Historic royal palaces. A tale for two

By Sergio González | 16:15

Historic royal palace of Madrid from Sabatini Gardens

Two historic royal palaces with two matching NH 5 stars hotels to welcome the fall. If you’re the king, you simply don’t expect less than the best.

Palacio Real de Oriente

Among the many impressive royal sites that can be found in Spain –from the Moorish court of Alhambra to the fairy-tale Alcazar in Segovia– the Royal Palace of Madrid is the most beautiful and lavish. Also the biggest in Western Europe. 3500 rooms were needed to please Philip V of Spain –grandson of the Sun King– while in Buckingham the royal family was content with merely 775.

The palace holds a remarkable collection of Stradivari’s violins as well as paintings from Velazquez and some Flemish masters. The interiors are one of the most magnificent things you can see in your life. Gold, silver and colorful gemstones ribbon rooms made entirely in porcelain or neoclassical mirrors.

Outside, Sabatini Gardens are the perfect peaceful backwater to recover from such opulent splendor.

NH Palacio de Tepa is a palace itself, a former home for the famous House of Alba. Originally built in a late-Enlightenment style, it has been fully redecorated and refurbished, respecting the original structure and rooms as well the environment -it’s an eco-friendly building.

Even if you don’t stay at NH Palacio de Tepa, I would visit its interiors. They merge wisely the character of a historic palace with modern minimalism and functionality.

Check out the tapas that are blowing the minds and palates of the most posh quarter in Madrid at Estado Puro (in Spanish), by Chef Paco Roncero.

A royal palace ballroom? No, NH Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky restaurant

 Koninklijk Paleis

In the middle of the XVIth century, while other inflexible countries had been exiling Protestants and Jews from their Pope ruled-borders, the Dutch Republic accepted them.

Not subject to the catholic restrains in lending money, they soon became the prime financial power in Europe –guess who invented stock exchange– lending money to the same monarchs who had banished them.

The Koninklijk depicts like no other building the practical and respectful side of Dutch people.

In 1655, a great celebration was thrown for the great opening of the new Town Hall of Amsterdam, despite being unfinished.

Its sophisticated marble interiors -famous for their world maps on the floor- would manage Amsterdam citizen’s businesses until Napoleon decided in 1808 he should run The Netherlands.

The newbie Louis I -Emperor’s brother- chose the old city hall as his residence and so Koninklijk became a royal palace.

After the Napoleons were deposed from Europe, the House of Orange returned and the building was given back to his owners. Short afterwards, the city was chosen as the new capital of The Netherlands and the Koninklijk has been since then the historic royal palace of Amsterdam.

Nowadays, the palace offers several art exhibitions throughout the year and the great collection of the House of Orange. The major ceremonies of the realm take place here.

Opposite the palace, across Dam Platz, NH Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky is the landmark of the Dutch Belle Époque, in the late 19th century.

A popular restaurant at the beginning, the hotel turned into the favorite place of Tout-Amsterdam after the proper facilities -a chic greenhouse of steel and glass, an aristocratic conservatory and the novelty of electricity – were added. This sophisticated flavour has never left the hotel.

Famous celebrities and royal members choose this 5 star NH to see and be seen in Amsterdam. Wouldn’t it be cool to join la crème de la crème at NH Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky? It even has a private pier on Oudezijds canal.

Photo Credit: b.roveran




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