Lifestyle hotel in the heart of urban Madrid
Located next to the city’s main theatres, boutiques and nightclubs, this lifestyle hotel boasts an innovative, luxurious design reflective of the urban culture of the capital.
The history of the building
ME Madrid Reina Victoria revitalised the historic Gran Hotel Reina Victoria, located in the heart of the capital of Spain, on the western edge of the centrally located Plaza de Santa Ana, which is full of bars and night spots.
The major remodelling of the hotel respected the building’s façade which is an historically valuable example of the city’s urban architecture. Within this traditional structure, the ME Madrid was designed as a luxury hotel offering the best services and facilities to business and pleasure travellers.
On the site occupied by the palace of the Counts of Teba, where Próspero Merimée began writing “Carmen” and where Eugenia de Montijo, wife of Napoleon III was brought up, the construction of the Gran Hotel Reina Victoria began in 1919. Built by the modernist architect Jesús Carrasco y Encina, the hotel is an important historic example of this architectural movement. Since it opened in 1923, the Gran Hotel Reina Victoria, named in honour of the beautiful wife of King Alfonso XIII, was considered a symbol of elegance and luxury in the Spanish capital. Aristocrats, diplomats and artists turned it into their meeting place. With the advent of the Republic in 1931, the hotel lost its royal title which was recovered when it was renamed the Hotel Tryp Reina Victoria **** in 1989.
THE HOTEL OF BULLFIGHTERS
But that did not stop celebrities from flocking to this iconic hotel. Over the past sixty years it has become the centre of the bullfighting world. Manolete, the greatest bullfighter in history, stayed in room 406 when he visited Madrid. And he was not alone in choosing this hotel for the ritual of donning the suit before a fight: Luis Miguel Dominguín, Florentino y Flores, Joselito, Ruiz Miguel, Palomo Linares, Rafael de Paula, Bombita, Pedrés, Mazantini, Arruza, Antoñete, El Viti, Ruiz Miguel and Víctor Méndez, amongst others, have converted the hotel into their private sanctuary before heading towards the Plaza de las Ventas.
And where went the bullfighters, the fans followed. Hemingway stayed at the hotel on many occasions, and even mentioned it in one of his books; Ava Gardner was also fascinated by its unique atmosphere.
From the 1970s to 1989, the building was the headquarters of Banco Simeón and the department store Arias. It was with the arrival of Tryp Reina Victoria (****) when the building returned to its origins.
During this period, several Spanish rock bands stayed at the hotel when they were on tour or during promotions, such as Loquillo y los Trogloditas, Seguridad Social and Luz Casal. The singer-songwriter Pablo Milanés always stayed in room 506 when he came to Madrid, where he was visited from other Spanish rock legends such as Joaquín Sabina.
The group Jarabe de Palo starting staying at the hotel before they got their first number one and continued doing so when they came to the city. The hotel’s Bar Taurino, brimming with bullfighting paraphernalia reminding visitors of its historical relationship with the bullfighting world, appeared in the Almodóvar movie “Hable con Ella” in 2002, winner of an Oscar for best original script.
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