Madrid Has A Wacky Hotel That Reminds Us Of The Lloyd


A few months or years (who can tell anymore?) ago, we junketeered our way over to Amsterdam and stopped off at the Lloyd Hotel, an old building that had been entirely repurposed by a bunch of hot young architects and designers (Hella Jongerius, Claudy Jongstra, and the very tall Marcel Wanders) into a one-to-five star hotel with completely different rooms and styles (some of them with eight-person beds, yeah, all right). Turns out the Lloyd was just the beginning of what Madrid’s 342-room $92 million Hotel Puerta America looks to be, if not the end, a very big step of. A Travel + Leisure writer stopped in to look at the hotel’s twelve floors, each of which was designed by a different architect. Norman Foster, Richard Gluckman, and Zaha Hadid all contributed. Here’s what Peter Jon Lindberg, who we’ve suddenly found ourselves very jealous of, writes:

The edifice is sheathed, Christo-like, in canopies of indigo, orange, yellow, and red canvas. Glass-cube elevators glide up and down the exterior, and at each floor the doors open to reveal a shocking new world: on level 4, the eerie metallic wonderland of architects Eva Castro and Holger Kehne, faceted steel shards buckle from every surface like something out of Tron; one flight up, Victorio & Lucchino envisioned a gaudy fantasia of velvet and marble sphinxes. Puerta America comes off as a vast Hollywood backlot.

Interesting enough, but where’s Zaha??

Hadid’s rooms are the most striking. It’s a pity Stanley Kubrick didn’t live to shoot here. The entire iglooesque space is molded from blinding white LG Hi-Macs, a synthetic similar to Corian. There’s nary a right angle in sight, and no “furniture” per se: from the amoeboid walls, sculpted smooth as snowdrifts, sprout shelves, benches, nightstands, and a desk. An iceberg-like slab doubles as a seat (ergonomic, schmergonomic). This must be how it feels to live inside an Eames chair.

Mmmmm. Comfortable.