Tradition, wine culture and friendliness: the three pillars of the Madrid Prado ibis Styles Monday, 15th July 2013 Source : Accor Hotels
This hotel was entirely revamped in early 2013, with frescoes, tasting courses, theme-based rooms, and many other subtle hints, the hotel’s passion for wine remains as strong as ever.
The Madrid Prado ibis Styles hotel is ideally located in the capital’s historic city centre, and offers all modern comforts in a unique atmosphere. We view the hotel with our enthusiastic guide Guillermo Pérez Palacios, managing director of Hoteles Tematicos and manager of the Madrid Prado ibis Styles hotel.
Why not retreat to the peace and quiet of our room to taste a glass of good wine? That is certainly not something you would routinely expect in an ibis Styles hotel. “Bringing together the culture of wine and that of good hospitality was indeed a shot in the dark for an ibis Styles hotel”, explains the managing director. From the lobby to the rooms themselves, the hotel’s decor certainly points towards a veritable passion for wine.
“Each of the hotel´s 48 rooms bears the name of an Spanish wine region, and the room´s headboard from each floor are decorated with frescoes that tell of grape harvesting, the wine maturing in barrels and bottling processes, and of course the wine tasting.” The hotel’s 48 rooms, all recently refurbished, are modern and very welcoming. The breakfast room is adorned with a dreamlike depiction of a vineyard.
A family of hoteliers
“I am the fifth generation of hoteliers on my father`s side. I may have actually been born in a hotel”, jokes Guillermo Pérez Palacios. This family of hoteliers has the art of receiving down to a T. “As a child, I already knew everything there was to know about managing a hotel.” Guillermo Pérez Palacios even set up his own hotel company, known as Hoteles Culturales Tématicos. All his hotels have one feature in common: perfect located buildings, at the historic areas of the cities. The Madrid Prado ibis Styles hotel is located in a street in the city centre and can be easily located thanks to its modern façade. Bought up by the Pérez Palacios family in 1991, it joined the Accor fleet in 2010.
A double passion*
Having wine as the hotel’s theme owes nothing to chance: several ancestors in the Palacios family tree were in fact wine growers. The hotel thus offers a wide variety of wines for tasting, all hailing from the Spanish renowned Alvaro Palacios and Guillermo`s brother Ricardo ,wine cellars. “Our real gem is the red Rioja wine”, says Guillermo Pérez Palacios. With a host of magazines and books on the sole topic of oenology in the hotel’s main lounge, and the decor reflecting the three wine colours red, white and rosé, wine amateurs and curious visitors alike are enchanted. “Wine brings people together, regardless of whether they are experts or neophytes on the topic.” An aroma station will be set up in the lobby as an additional attraction, with guests needing to use their noses and their knowledge to identify the various vintages from their aroma.
The hotel is exceptionally well located, in the very heart of Madrid’s old centre. “We are five minutes from the Prado Museum and Plaza Mayor, and three minutes from the Puerta del Sol”, grins Guillermo Pérez Palacios. And Plaza Santa Ana is just a short stroll away, bursting with good restaurants to savour famous Spanish tapas and festive and lively bodegas for dancing. “These last four years, our occupancy rate has been on average 95%”, smiles the director. “Customers want magic, culture, monuments. 66% of our guests are foreign and a vast majority came to Madrid for its rich history.” Some guests are actually more famous than others, with celebrities tending to stay at the hotel.
Carefully trained staff
To improve the staff’s knowledge and better advise wine aficionados, each team member has been trained in oenology to be able to give information and anecdotes. “This training workshop is essential if we are to advise our guests well and give them the little je ne sais quoi that is specific to our hotel.” A special guidebook on wine in Spain is also given as a compliment to each guest staying at the hotel. The next step is a smartphone application that will enable each guest to choose the room they want according to its name… and thereby match their wine tastes with a theme-based room!
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