Spain is the country that has made the design hotel its own. Probably more than any other country, a quick trawl through Internet sites seeking one of those nice little hotel bargains soon shows that the range of hotels in which excellent contemporary design is an intrinsic part of the deal has taken off in Spain perhaps more than anywhere else.
So, in such a competitive market, how does one compete? Madrid’s luxurious Hotel Silken Puerta América would tend to suggest that to stay ahead of the competition, more is more.
Not satisfied with only one superstar architect or designer to act as a lure for design loving guests, Hotel Silken Puerta América has opted to have a whole gaggle of top architects and designers involved, each taking on a specific floor or section of the hotel. Reading like a shortlist for some top range international architecture or design prize, the hotel features the unique visions of top names from Zaha Hadid and Marc Newson to Ron Arad and Norman Foster on its stellar list responsible for the fourteen storeys –including the Lágrimas Negras basement restaurant and the swimming pool, gym and Skynight Bar perched in the ‘attic’- behind Jean Nouvel’s colourful façade.
The Silken Puerta América is the hotel as a luxurious theme park for architecture and design fanatics. With all this on offer – not to mention the pampering services of a good hotel- who would want to leave the building? Madrid as a city has so much to offer but one suspects that even it will have to do something more to get the lucky guests of this new überdesign environment out of the building.