Review: American Economy Class A321 Los Angeles To New York
Review: American Business Class 767 New York To Madrid
Review: American Flagship Lounge Dallas DFW Airport
Review: British Airways First Class 777 Austin To London
Review: Westin Palace Madrid Hotel
Day Trip To Toledo
Review: Iberia Business Class Lounge Madrid
Review: Sala VIP Amnios Lounge Madrid
Review: Iberia Economy Class A321 Madrid To London
Review: American Business Class 777-300ER London To Los Angeles
As I explained in the introduction post, this stay was in conjunction wth the SPG Amex Stars program I participate in. This four night stay was intended to highlight the benefits of the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express, in particular since the cards underwent a refresh in August.
As part of this refresh, the cards both have waived foreign transaction fees, making them great options for spending while abroad.
I’ve long wanted to visit the Westin Palace Madrid, which I’ve heard great things about. There are more expensive and higher category Starwood hotels out there, though this one made the most sense for me:
- I had never been to Madrid before, though had visited several other cities in Spain
- The Westin Madrid is gorgeous, and I’ve heard great things about it; while it has the Westin name, it’s anything but cookie-cutter
- Madrid is an easy enough one-stop destination from Los Angeles
It’s worth noting that the Westin Palace Madrid is a Category 5 Starwood property, making a free night redemption 12,000-16,000 Starpoints per night. Keep in mind that if you redeem points for a five night redemption, the fifth night is free.
In my instance the rate was paid by the SPG Amex, and it was ~260EUR per night.
Upon landing in Madrid I took a taxi from the airport to the hotel, which took about 25 minutes. Madrid taxis have a flat rate of 30EUR to/from the airport, for what it’s worth.
The hotel’s exterior was gorgeous. The hotel is over 100 years old, so has an exterior which looks classic without being run down.
The property is equally gorgeous at night.
Upon arriving at the hotel I was assisted by the bellman and directed to the check-in desk, but not before noting the signage on the outside of the hotel.
I love how it had both the original Palace Hotel branding, which was over 100 years old…
…while it also had the Westin branding. I find it sort of interesting that there are several Westin hotels in Europe which are in unique historic buildings. Generally I would assume those kinds of hotels would be Luxury Collection rather than Westin, but that’s not the case here.
The hotel’s lobby was equally gorgeous and classic, with a lot of the original features from over 100 years ago.
The reception desk was located to the left of the entrance, where I was helped immediately. I arrived at the hotel fairly early, at around 8AM, so my room wasn’t quite ready yet. However, they processed my check in and suggested I come back in a couple of hours, at which point my room should be ready.
I had a seat in the lobby and got caught up on some work using the hotel’s free wifi (no password was required), and within about an hour the same associate who checked me in approached me with the keys for my room.
I took the elevator up to the second floor, where my room was located. Since this is a 100+ year old hotel, the elevators are on the small side, presumably as they’re the original ones.
On the second floor I found a beautiful seating area by the elevators.
I turned right and walked down to the end of the hallway, where I found my suite, #223, on the left.
The suite had double doors, which is how you know you’re in for a nice hotel stay.
I had been upgraded to an executive suite, which was rather huge.
The suite featured a foyer past the entrance, with a guest bathroom to the left.
The guest bathroom had a sink and toilet, and some rather quirky wallpaper.
Past the foyer was the massive living room. The living room had a couch with two chairs and a coffee table in the center of it.
The seating area faced a flat screen TV.
Then to the right of the entrance was an oval dining table with four chairs. Past that was the minibar and complimentary bottled water, which was replenished daily.
The room faced the Fuente de Neptuno. Even though I was “only” on the second floor and facing a busy roundabout, street noise was limited, so I guess the hotel’s sound insulation is quite good, especially for an old hotel.
Past the living room was an office area with a desk, and then the bathroom to the left.
The desk was rather simple, and was near a window.
Past the office area was the bedroom, which featured a super comfortable king size Westin Heavenly Bed. I loved the quirky wallpaper in the bedroom, and especially appreciated having a “proper” Westin bed.
Next to the bed was a small seating area with two chairs next to the window.
The suite’s main bathroom featured two sinks, a tub, a shower, and a toilet/bidet.
Even though this is a “historic” hotel, the showerheads were typical of the Westin brand, so had excellent water pressure.
The hotel also has the standard Westin amenities and toiletries.
Overall I thought the room was stunning. Not only did I get a great upgrade, but I appreciated that the decor was unique and original without being run down.
Wifi in the room was fast, and I especially loved the below amenity. There was a card in my room indicating that the Westin offers complimentary room service coffee, which is awesome. This is the first time I’ve seen this at a Westin, as it’s something I’m only used to experiencing with butler service at the St. Regis.
As a massive coffee addict, I thought it was awesome, and took advantage of it every day. Each time I was brought a pot of coffee with some chocolates. I wish more hotels would offer something like this.
For what it’s worth, Tiffany arrived later that same day and got upgraded to a junior suite on a higher floor, #537.
The room was also beautiful, and it consisted of a single large room with a king size Westin Heavenly Bed, a couch, a desk, and a chair by the window.
The bathroom also featured double sinks, a shower, a bathtub, and a toilet.
As an SPG Platinum member I chose the complimentary breakfast as my Platinum amenity, in lieu of 500 Starpoints. That benefit consists of full breakfast at La Rotondo Restaurant, which is the hotel’s restaurant located right off the lobby.
The restaurant is under a dome and couldn’t be more gorgeous.
Like, it’s stunning.
The restaurant serves breakfast daily from 7AM until 11AM, and we usually had breakfast on the early side.
The breakfast buffet is quite good. It’s certainly not up to what you might get at a Starwood property in Asia or the Middle East, though for Europe it was definitely above average.
There was a good continental selection, including pastries, muffins, croissants, cereal, yogurt, cold cuts, fresh fruit, etc.
Then there was also a good selection of hot options, including churros, scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, quiche, pancakes, waffles, and even samosas.
To work off the breakfast buffet, the hotel has a 24 hour gym, which can be accessed through the sixth floor. The gym is actually on the seventh floor, but to access it you get off on the sixth floor and can then take a separate set of stairs or an elevator up a further level. The gym wasn’t huge, though the equipment was modern and it never seemed to be full.
It’s worth noting that the Westin Madrid has a great location, and was within walking distance of most of the places we visited in Madrid. We’ll have more on that in a future installment about our time in Madrid.
Furthermore, if you’re as much of a coffee addict as I am, it’s worth noting that there’s a Starbucks in the same building as the hotel. While I’ll be the first to admit that Starbucks is far from the best coffee in the world, it’s nice to have easy access to coffee 16 hours a day.
As far as the hotel’s staff goes, I was impressed by the service at this hotel, especially for a property as big as this. While it might not look like it, the hotel has almost 500 rooms, so it’s a huge property.
I had a fantastic stay at the Westin Madrid, and it exceeded my expectations. It was anything but a “cookie cutter” Westin, as it combined the amenities you expect from a Westin with a unique property which has a 100+ year history. If anything, this felt more like a Luxury Collection property than a Westin.
Between the rooms, public facilities, and location, I’d return in a heartbeat.
This property can also be a great use of Starpoints, given that paid rates can get quite high here over the summer.
If you’ve stayed at the Westin Madrid, what was your experience like?