In 1910, the chandeliers at the Ritz Madrid went on and have not been switched off since, even throughout the Spanish Civil War. opening back then as Madrid’s aristocratic hotel, it continues over a century later as a historic landmark, to provide top notch luxury for those with a penchant for the opulent. the Ritz offers a real taste of history – belle époque period features, sumptuous carpets (made by the same people who weave for the Royal Palace), an elegant spiral staircase that presents residents into the palatial foyer and an all-day grand pianist in the lobby lounge – you get the picture.

Our lavish suite on the 4th floor continues the theme, complete with marble bathrooms and plush monogrammed towels. in the living room, large bay windows framed the Prado Museum. to ensure the utmost grandeur, flock wallpaper adorned the walls and lovely antiques were peppered throughout the room. A bowl of deliciously sweet Spanish oranges was delivered daily, as well as a generous helping of the hotel’s signature cake – everything came tied in branded blue ribbon. We absolutely loved the old-world charm, but stopped Outthere recOmmends short at it being brought fully to life with the virtually non-functioning WiFi.

The Mandarin oriental group has recently acquired the hotel and is keen to bring it more up to date, while retaining its charm. it’s future therefore, is currently unknown, although with this international brand behind it, we’re sure it’ll be nothing less than fabulous. However we know some things won’t change (or so we hope). the property’s beautiful oasis garden, the perfect place for an early-evening gin and tonic, is a much-loved facility that should really carry a historic preservation order. Ritz Madrid

Also, the hotel’s fine dining restaurant, Goya – a tribute to one of Spain’s most famous artists – did everything it could to avoid taking his name in vain when we dined there, presenting artistic Spanish cuisine that is a masterpiece of gastronomy, all set in a fabulous dining room, with excellent silver-service to match.

www.mandarinoriental.com/ritzmadrid