For it’s large touristic offer, cultural, gastronomic and leisure, Madrid is one of the top destinations when comes the time to choose a place to celebrate your wedding. The beauty of its streets, urban environment, colors and flavors, make the capital of Spain the ideal place to say “I do” and be able to enjoy all the options this wonderful city has to offer.
Besides that, there is a unique and elegant place, right at the historic city center, that allows us to celebrate our event and can make us feel like we’re part of the ancient nobility of the XIX century: our suggestion is clear, Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques is, without a doubt, the perfect selection.
This prestigious luxury hotel is located at a monumental palace of the XIX century, which was built on the most important convent in Europe in the XIX century, Convent of Santo Domingo. Maintaining much of the original structures of that time, this place offers beautiful rooms that bring us to the splendor and elegance of times gone by.
In the quiet surroundings of Palácio de los Duques, we find a lot of the most emblematic monuments of the capital. Real Palace, Almudena Cathedral or the Real Theatre, among others, await us to delight ourselves with their beauty and history in a remarkable setting of cobbled streets, squares and gardens, in Madrid of the Austrias.
Let’s go to the artistic and cultural heart of the city to meet this haven of peace in the center of Madrid, Palácio de los Duques. We hope you will continue this journey through the XIX century with us and let yourself fall in love with the character and exquisite design of this place.
We leave the Opera Square behind us as we go up a street that leads to one of the best preserved Elizabethan facades, Palacio de los Duques’. At it’s magnifique door, dressed in the most authentic style, part of the hotel staff kindly receives us.
We move on to the interior, dazzled by the marble floors, high ceilings, stairs that give access to the room area… We can feel luxury and elegance from the very first moment and the exquisite treatment from the staff can not be better.
From here they accompany us to a central courtyard, whitewashed, with arches and a glass dome that lets in all the morning light. The room integrate perfectly, the original structures with a comfortable and modern design. We can also watch how the wall decoration is inspired by the works of art of the famous painter Velázquez, which offers art and distinction in every corner of this space.
We settle at one of the couches, enjoying the mixture of the traditional and modern decoration, the spectacular lamps that light up each room and the professional and distinguished service from the waiters, that offer us something to drink while we wait for the Palacio de los Duques’ responsible, ready to tell us everything about this espectacular hotel.
– Good morning, welcome to the Hotel Gran Meliá de los Duques. It’s very nice to know you.
– Good morning. What a nice venue! Thank you for having us. We can’t wait to get to know the rest of this hotel and to hear about everything that this wonderful palace can offer to the couples who wish to get married in the heart of Madrid.
– Well then, please follow me to the garden, I’m sure you will love it. There, we will feel free to talk or enjoy its green areas. You will see that it’s a real haven of peace.
– Perfect. We’re following you.
We arrive in a spectacular historical garden of 1000 m2, a unique space in the center of Madrid. The hotel’s whitewashed façade, the trees, plants and flowers, and the central fountain make this garden a unique and idyllic place to relax and celebrate any type of event.
– What a nice courtyard, the temperature is perfect and very pleasant. We would love it if you could tell us more about the story of this beautiful palace, what it was used for, who lived there… In a nutshell, enable us to travel to its epoch and live in this historical moment of such elegance and luxury.
– The Hotel Gran Meliá de los Duques is made up of two buildings protected for their heritage, and united at the reception point. The principal building was a nineteenth century building which belonged to the Dukes of Granada de Ega and Villahermosa. This building has kept its original structure, its wrought iron staircase and wooden night.
The principal hall, called Patio de los Duques, was the former atrium and the arches that surround it are the original ones, still well-conserved. The historical garden where we met before was the Patio de Carruajes and the building of the Restaurante Dos Cielos is where the former stables were. The central fountain is an imitation of the time fountains, and the bricks underneath it are the original ones that surrounded it in time. Among the protected trees of the garden, you will find century-old chestnut trees from the Indias.
The other building was a Dominican convent of the thirteenth century which was very important to the eyes of royalty. In 1868, after being destroyed and restored several times, the monastery was knocked down and years afterwards, other buildings were built on its lands, among which the one in which we are now and which is part of the hotel. The memory of this monastery has given its name to the Cuesta and the Plaza de Santo Domingo.
