We were then sent up the elevator to the sixth floor to get checked in.
As soon as we came out of the lift, we were greeted by various members of staff. It was like they were readily anticipating our arrival. As we sat down to check in and handed over our passports, one of the staff members brought us over a glass of bubbly to enjoy. I already knew this hotel was a good choice, when they knew our favourite drink before hand.
Once we had checked it, we decided to take our flutes and check out what the hotel had to offer before we popped up to our room.
We stepped out on the summer terrace and looked down to see the busy Gran Via just below us. The sun was shining in all its glory. Not only did we receive a warm welcome from The Principal, but also from Madrid too.
When we popped back into the lobby, we discovered the was the most instagram-able garden terrace area, filled with luscious bottle green plants and the comfiest woven grey chairs. It was full of natural light, which made it the perfect place to work if you needed to.
The hotel itself was full of modern decor that made it very different to your usual 5-star hotel. This carried on through to the rooms too, which were complete with subtle and darkened tones such as black, grey and white. At first it was a bit of a shock to me, but it grew on me over my stay at The Principal.
The bathroom had a modern shower unit, that had various functions from a powerful rainfall shower, to a foot washing function, along with a separate shower moveable shower head.
I’ve always had a theory that you can tell a lot about the hotel from the bathroom amenities. Even though they weren’t branded like I had hoped, the Finca Gayeta products were really good. The Finca Gayeta range is a locally made natural cosmetics line, where all their products are paraben and silicone free too.
The room itself was perfectly sized for a hotel that was based in the centre of the capital and it had the most luxurious and comfy beds. Each of the pillows was individually fluffed everyday to maximise the comfort when sleeping. The blackout blinds were the perfect addition to the hotel room, that you don’t often find. It ensured even after we had a late night out, we were able to sleep in without getting disturbed by the early morning golden rays.
We decided to have dinner that evening at the hotel, at their restaurant Ático by two Michelin starred chef Ramón Freixa. However, we had to check out the much loved roof terrace first before dinner. There was shades of red across the terrace, including Zoe’s dress. The colour of Spain, as I know it.
We then proceeded down to Atico. The interiors of the restaurant boasted pastel booths but we felt like when in Spain, alfresco dining is much preferred.
Therefore, we stepped out onto the La Pérgola terrace in time for the sunset and dined under the olive trees. Just perfect!
We commenced our meal at Atico with a couple of amuse bouches of leak and potato gazpacho and stuffed olives.
We then commenced our meal with an apéritif of Laurent Perrier Champagne, whilst we looked at the extensive menu with so many delicious options.
Zoe and I both ended up choosing the same starter, which is rather unusual. Zoe is a huge fan of seafood and i’m the complete opposite, but I was really intrigued to try the potato ravioli stuffed with prawns and ganxet white beans. I know, totally adventurous for me choosing something with seafood.
The dish itself was light, flavoursome and rather enjoyable. I’m glad I pushed myself to try something a little different. The potato ravioli was crisp on the outside but soft on the inside, the beans accompanied the prawns really well and it was wonderfully finished off with a tomato sauce.
As we waited for our mains to arrive, we decided to pop open a bottle of Cava Brut to enjoy with our mains and dessert. The citric notes of the chilled Cava was the perfect way to continue our meal in the Spanish warmth.
For our mains, I had ordered the glazed lamb shoulder with a roast purée and it was served with potatoes served in three ways, slow roasted tomato and blackened garlic. The meat itself was delicate and fell apart when separating it with my fork. The glaze gave it a delicious flavour and the accompaniments complimented the lamb in a true theatrical style.
Zoe ordered the black rice with squid, soft-shell crab and a Perl botifarra sausage. It was served on a silver dish and was presented beautifully. Zoe was in her element with her dish and throughly enjoyed it. Both Zoe and I agreed that the dishes were generously served but so moreish and delicious at the same time. It was hard to stop eating, even when our stomaches told us to.
However, there is always room for something sweet! We both finished off the same way we started, with the same dessert of lemon pie millefeuille.
The dish was decedent yet delectable. The striking, sharp flavour of the lemon amongst with the sweet pastry was just delightful and the perfect way to end a totally perfect meal at Atico within The Principal hotel.
If the breakfast was anything like the dinner at Atico, we were going to be in for a treat and that we were. The freshest juices were layed out, with an assortment of cereals, pastries, exotic fresh fruit (my favourite!) and a few Spanish breakfast treats like traditional Spanish omelette and churros.
Of course, opted to sit outside on La Pérgola terrace and enjoyed our breakfast under the morning sun of a new day, after a wonderful and peaceful night sleep.
The Principal is the only hotel you need to know about when travelling to Madrid. From the brilliant and attentive service from all the staff within the hotel to the exceptionally comfortable & luxurious rooms, it is the perfect home away from home whilst visiting the capital.
Until next time…
**PIN FOR LATER**