In room 622 of the Barceló Torre de Madrid: the Gran Vía at your feet
In room 622 of the Barceló Torre de Madrid © Barceló Torre de Madrid
Sleeping overlooking the Gran Vía is like sleeping with a television that broadcasts a program that you can't stop looking. You brush your teeth before going to bed and you look out the window. Turn off the light and you look out the window. You are thirsty in the middle of the night and you look out the window. A dream wakes you up (good, bad or regular) and you look out the window. You see how the first light of dawn sneaks and you look out the window. You swirl and look away at the window. You wake up, you get up and you look out the window sticking the nose to the glass. Sleeping in a room overlooking Gran Vía may be not sleeping. What matters: we have already slept many nights.
Views of the Gran Vía from 622 © Anabel Vázquez (@anabelvazquez)
There are many ways to sleep looking at Gran Vía. We can choose many places along their 1,316 meters. There are pensions, hostels, hotels and hotels. There are dilapidated, photogenic, huge, minimal, functional, spectacular, with myths, without them, classic or open since yesterday. The majority Look at Gran Vía from sidewalk to sidewalk. That is already enough show because in their 25 meters wide Many things can happen, and they happen. In addition, this width (such that it once accommodated a boulevard that was demolished in 1921) allows a wide street angle. All views of Gran Vía are good, but there is one that is strange. It is frontal, almost impure. It is the one from the Madrid tower.
The Tower of Madrid, imposing on the left © Alamy
The Tower of Madrid is a skyscraper. Although there is no architectural consensus on how high a building should be to be considered that way, it is admitted that if it exceeds 100 meters it deserves that name. This tower reaches 142 meters. It was built between 1954 and 1960. Let's not call it seventies: it is not. For years, how we like a record, it was the tallest concrete building in the world and, until Pirulí snatched his title in 1982, the highest in Spain.
From a distance it looks like a somewhat rough building, which is not brutalist, but that sensation disappears when you have it near or within it. Work with concrete is elegant, as are the balconies and their corners. In this building many more things have happened than we can in these lines. In addition, we do not want to take center stage from Gran Vía, which is who we have come to talk about. Mental note: write something specific about La Torre de Madrid on another occasion.
Princess Suite Room © Barceló Torre de Madrid
If we are interested in this building, it is because it welcomes a hotel that overlooks Gran Vía. There, guests always ask: "High and with views". And the staff, solicitous, try to give "stop and with views". They have nine plants for it. His 258 rooms many look at this street, but it is the 622 the one that faces her. Being in the corner of Plaza de España allows you to look at the street with An impossible perspective to find from another hotel.
In addition, this hotel has more than views. Has that called personality. The Barceló Tower of Madrid (it's name was inevitable) is the big bet of the group. It opened three months ago with the desire not to look like any other hotel in the city and to start a brand. For this they called Jaime Hayón, one of the rock stars of the world of international design, to invent his image. He decided to play with the Spanish topics from a light and elegant place.
If they tell us that in the lobby of a hotel we will find a photograph of a fallera or a bullfighter we would have begun to tremble. The reality is that they turn out so elegant and modern like the balconies of the Tower of Madrid. The chosen color palette (pistachios, cobalt blue, stick pink) is interesting, as are the furniture, some with pedigree and others designed by Jaime Hayón himself, who also has it. It is a hotel designed for effect wowsince the door that leads to Plaza de España is crossed. That sense of amazement culminates when you enter a privileged room and look out the window. Or you leave the terrace of that room, if we are even more privileged.
The decoration of Jaime Hayón, with an interesting color palette © Barceló Torre de Madrid
The Suite 622 It has a terrace. It is small, but it is terrace. If we place ourselves in it and begin to make a sweep we see many cities and times in one. If we look to the right we see the Madrid of the 50, with its powerful buildings with idem portals, we keep looking and it appears a little piece of Parisian Paris but immediately pum, is the Royal Palace, so regal. We keep looking to the left and see bottom roofs that could be from any city in the Mediterranean. They are few but there they are and, suddenly, there is a building that could be in Hamburg and we keep looking around. We stop her for a moment in the same square, with his statue of Cervantes and its people going, coming and staying. Then we leave the trees and look up. There is Gran Vía. It is somewhere between Broadway, Regent Street, Corrientes and the main street of a Spanish province. It is neither the most luxurious street in Madrid, nor the greenest, nor the most elegant. It's Gran Vía and doesn't need adjectives.
Views of the Royal Palace from Barceló Torre de Madrid © Barceló Torre de Madrid
But hotels are more than rooms. Although we do not sleep in 622 we can continue to have views of Gran Vía. We see it from the We are restaurant, It has some tables, right in the corner, which are a show. We see it from the breakfast area, which we can access (with its fourteen types of very modern breads and milkshakes) without having to stay, and we have them from the lobby, which is located on the second floor and who is impossible not to photograph.
Imagine a breakfast like this © Barceló Torre de Madrid
But luxury (because there is defined luxury) is Look from the window or the terrace of 622. It is hypnotic. The view extends from the Spain Building (it looks like one from Detroit before leaving) to the Plaza de Callao. This section was called from 1937 to 1939, Avenida de Mexico. Traditionally it has been the stretch of leisure and culture, of cinemas (there were thirteen), the party and restaurants. It is the most lively section of Gran Vía. It changes for minutes, the light does, the rhythm of your life too.
In the morning it is commercial, passing, tourist; As the day progresses and the natural light goes out the neons light up. The street mutates and changes clothes. It's time for theaters, musicals, cinemas (two left) and the hunger that comes before and after them. It's time for full taxis, for groups of people occupying the sidewalk. This lasts all morning. There is only one moment in which he is calm or, better, waking up: It's at 9 a.m. on a Sunday. That feeling lasts for a moment. Then someone turns on a switch and the party starts.
And the Gran Vía that never rests © Barceló Torre de Madrid