EXCLUSIVE: ‘I visited the Ritz Hotel in Madrid – this is my verdict’

Does Madrid’s Ritz Hotel live up to its luxurious expectations? The Olive Press investigates. 

ACROSS the world, the Ritz name is associated with one thing- luxury. 

Each of the brand’s 108 locations are well respected bastions of high quality experiences, with the accompanying price tag. 

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Even though we were sat right next to the bar we never felt like we were in a busy bar.
Photo: The Olive Press

So naturally, I had never stepped foot in one until my mum suggested we celebrate her birthday there.

‘I only have Birkenstocks, will I be allowed in?’ I asked nervously while getting ready. 

Despite my mum brushing me off as ‘daft’ I was still a bit apprehensive when we hopped off the bus, not out of a Ferrari, onto the Paseo del Prado. 

Described as ‘one of a kind’ in the Ritz hotel empire, the Mandarin Oriental Ritz is a Belle Epoque palace nestled between world class museums. 

It was established in 1910 after King Alfonso XIII demanded a hotel worthy of housing visiting royalty and notable guests. 

Over a hundred years later, the five star hotel is still the preferred accommodation of stars including Madonna, George Clooney and David Beckham. 

Although inspired by the ‘old-world’ that saw its construction, the Mandarin Oriental is anything but old-fashioned.  

As we step in through the gates of the Jardin del Ritz bar, we are greeted by a friendly hostess in a simple, elegant dress. 

Soft music wafted out of the carefully curated garden and we were shown to our table, a high seated white marble number. 

The staff at the Ritz were friendly and kind, even snapping a picture for us.
Photo: The Olive Press

Our table backed onto the upper restaurant and bar, giving us a privileged view of the impressive facade. 

The whole terrace was covered in shades and emitted a constant stream of mist, keeping us cool in the early June sun. 

Each table was separated by plants, giving you a sense of privacy and allowing you to enjoy your drinks peacefully. 

The plants are perfectly curated, with elegant touches of white in a green oasis.
Photo: Mandarin Ritz Oriental

Of course, the prices were more expensive than your average bar, with water for between €6-9 And mocktails for €14 each. 

It wasn’t long before a waitress came to take our order and while I picked the Athena mocktail, the rest of my family enjoyed a bottle of rose wine. 

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Day or night, the Ritz exudes luxury.
Photo: Mandarin Ritz Oriental

The wine was regularly and discreetly topped up, making us feel like the royalty the hotel was designed for. 

Meanwhile, my drink was tasty but too sweet and not of the quality I had expected. 

For a non-drinker, the variety of the mocktail menu was in itself a luxury.
Photo: Tripadvisor

However, the honey garlic cashews that came with the drinks made up for it with their crunchy, sweet flavour. 

You can also order food in the Jardin, with a mix of traditional Spanish cuisine pepperd by international influences, such as the miso roasted eggplant and sea bass ceviche. 

The restaurant serves up traditional Spanish cuisine fused with international dishes.
Photo: Mandarin Ritz Oriental

Dishes start at €20 and can rise to up to €890 for big ticket items like Caviar. 

Though we didn’t eat, I’m sure the food is high quality, just like the handkerchiefs given as napkins and the leather coasters. 

The ambient setting and excellent service made this capricious brush with luxury a lovely experience. 

The garden bar seamlessly creates private enclaves for each party.
Photo: Mandarin Ritz Oriental

But given the hefty price tag, I wouldn’t rush back anytime soon. 

As well as the garden, the Mandarin Oriental is home to the Pictura cocktail bar, the Palm Court cafe and two Michelin star restaurant, Deessa. 

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