Healthy Eating

We're championing fresh food that packs a flavour punch, from salads and vegetable-packed bowls to grains and light desserts.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller and receive a copy of Nordic Light - offer ends 23 April 2017.

Gourmet digital

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.

Hot Hotels: Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques, Madrid

Meliá Palacio de los Duques' rooftop spa

Meliá Palacio de los Duques' rooftop spa

Only in Europe can a hotel claim to be brand new and centuries old at the same time. Madrid's Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques, a Leading Hotels of the World member, is a six month old hotel built on 800 year old bones. To create it architect Alvaro Sans combined a 13th century convent and a 19th century palace. The palace belonged to a line of dukes, and their taste in home décor is one of its few surviving features.

Suite A Bedroom.

The dukes collected the work of Spanish court painter Diego Velazquez. Although none of his original paintings remain on site (one of them is hanging in the Prado National Museum), his art still dominates the newly renovated walls. His masterpiece Las Meninas inspired the hotel's colour scheme. And every room, passageway and common area features reproductions of his most famous paintings. Like at a museum, placards provide background information about each piece. Walking past the Water Carrier suite, I read that it was painted while the artist was in Seville in 1618-1622 and that I can view the original next time I'm in Wellington. I'm not sure I've ever learned so much on the walk from the elevator to my door.


"You'll always find art in Gran Meliá hotels," says sales manager Ana Escribano. "We could have had different Spanish painters in all the rooms but since the duke was fascinated with Velazquez, there was more of a relation in the story of the palace and the story of us."

Private RedLevel lounge.

The spirit of Velazquez even haunts mealtimes. Sit down at the hotel's Restaurante Montmartre and you'll be served a pull-apart bread loaf inspired by his painting, The Lunch. In the neighbouring Coroa Gallery Lounge there's an eye-catching art installation: 84 different wines in glass beakers, arranged by colour from lightest to darkest like a drinkable painter's palette. Velazquez would surely have approved.

Rooftop pool.

Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques, Cuesta Santa Domingo 5, Madrid, Spain, +34 91 5416700,


Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

Latest news
Sleep in a Grampians olive grove this autumn
Emirates launches First Class lounge access on an economy budget
Hot Hotels: Gran Melia Palacio de los Duques, Madrid
Where to dine in New York right now
Skiing, sailing and mountain climbing tours in Antarctica
Emma Knowles on the streets of Paris
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Recipe collections

Looking for ways to make the most out of seasonal produce? Want to find a recipe perfect for a party? Or just after fresh ideas for dessert? Either way, our recipe collections have you covered.

See more
2017 Restaurant Guide

Our 2017 Restaurant Guide is online, covering over 400 restaurants Australia wide. Never wonder where to dine again.

See more

You might also like...

Expert tips for air travel with Jo Horgan

Founder and co-CEO of Mecca Brands Jo Horgan shares her trav...

Wine on tap in Copenhagen

Wine bars don’t often win art prizes for “beautifying the ci...

Grand Budapest wine revival

The latest crop of Hungarian winemakers has sparked a new fo...

Etihad's private cabin

Cabins with proper beds and butlers feature in Etihad’s plan...

Readers’ choice awards winners

And the winners are…

Julia Morris on Bellapais, Cyprus

On a stay in Bellapais, actress Julia Morris basked in the h...

Cathay Pacific's new airport lounges

Lounge design needs to satisfy loners and more sociable crea...

Qantas reveals new A330 business suites

Qantas has unveiled new business-class seating and the big w...

Baest, Copenhagen

Copenhagen’s Bæst offers diners a truly hands-on experience.

Qantas business class amenity kits get an upgrade

Qantas reveals its brand-new business class amenity kits...

Qantas upgrades its economy-class dining

The airline promises bigger portions and greater choice in t...

Specialist travel agents

When it comes to booking travel, aren’t we flying solo now? ...

Air NZ's new business class

There's no question Air New Zealand is winning the branding ...

Hija de Sanchez, Copenhagen

Ex-Noma pastry chef Rosio Sanchez makes a (taco) stand in th...

Marc Blazer interview

Meet Marc Blazer, talent collector, dream enabler and the ma...

get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.