Cosmopolitan, elegant and contemporary are all words that define the new Hotel Barceló Emperatriz. The hotel chain’s first five-star facility in the Spanish capital is located in a historical 19th century building right in the heart of the Salamanca district.
It’s a building that has been completely reformed to become a boutique hotel (146 rooms) and created based on the more than 1500 ideas and suggestions from customers published in the social media. Its creation furthermore involved a group of 25 successful women with different professional backgrounds from the cultural, economic, political and creative arenas of Spanish society for the sole purpose of enriching the project by putting these people’s ideal needs and desires on the table as a reflection of those of future guests.
Architect Juan Manuel Gordillo, along with his team of interior designers led by Ernesto de Ceano, had the challenge of seeking inspiration in empress Eugenia de Montijo, as the muse for the project. She was to be reflected in each one of the rooms of this mythical hotel which is already a part of Madrid’s history. This woman was a reference in her period because she was considered modern for the times.
And it was precisely this philosophy and unique character that was to emanate from this new hotel. All while incorporating the opinions of the twenty-five 21st century empresses chosen for its co-creation, giving rise to a very feminine hotel. A gathering place created by women for women, a sort of female club with luxury accommodation and shared needs.
An exquisite, urban design
As concerns the hotel interior design, the key was the wise choice of materials and decorative elements to achieve the style and urban glamour desired by all of the parties involved.
For Ernesto de Ceano, “the main aim of the decoration project was to transmit contemporary elegance based on the materials used such as wood, metal daisies and Neolith paneling in addition to the treatment of the ceilings and use of light, all completed with very carefully selected furnishings.” All of these noble materials were used in the relaxation areas as well as the high-traffic areas.
Another of the main challenges of the project was “fitting in the rooms and creating a lobby with varying heights that would transmit an image of great spatial quality in connecting the different reception, bar and restaurant areas with fluid usage and traffic, thus creating the urban hotel look sought.”
Bright and elegant spaces
In order to meet all of these requirements, Neolith was one of the materials chosen for the different hotel rooms such as the bathrooms in the rooms and common areas such as stairs and breakfast area “due to the immense size, which was essential to the project in addition to making for easier handling and assembly to meet the construction deadlines.”
“A bathroom in a 5-star hotel room must above all reflect quality, space and formality. By using the large-format Neolith, we were able to get something that seemed to be carved in marble. We created a unified look in the toilet / shower stall, bathtub area and wash space, all with this material. Everything is spacious and functional.”
Besides in the bathrooms, Neolith Estatuario was used in the hotel common areas such as on the stairs, which also seem to be carved into the material - as mentioned by Ernesto de Ceano - and the countertop, backsplash and shelving of the breakfast bar, which serves the selective guests each day.
Because of the endless details, design and quality of the materials used, the Hotel Barceló Emperatriz was recognized as one of the best Boutique Hotels by the prestigious British newspaper The Telegraph. It was also included last year by another British newspaper, The Times, on its list of the best new hotels in the world in 2016.
NEOLITH: Design, Durability, Versatility, Sustainability