By the way: Madrid - The Ritz
All the By The Ways you need to make a perfect dinner conversation:
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By the way; did you know that?
Madrid, the capital of Spain, is at 667m the highest capital of Europe.
The Ritz is the most famous historic hotel of Spain, the general manager of this revolving point of Spanish and European society is Swiss: Anton Küng.
The Ritz Hotel Development Company was founded on 28 June 1908. The legendary hotelier César Ritz had lent his name to the company, but was never personally involved in the Spanish company.
From the Ritz you are at the Prado museum (Goya, ...) in 60 seconds. Rooms facing south overlook it. The Thyssen-Bornemisza museum is across the street, at the threshold of the historic centre of Madrid, which at some point is called Madrid de los Austrias. That stems from the days when the Habsburgs ruled Spain.
Although Spain has a King, the white Royal Palace (Palacio Real) on the Plaza de Oriente in Madrid, dating from 1734, with 3,000-rooms, is not his home. The Palacio Real was last called 'home' by the royal family in 1931 - the present king, Juan Carlos, a regular of the Ritz, lives in the more subdued Zarzuela Palace outside Madrid.
Talking about Royals: In 2004 Spain saw its first royal wedding in decades. The son of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, Felipe, Prince of Asturias, married the popular television presenter Letizia Ortiz at the Almudena Cathedral. It was quite simply the biggest social event in Europe since the wedding of Charles and Diana 23 years earlier. The royals had invited 350 select guests and at the Ritz more than 20 royal delegations took residence, each with their own specifications.
Talking about getting everything right: Head concierge Jorge Casas and his team, among them the charming Miss Begoña, make sure that you have your ticket for the Real Madrid match, the late show at the Flamenco theatre Corral de la Moreria or the Reina Sofia Art Collection, your table at the restaurant; name it, they make it. Nightlife in Madrid starts late, if you come to a nightclub before midnight, they think you want to apply for a job.
Our preferred bus tour criss-crossing Madrid starts right behind the hotel (hop-on hop off Madrid Vision). But now you can also glide through Madrid: the two-wheeled Segway HT is the most advanced, self-balancing personal transport device that has been designed to operate in pedestrian environments.
Every self-respecting Hollywood actor has made an appearance at the hotel. Hugh Grant, Jeremy Irons, Silvester Stallone, Anthony Garcia and Halle Berry (now stop dropping names, the Queen told me the other day). Nicole Kidman left this in the guestbook: ‘Such a wonderful adventure, love’, while George Clooney concluded ‘Another perfect visit, thank you!’ Mr and Mrs Kevin Costner agreed that their stay was ‘full of memories, that should last for a lifetime.’ Pierce Brosnan is a regular, who loves to come back, so does Sir Elton John, who feels welcome when he writes ‘How wonderful to be back in this great hotel!’ Spanish Hollywood stars such as the ‘Spanish enchantress’, Penélope Cruz, nominated for an Oscar, occasionally arrives for presentations of movie releases. So does Javier Bardem, who has won the first Oscar for Spain (No Country for Old Men).
Sometimes a visiting chef comes along to taste the extraordinary kitchen of chef Jorge Gonzalez, a Basque, ranging from carpaccio de carabineros, large red Atlantic prawns to suckling pig of unprecedented tenderness. We recently observed the popular cook of a very trendy restaurant in Madrid, t(a)esting 15 different courses!
Take this advice from a brunch aficionado – the Sunday brunch at the Ritz is among the best in the world. Not only families enjoy this Sunday treat.
Even more - in detail:
The cover painting of the book HOTEL RITZ MADRID was created by the Austrian artist Manfred Markowski. General Manager Anton Küng (left) was presented with the original painting, elegantly framed, by Andreas Augustin.
The hotel itself opened under the name Ritz Madrid in 1910. Here's a list of all famous hotels in the world that were already in existence at the time.
Long before the global non-smoking campaigns started, the Ritz' Restaurant was a non-smoking venue. Read more in "What's New?"
At the Ritz itself you will feel like "Puttin on the Ritz". Do you know where that saying stems from? Here is the story.
From Belfast to Baghdad: the Ritz Madrid leads the collection of tales about hotels in times of war.
Did we water your appetite? Read the second chapter of our new book about the Ritz (the book can be ordered on-line).
The Ritz offers a special package:
“Special Anniversary Package - Hotel Ritz Madrid”
Celebrate with us this special date – June, 27th 2008 – when by initiative of King Alfonso XIII the Ritz Development Company first meeting of the board took place and the idea to build this legendary hotel was conceived. Discover why Hotel Ritz Madrid is one of the world’s most legendary hotels reading through a very exceptional limited edition book specially produced for the occasion.
- Two nights accommodation in your chosen room category
- Daily buffet breakfast
- Chauffeur driven airport transfers
- A bottle of cava in the room.
- Three-course dinner for two in our elegant Goya Restaurant (excluding beverages) or at Terrace (weather permitting).
- Welcome amenities in your room upon arrival
- As a courtesy, this program includes a limited edition book full of the Hotel Ritz history
Rates: from 433,65 Euros per person sharing double classic room