by Michael J. Shapiro | April 01, 2016
Business is good in the Spanish capital, where visitation numbers were up by 10 percent in 2015, fueling increased occupancy and average daily rates. According to global hotel consultancy HVS, Madrid led all European cities in 2015 with a value-per-room growth of 14 percent year-over-year. This success has in turn spurred investment in revitalizing some of Madrid's historic buildings, as with the following projects.

Spain-based Meliá Hotels International is adding to its nearly two dozen hotels here with a major investment in a local icon. The company is in the midst of a US$21 million transformation of the historic Ambassador Hotel, which on June 1 will reopen as the Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques, a five-star luxury destination that already has joined Leading Hotels of the World.

Built on the site of a 13th-century Domincan convent, as well as the former home of the Dukes of Granada de Ega and Villahermosa, the hotel will retain original features like an impressive central staircase and a small private lounge. The 180-room property will offer nine meeting rooms, for a total of nearly 9,000 square feet of event space that can accommodate more than 700 people. The centrally located hotel is just a short stroll from the ornate Opera Theatre.

Earlier this year, Starwood Hotels and Resorts signed on to develop the W Madrid, a 141-room modern luxury property that will be a conversion of an old hotel in a 19th-century building. When it opens in 2018, joining the W Barcelona, Spain will become the first country in Europe with two W hotels. The W Madrid will feature a rooftop bar and an outdoor pool deck, as well as two meeting rooms.

The historic Principe Pio train station is being transformed by an urban restoration project that will bring new event venues to a revitalized arts district. When completed, the Gran Teatro Principe Pio will offer a variety of cultural and educational spaces. For example, this past December saw the debut of the Spiegeltent, a baroque theater-in-the-round constructed of wood and decorated with mirrors and fabrics in a variety of colors. The space can accommodate up to 600 people. Spiegeltent is Dutch for "mirror tent" and refers to traditional traveling theaters that serve as cabaret-style venues.