Hollywood’s long-running relationship with Spain is anchored by location production and talent acquisition. As a destination, few countries rival its culture, cuisine and rep for sophisticated relaxation.
Wes Anderson and crew will shoot an untitled feature southeast of Madrid in the coming months; both the Sitges (Oct. 7-17) and San Sebastian (Sept. 17-25) film festivals are returning to in-person festival activities; and tourism is on the rebound. Included among recent visitors is Gwyneth Paltrow, who dropped into Barcelona’s tapas stalwart Bar Canete earlier this month.
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Although COVID shutdowns delayed hotel openings, these new hotels have much to offer those in the entertainment biz, no matter the reason for travel. Here are six highlights.
Four Seasons Hotel Madrid
The first Four Seasons in Spain’s capital is a series of seven meticulously restored, historic commercial buildings, the oldest
dating to 1887. The 200-room property extends out from the highly visible central intersection of Calle Alcala and Calle Sevilla, houses a VIP-ready Presidential suite and discreet hotel entrances to the indoor swimming pool and 15,000-sq.-ft. spa. On the rooftop, the Dani brasserie is the place for breakfast in the capital city; later in the day, vermouth aperitifs and tapas welcome. Hermes and other luxury goods emporiums are adjacent at the Galeria Canalejas. A remarkable collection of contemporary Spanish art is found throughout the hotel, which opened in September.
Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid
After a three-year restoration and modernization of the storied 1910-built (by famed hotelier Cesar Ritz) Belle Époque-style Ritz, the Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid, opened April 15. The location, overlooking the Prado Museum and close to the Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum and Reina Sofía Art Centre, is ideal for art fans visiting Madrid’s lauded trinity of art institutions. The richly decorated luxury accommodations are backed by the latest technology, including 12 connecting rooms and suites on two junket floors, pre-wired for video and audio, with a dedicated control room. Those keeping a low profile can access the hotel via an alternate entrance and dedicated elevator.
Kimpton Vividora Hotel, Barcelona, Gothic Quarter
The 156-room Kimpton rises above the picturesque passageways and narrow blocks of Barcelona’s medieval Gothic Quarter close to Las Ramblas. It sports a chic rooftop bar and pool with eye-popping views. Both the rooftop and the ground floor cafe are popular for private events; as the first Kimpton property in Spain (opened in 2020), the hotel’s contemporary designer look is emblematic of the boutique brand.
W Ibiza, Santa Eulalia
W brought its colorful contemporary vibe to Ibiza in June. It’s mere steps to the Mediterranean and dotted with welcoming lounge chairs along the water’s edge. Santa Eulalia is definitely more tranquil than other spots on the beguiling party island, but the lively bar and social scene at the W (with DJs) fills in the gaps.
Six Senses Ibiza, Sant Joan de Labritja
The 20-acre, 116-room resort opened its doors July 10. The sustainability-minded resort hugs Xarraca Bay and is built into its scenic rocky cliffs on Ibiza’s northern tip. Eco-smart barefoot luxury predominates. There are holistic wellness treatments at the Six Senses spa, in-room soaking tubs with sea views and organic produce sourced from the hotel’s own farm on the menu. Music and entertainment are integral to the resort and enhanced by an on-site recording studio and DJ set-up plus open-air stage.
Hotel Villa Favorita, Donostia-San Sebastian
Revamped by the owners of the adjacent Hotel Londres, the 23-room, service-and-tech forward Hotel Villa Favorita faces the spectacular curving La Concha Bay and esplanade, in the culinary capital of Spain’s Basque region. The building was the last private villa on La Concha and the iconic façade was retained. Suites are primed for film fest talent with scenic bay views as backdrop, double-paned windows for quiet, space for an entourage and extra-large mirrored bathrooms designed for beauty prep.
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