The UK’s leading newspaper, the prestigious ‘The Guardian’, visits Centro Canalejas, including the new Four Seasons hotel
“The first large hotel opened in Madrid in almost half a century has more than enough to recommend it to even the most discerning and demanding visitor”. With this sentence the British newspaper opens their article, signed by Sam Jones, the newspaper’s correspondent in the Spanish capital, he describes his experience during his visit.
Together with Carlos Lamela, president of Estudio Lamela, the newspaper “discovers” the main spaces of Canalejas Center: the luxury shopping center, the spectacular lobby (“elegant”, as The Guardian describes it), the luxury homes, a restaurant by the three Michelin-starred chef Dani Garcia, its rooftop terrace appears to float high above the busy streets of the city center, the indoor pool and various rooms of the hotel. A unique Center that is already in operation, despite the complexity of the times. As the rest of Spain, the hotel is monitoring the evolution of Covid-19 pandemic and maintaining a safe environment for their visitors.
“In 2019, Spain had 84 million tourists”, said Carlos Lamela, the architect whose firm spent almost a decade painstakingly converting the seven former bank buildings in the heart of the city into hotel, luxury shopping center and private residences. “This year, it’s about 20 million visitors. We don’t know what’s going to happen next year. It’s a matter of just holding on”.
That hope, as reported in the newspaper, is already felt in a crowded lobby, in 50 of its 200 occupied rooms or in a restaurant, run by renowned chef Dani García, which is having great success. The visit continues and the article describes the challenge of successfully completing a work of this difficulty. “Carlos Lamela compares the challenge of this € 600 million project (which includes excavating a carpark for 400 vehicles and coming up way to drive corridors trough different buildings on different levels) to solving a huge Rubik’s Cube”, writes The Guardian.
Centro Canalejas is going to bring visits and prosperity to a city’s space “that had been abandoned in recent years” says the newspaper. “Life will go on, and we’ll keep on adapting just as we have during other disasters and wars. It’s like Churchill said-blood, sweat and tears. It may take a while, but this will all go away”, forecasts Carlos Lamela.