– We really find ourselves in a place with a huge history… We have also noted that the Palacio de los Duques is very inspired by Velázquez’ paintings. Tell us the reason of this artistic inspiration.
– The former owners and residents of the Palace, the Dukes of Granada de Ega and Villahermosa loved art and had many of Velazquez’s works which they gave to the Prado. For this reason, the hotel has many remarkable copies of the artist scattered in the different zones of the hotel and the rooms, giving it a slightly more contemporaneos touch. The decoration was made by Alvaro Sanz, an interior architect of Melia Hotels International, which creates a merge between classic and modern and generates an innovative and very welcoming environment which surprises everyone.
– It seems like you have different halls for events as well as three restaurants, each of them having its own style and different gastronomic offer. Can you tell us about the different options that the Palacio de los Duques offers to couples wanting to get married in your hotel? What are the different spaces that you have and what characterizes each of them?
– All our halls thrive with natural lighting and are simple and elegant. For wedding receptions, according to the number of guests, we can provide you with the Opera and Palacio halls where you can fit up to 150 people and which provide some space to set up the open bar and the dance floor without having to move anything. These halls also have the capacity to host 200 people without a dancefloor. For smaller weddings, we can also provide you with the covered terrace of the Jardín de Montmartre where you can put up to 5 round tables and thus host up to 56 people. The terrace comprises air-conditioning and is integrated to the Jardín Histórico.
– Your gastronomical offer is exceptional, I heard that you benefited from the services of the best chefs, and even comprise a restaurant of the Torres brothers inside the hotel. What does your culinary offer consist of? Do you have menu closed menus or can the couples choose their own? Among your specialties, what would you say is your signature dish?
– The hotel serves three types of cuisine:
In the Montmartre restaurant, we serve à la carte French cuisine with a little Spanish touch which surprises our customers in a good way for the quality and the presentation of the dishes.
In Coroa Barra, you can savor the best tapas, cocktails and enjoy them in a privileged environment.
And at last, the Restaurante Dos Cielos Madrid, from the Torres brothers, offers menus that provide you with the best traditional cuisine featuring fresh seasonal dishes.
The cuisine for the hotel receptions is the same as the Montmartre restaurant, premium quality and elaborate in our kitchen. The menus are closed, but you can make small changes among them and we accept suggestions concerning dishes that you would like to add or change in the menus. We also benefit from a large range of extras, such as corners of different products and drinks during the aperitif, open bars, Candy Bar, child menu, etc.
– And in this very nice garden where we met, would it be possible to celebrate a civil ceremony? How would you deal with that from the hotel?
– For the civil ceremony of weddings under 100 guests, we provide a hall or a private zone in our wonderful historical garden with floral decoration previously agreed with the couple and adjusted to their budget.
We also benefit from the services of a team of specialists in a la carte event organization in order to immortalize this unique and special day for the couple. Our wedding planner will help them coordinate the event so that they can have everything they want on the day of the wedding, from the master of ceremonies or notary to legally officiate your wedding down to the tiniest detail.
– I understand that the Palacio de los Duques comprehends a series of all-luxury suites with all commodities for the wedding night: terrace, jacuzzi, etc. Could you tell us a little more about these rooms and everything they can offer to our couples for their wedding night?
– We provide the couple with the One Bedroom suite for their wedding night, with special attention and a specially personalized detail so that they can remember it for the rest of their life.
Breakfast is included in the room at the time of their choice and checkout can be made up to 4pm so that in summer they can go and enjoy a bath in the pool or a drink in the hot tub with some of the best views of Madrid.
– This pool is located on the last floor of the hotel, isn’t it? I would love to be able to see the crown jewel of the Palacio de los Duques. Could we go up and see it?
– Of course, let’s go and see the “crown jewel” of which I’m talking about.
We arrive on the last floor of the building and discover a spectacular terrace, with wooden floors, Balinese beds and hammocks, and a calm swimming-pool from which you can enjoy some of the most incredible views of the Palacio Real and the Catedral de la Almudena whilst savoring delicious cocktails served at the bar of the same place. We’re charmed by this place, the feelings of peace that it conveys and Madrid at our feet…
– We’re in the “Mirador de los Duques”, a terrace with the best panoramic views of Madrid with views of almost 360°, from Plaza de España, Sierra de Madrid, Casa de Campo and Madrid of the Austrias and the Borobones: Palacio Real, Catedral de la Almudena, Teatro Real, Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol, Callao and Plaza de Santo Domingo. The orange-red sunsets are the most romantic from here…
– I suppose yes, the sunset must be beautiful from here… Is there a possibility to make any type of cocktail or drink in this fabulous place as part of a wedding? What services do you offer the couple and their guests so that they can enjoy this spectacular rooftop?
