The doorman, well-appointed in a dark jacket and neatly trimmed hair skimming his forehead, offered a cheery “welcome” in Spanish as he opened the glass door to the hotel. I stepped into the lobby, noting an older woman at the check-in desk. Her perfectly tailored pants kissed the golden ankle clasp of her black leather heels. A small white dog slept quietly in the crook of her elbow as she folded a room key into her palm and turned towards the elevators. After spending several days in Madrid’s top hotels, I knew this would be the crème de la crème of lodging. I could feel it in the air. Indeed, I read the scene correctly. Villa Magna Rosewood would indeed prove to be Madrid’s most stylish stay.
Travelers who frequent the world’s great hotels associate the Rosewood brand with sophisticated luxury. But it’s not stuffy and it’s not trendy. Rosewood is the proverbial goldilocks, offering refinement blended with the right percentage of fun. For example, Rosewood Villa Magna celebrates food, cocktails, culture, and art with enough seriousness to impress gourmands, connoisseurs, and collectors while acknowledging the inherent whimsical delight in each of these pursuits. During a visit this summer, I dabbled in a negroni tasting before settling into a slouchy lounge chair on the front lawn for a pop-up Tulum experience.
Location, History, and Design
Rosewood Villa Magna offers a cache of amenities and dining experiences, yet never feels like a sprawling resort. Rather, it gives the impression of an intimate and exclusive Madrid dwelling. That vibe, of course, is intentional.
Prior to the hotel’s construction, a 19th century palace called Anglada House occupied the same site. The palace served as a social and cultural hub in Madrid, where patrons celebrated culture, food and art. Villa Magna’s designers sought to emulate the experience of the palace when designing the layout, use of common spaces, and complementary colors and décor.
The property location in the upscale Salamanca district sits in the cosmopolitan heart of Madrid. Wander out the front door, and you’ll find beautiful shops and cafes along Paseo de la Castellana, the city’s main avenue. Despite the city center address, the hotel is surrounded by a cocoon of mature, private gardens, providing a buffer from the frenetic energy of the city streets outside. Landscape architect Gregorio Marañón is responsible for reviving the established gardens while integrating the pedestrian entrance with the city to showcase the estate and its historic trees.
To capture the energy of the past while imbuing it with modern sensibility, a team of national and international architecture, interior design and landscape architecture firms were assembled to reimagine Rosewood Villa Magna. The collective synergy birthed a property rich in warmth and elegance. Award-winning Bar Studio from Australia the impeccable interior design details. ArtLink curated an impressive collection of over 380 artworks. Together, the result pays homage to the art collecting tradition of the noble family that resided in the 19th century palace.
For the exterior, acclaimed architect Ramón de Arana remodeled the hotel’s iconic façade. He incorporated aged brass to create multiple ‘cubes’ that generate a dynamic play of the light from dawn to dusk.
A design thread runs through the hotel’s 154 rooms and suites, each connected through the soft white painted walls to plush textiles and bespoke furniture. My room captured the designers’ through details like a stylish bar stocked with gin tonic ingredients, a cozy seating area, a generous king size bed with monogramed pillow linens, and an expansive bath dripping in marble and brass fixtures.
Supporting the Arts
The team at Rosewood Villa Magna takes art seriously with works and installations rotating across seasons. The latest iteration of Art Merienda, the name for the hotel’s art series, featured renowned British-American, LA-based artist Anthony James. Known for his iconic sculptures and installations that embrace Minimalism, Transcendentalism, and Light and Space, the partnership features multiple installations of his work throughout the hotel, while offering access to the property’s Art Expert Raquel Sáez. Sáez can provide background and insight on the artist and pieces for those interested in learning more.
A Drinking and Dining Destination
Though my brief one-night stay didn’t provide time for an exhaustive review of the hotel’s dining experiences, each of the venues looked fantastic, both from a design perspective as well as the creativity and depth of the menus and wine lists. My schedule allowed for an evening of drinks at Tarde.O and breakfast at Las Brasas de Castellana.
Tarde.O offers a classic ambiance in two distinct spaces that draws on the elegant historic details of Madrid’s best drinking establishments while inviting guests to relax. In the glazed terrace, low-slung lounge chairs, couches, and tables hosted dapper men sipping gin and vermouth in cut crystal glasses next to women sharing bottles of Rioja. Inside, the cozy dark bar features fine art, leather seating and dark wood details.
The bar specializes in Negronis, offering 7 versions which bartenders customize with a stock of 35 gins. If you’re feeling indecisive as I was, order a Negroni tasting which comes with three expression of the classic drink.
Guests take breakfast at Las Brasas de Castellana, though the beautiful space, featuring an open kitchen, stays open throughout the day, serving both lunch and dinner. Executive Chef Francisco Sanabria sources high quality meats, fish, and vegetables to cook over charcoal grills in the kitchen.
Breakfast is a spectacular experience of fresh fruits, charcuterie including jamon and Spanish cheeses, plus a cooked to order menu spanning several types of eggs including an excellent jamon benedict, to baked sweets and other composed dishes.
Though I missed Amós —it was closed the day I stayed—I’d gladly return to Madrid just to dine there. I had a quick peek inside the dark, serene dining room of leather and rich wood. Chef Jesús Sánchez, founder of Amós, created a menu inspired by the traditional cuisine of northern Spain.
For guests seeking pastries, sweets, ice cream, and other delights throughout the day, Flor Y Nata café delivers. The all day café serves up traditional patisserie treats with a contemporary twist, along with morning coffee and breakfast, light lunches of salads and sandwiches, and creamy hot chocolate with crunchy churros. Guests can also take traditional afternoon tea by the fireplace.
For those visiting Madrid this holiday season, Rosewood Villa Magna offers the ultimate festive season stay from bespoke dining experiences to family-friendly programming. In the gardens, partake in a unique winter wonderland concept with a one-of-a-kind ice-skating rink and pop-up Aprés-Skate Lounge with a variety of food and drink including oysters, champagne, mulled wine, and more. Check the hotel’s website for the festive season schedule.
Rosewood Villa Magna, P.º de la Castellana, 22, 28046 Madrid, Spain