A few years ago, Mandarin Oriental teamed up on a joint venture with the Olayan Group to acquire the Hotel Ritz in Madrid. (Price tag? $148 million.) The legendary Belle Époque landmark has stood tall in the center of the Spanish capital for more than a century. The palace occupies a prime piece of real estate in the so-called “Golden Triangle of Art," with some of the city’s most important museums at its doorstep: the Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Reina Sofía Museum of Modern Art.
In big news for the iconic property, Mandarin Oriental recently announced a massive €99 million ($121 million) restoration to begin this winter. Hotel Ritz, Madrid will close on February 28 for a top-to-bottom overhaul that’s expected to be completed at the end of 2019.
What’s in store for the grande dame?
French designers Gilles & Boissier have been commissioned to oversee the interior decoration. The idea is to upgrade the facilities, while still “celebrating César Ritz’s pioneering spirit.” The public spaces will change dramatically: Mandarin Oriental is planning the reinstatement of a glass roof over the lounge, the way it was when the hotel first opened. In this vein, the main restaurant will be moved back to its original location. The 106 rooms and 47 suites will get an entirely new look, and there will be a new series of specialty suites. (One of these, the enormous Royal Suite, will show off impressive views of the Prado museum.) A new fitness center, indoor pool and bar will also be added.
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group now operates 31 hotels and eight residences in 21 countries and territories.