May 19, 2005
Each day, we gazed at reproductions of famed paintings from the three major art museums we were to visit, all skillfully coordinated in color (Ghirlandaio’s "Portrait of Giovanna Tornabuoni," a Thyssen treasure, presided over the elegant living room’s fireplace, with its salmon walls replicating those of the Thyssen.) Velasquez’s "Infanta Margarita" dominated the wall near the dining alcove. Kandinskys highlighted one corner of the spacious, long living room with its two separate comfy seating areas. Curtain sheers in gold, red, green, and blue covered the stately, tall windows facing the street. The vibrant, inviting dining alcove off the living room was similarly stylish.
At the end of the apartment’s main corridor was a modern white kitchen, the scene for breakfasts and takeaway food to be microwaved on nights when we were too tired to eat out at any of the three restaurants on the street.
I found this 1,700-square-foot gem on www.homelidays.com, on which the prospective renter has to sign in, a rare procedure that weeds out looky-loos. When I found this marvel, at $160 a night, I whooped with joy and set hubby in motion immediately to register and inquire if available.
Although we were in the middle of every commercial convenience imaginable, with several food shops and a Corte Ingles a few blocks away, our apartment was a quiet enclave at all hours. The master bath in brilliant blue-and-white tile was simply so striking that my husband took umpteenth pictures of it. The second bathroom in a sea-foam green was not bad either, and the beds in all three bedrooms, of which we only slept in two, were comfortable and nicely fitted with duvets.
The rate is still 1,200 to 1,300€ a week, with possibilities for partial-week stays. Though pricey now because of our depressed dollar, this apartment is definitely worth every euro. A maid even came in during our stay at no extra cost to us. The heading for this apartment’s listing is "Mansion 6 rms." There’s no dryer, but we found we could use a clothesline from the hallway window near the kitchen and dry things within a day.
All in all, it was a treasure of an experience we shall remember as artful lodging fit for a king and queen - and a prince, too.
From journal Magnificent Museum Madrid