Business hotels aren't typically known for modern design, cutting-edge technology, and restaurants sporting Michelin-starred chefs -- the elements that make the properties appeal to leisure travelers, too. But NH Hotel Group's flagship hotel, NH Collection Eurobuilding in Madrid's financial district, has combined all three after reopening in October following a much-needed facelift. And at as low as €135 ($168) a night, taxes included, it remains affordable too.
We set off to see the changes firsthand. Here are a few aspects that make this tech-savvy spot perfect for modern travelers.
Room with a View: We happened to arrive in the Spanish capital the same weekend as the Real Madrid vs. Barcelona match, taking place at the Santiago Bernabéu nearby stadium that we could see from our premium corner room's three balconies. NH Hotel's NH Collection brand focuses on quality hotels set in capital cities, and these rooms really show off the beauty of Madrid's skyline -- especially if you snag a room on a higher level. The top floor, level 15, will have the best views in the house once construction on the junior suites and presidential suite is complete.
Modern Touch: Some of the largest hotel rooms in Madrid, these spacious digs are also super modern and light, thanks to natural sunlight flooding through the floor-to-ceiling windows and a variety of lighting from lamps, around the headboard, and even under the bed. The rooms also feature custom-made mattresses and sleek desks you'd actually want to sit at while planning out your day of activities or catching up on some email. The hotel's lobby also features the largest multimedia LED vault screen in Europe, projecting images and sound from the ceiling to create a lively ambiance.
Tech Savvy Suites: Going beyond standard technology is the new "Living Lab" concept, essentially a technology testing ground. Currently under construction, the four Living Lab rooms will have LED-like TV projectors in the bathroom, tablets with video connection so you chat with receptionists downstairs, and furniture inside and on the balcony that wirelessly charge an iPhone 6. Once complete, guests will be able to provide feedback on new ideas that the hotel is considering.
Michelin-Starred Restaurants: One of the key factors for the hotel group is gastronomy, and NH Collection Eurobuilding succeeds on many fronts here. The hotel has Madrid's only three Michelin-starred restaurant, Chef David Muñoz's DiverXO -- which is always packed months in advance, but has a few spaces saved for hotel guests. There's also the 99 Sushi Bar and DOMO by Paco Roncero, a two Michelin-starred chef. We spent Saturday night taste testing DOMO's traditional tapas and dishes, like the bravas, croquettes, and roast hake, as well as the dessert crafted at the on-site bakery. As the night goes on, the scene shifts to the late-night, al fresco cocktail bar spearheaded by Argentinian mixologist Diego Cabrera, which features a roster of perfectly prepared craft cocktails.
All-Access Amenities: WiFi is free, fast, and works throughout the hotel and in the guest rooms -- one of the biggest demands of all travelers today. Other in-room perks include LED TVs, Nespresso machines, salon professional hair dryers, custom-made bath amenities, and rain shower heads in the bathroom. Like to stay fit on vacation? Hotel guests have access to top-of-line machines, fitness classes, a Turkish bath, and rooftop solarium with a beach. One of our favorite perks of the hotel, however, was the guest relations personnel. As Madrid natives, they were able to direct us to the nearby bus stop, which goes directly to Sol (the center of the city), and give us local recommendations for places to try in town that aren't noted in the city guidebooks.