A Hotel Full of History
A Hotel Full of History
A guide to The Palace Hotel, Madrid's emblem of luxury
The Palace Hotel in Madrid, representative of the bygone glamour of the Belle Epoque, celebrates its hundredth anniversary next October. It opened in 1912, the same year the Titanic sank; so far, after a long period of success, it remains amongst the best accommodation in Madrid and one of the most emblematic hotels in Europe.
The Palace has always been a meeting place for artists. Through its hall, Salvador Dali once walked an ocelot tied to a golden chain, while on the wall of his room he painted a picture that is said to have been wiped away by a horrified cleaning lady. From the hotel’s impressive doors, Hemingway used to see off famous masters Belmonte and Manolete on their way out to the bullring.
Its proximity to the parliament allowed it to be the meeting place for politicians who negotiated there during the transition to democracy. Within this hotel nights of great importance in history have passed, such as the coup d'etat on February 23, 1981, and the coup in 1982, when the socialist party announced from one of its balconies its triumph over the Right Party. Unforgettable days have passed in which Arabs and Jews sat down to negotiate during the Peace Conference of 1991, or the great dance of inauguration of the Thyssen Museum, which took place in the hotel’s classrooms. During the 20s The Palace hosted a stream of meetings, parties and other major events, be it local, national, or international. At the outbreak of the Civil War, in 1936, the hotel was requisitioned by the Republican government to house a hospital, thanks to the natural light let in through the huge dome roof that will never disappear even during a power cut.
The Hotel sustains some ancient professions which help to maintain the glamor and luxury of a bygone era, professions that are all but forgotten today, like a silversmith who is responsible solely for maintaining gleaming cutlery. It also employs the only remaining hotel bootblack in Spain. The Palace has always had this service, free for guests who leave their shoes at the door of the room at night. By the morning they’ll find them gleaming.
The Hotel sustains ancient professions which help to maintain the glamor and luxury of a bygone era
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