– Given the exclusivity of the space and the opening hours for the clients of the hotel, among which the soon-to-be-married couple and their guests who want to stay at the hotel, we only provide, from 8:30pm, a space for a maximum of 20 people who want to savor our cocktails and other premium drinks served in the rooftop bar.
– I understand that, given your privileged location, you offer complementary activities to the couples and their guests in order to enjoy Madrid during their stay and all the little joys that this city provides its visitors. Tell us, what do you take care of in this field and what are the different options offered?
– The hotel benefits from City Expert, a private counselling service to offer all types of activities to our clients, museum hours and visits, latest movies, theater and exhibitions as well as culinary routes, hot air-balloon rides, cars with chauffeur speaking in different languages, etc.
– And inside the hotel, you also offer other types of complementary services such as your Thai room. Can we see it?
– Of course, let’s go.
Ummm, whilst we get closer to the room, we can already smell the essences, the sound of the water and relaxing music, and the pleasure of a well-chosen decoration which, along with the dim light give this space a warm and intimate atmosphere where to enjoy the best services and treatments during your stay.
– It’s a very nice center. Do you offer any type of packaging or special treatment for the couples?
– The whole decoration of this Wellness Thai was brought back from its country of origin, Thailand. The masseuses are also native people and offer a wide range of varied massages and duration to our clients. The center also has a vapor sauna, varied individual massages cabins and a double for couples with shower and jacuzzi, with perfect offers for couples.
We get back to the main hall using wooden corridors and stopping to look at spectacular Velazquez paintings in the main hall from where the visit started.
– The hotel by far complies with the highest quality standards on the level of products and services, and the decoration, as mentioned before, is superb.
-One question, apart from the halls, the restaurant and the culinary offer, what other services can the Palacio de los Duques offer our couples for the day of their wedding? Do you have professionals in charge of preparing and taking care of these issues for our to-be-married couples?
– We provide the couples with a team of professionals who will advise them and help them in the organization of the reception down to the tiniest detail.
o Tasting of the menu
o Wedding night, courtesy of the hotel, in one of our wonderful rooms with special attentions, breakfast in the room and late check-out.
o Parking spot for the couples’ commodity
o Rooms for the guests at the best price possible
o Floral decoration
o Personalized duration of the dinner or lunch
o Unforgettable present : up to 12 nights of free stay (according to the reception bill) for your honeymoon, in the hotel of their choice among the 350 choices of Meliá Hotels Internacional all around the world)
Our wedding planners provide them with the contacts of hair and make-up artists, chauffeur, notary, ceremony master, DJ, musicians, animators, floral decorations, etc.
– And how long before the wedding do you think a couple interested in getting married in your hotel should contact Palacio de los Duques for everything to be perfect?
– It all depends on the availability of the space, but we will help you organize the wedding in the same way, whether it is in 3 months or a year.
– One last question, according to you, what differentiates the Palacio de los Duques of the rest of the spaces for events and why should the couples choose your hotel for they “Yes, I do”
– Apart from the incomparable and exclusive décor in the center of Madrid and the quality of the service and our products, the human factor also stands out. We are professionals who have spent almost 30 years organizing weddings of this type, with 100% of satisfaction.
There is a ford to carry passengers at the door of the hotel, a public car on the ground floor of the building in addition to a taxi stop and two metro lines 20 meters away from the hotel.
We are in the very center of Madrid but in a calm and quiet zone, from which you can walk to any part of the city.
– Yes, it seems a great place to celebrate a wedding.
This is the end of our interview. It was a pleasure to get to know this exclusive and elegant hotel so thoroughly, and to enjoy this ride through time and history. Many thanks.
– It was a real pleasure to share our history and show you our hotel which we believe is one of the best hotels in Madrid.
We hope you enjoyed our visit to Palacio de los Duques in the heart of Madrid as much as we did.
Your wedding, made in elegance, in Palacio de los Duques.
Photos via Vivid Symphony Photography