Go for Gold with the New Golden Mile Experience at Ikos Andalusia

Luxury all-inclusive Ikos resort offers new hiking & biking experience along the Spanish coast

The team at Ikos Andalusia has introduced the new Ikos Golden Mile Experience, offering guests the opportunity to bike or hike, independently or with a guide, to the old town of Estepona, via a variety of scenic routes directly from the resort. The experience has been added to the portfolio of activities available with the Ikos Local Discovery scheme, designed to encourage visitors to explore their surroundings. Along with a multitude of carefully curated activities, guests can now discover the New Golden Mile or Nuevo Milla de Oro, a 13-mile route filled with luscious green parks, prime beachfront properties and stunning coastal views.

The Ikos Golden Mile

Stretching from San Pedro de Alcántara to the east of the town of Estepona along the Costa del Sol, the Ikos Golden Mile offers a myriad of trails to explore. Guests can choose to take the scenic route and head off on a solo adventure or hit the road with the whole family and a knowledgeable Ikos guide. With a limitless array of boutique shops, local cafes and Spanish fine dining along the way, the journey to Estepona promises an indulgent cultural experience. Families can pause to marvel at the beautiful blue and green coastline, flecked with striking Spanish architecture and extraordinary views of the Mediterranean, Gibraltar and, on a clear day, the northern coast of Africa. Those who opt to travel by bike can look forward to a beautiful five-mile route, offering an easy, idyllic beachfront trail suitable for all levels of skill and fitness. For those looking to up their step count, hiking the Ikos Golden Mile by foot offers a challenging climb with a rewarding view. Benefit from a personal guide who can customise your journey to push boundaries or take it a little easier. Whether working up a sweat or soaking up the scenery, all participants will be enchanted by the old town of Estepona where the trek ends.

Once in Estepona

Famed for its traditional charm, the old town of Estepona is one of the most beautiful in Andalusia and is known as ‘The Garden of the Costa Del Sol’. Uncover the region’s charming corners with a guided tour, exploring the hidden jewels of Estepona. Potter through the quiet squares and quaint streets of the historic town, perusing the storybook white houses draped in overflowing flowerpots. Alternatively, the Poetry Route offers a romantic walk through the town centre, where the streets and pavements are lined with famous poems from around the world. Budding poets will be delighted to discover the art form celebrated in an array of languages, accompanied by famous sculptures and murals discoverable nearby. For history buffs, the Route of The Murals is a treasure trove of antiques and rich culture, with street art by international artists adorning the city walls and oversized works of art decorating the local buildings.

Discovery & Beyond

The curated routes in Estepona, allowing guests to explore the beautiful old town, are all part of the Ikos Local Discovery programme. Along with the Ikos Golden Mile Experience, the Local Discovery scheme at Ikos Andalusia encourages guests to expand their horizons and explore beyond the resort. With complimentary use of a MINI car for the day, tickets to the best museums in Malaga or free green passes for golfers at the exclusive Los Naranjos Golf Club all included in their stay. The hotel also offers the pioneering Ikos Dine Out initiative, allowing foodies to enjoy meals at some of the best restaurants across Marbella and Estepona, all within their all-inclusive experience.


Hard Rock Hotel Madrid opens

Music, art and culture come together at Hard Rock’s first Spanish city hotel

The beginning of July saw the much anticipated Hard Rock Hotel Madrid open its doors. Located at the Golden Triangle of Art in the Spanish capital, the hotel is the newest addition to an international portfolio and compliments the brand’s recent growth throughout Europe.

“Hard Rock Hotels has always felt very in tune with the vibrancy and spirit of Spain. It is one of the reasons we introduced the brand to Europe with Hard Rock Ibiza in 2014, followed by our Tenerife hotel shortly after,” said Dale Hipsh, Senior Vice President of Hotels, Hard Rock International. “As our first Spanish city hotel, Hard Rock Hotel Madrid brings a distinctly different personality to our beach resorts. Our guests will discover art, music, history, culinary excellence and culture at their fingertips – all brought together through Hard Rock’s curated and entertainment-infused hospitality”.

The new hotel caters to both business and leisure travellers, with 161 contemporary rooms and suites (from 18 sq. metres) offering diverse views, so guests can take in the lights of Madrid or retreat from the city with a room overlooking the lush garden. Additionally, over 2,000 sq. metres of event space, including garden and rooftop venues, set the stage for world-class immersive events.

At the heart of the property, guests will find a dramatic architectural hanging guitar sculpture above the welcoming, amber-hued sofas of the lobby. Vibrant artwork is featured throughout the hotel, including a life-size pink ‘Las Meninas’ adorned with Rosalía lyrics, inspired by Diego Velázquez’s masterpiece hanging in the Prado Museum and mural in GMT+1 bar inspired by the La Movida movement in Madrid.

The colourful artwork is complemented by a thoughtfully curated memorabilia collection that showcases Madrid style and culture, as well as international music legends. Hard Rock Hotel Madrid is now home to over 70 pieces of memorabilia, with notable pieces including an acoustic guitar from Madrid-native singer-songwriter Antonio Vega; blue denim jeans outfit worn by Elvis Presley during an NBC TV special in 1968; and platform boots worn by David Bowie.

The property’s premier location in the Triángulo de Oro del Arte is surrounded by the Reina Sofia National Museum, the Prado National Museum and the Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum. Within walking distance, guests can explore the historic art nouveau train station (Atocha), the Royal Botanical Garden, and the charming Lavapiés and Embajadores neighbourhoods.

The hotel will attract travellers and locals alike as it is home to unique bars and restaurant concepts. This includes the brand’s signature restaurant Sessions, with interiors by Rockwell Group, and RT60, a spectacular rooftop bar offering craft cocktails, a jamón carving station with cheese and unbeatable 360-degree views of the city to the beat of live DJ sets. Sessions, with its open and airy terrace, overlooks the hotel’s garden and serves a unique take on classic Spanish cuisine with unexpected culinary delicacies on the menu, whilst the GMT+1 lobby bar offers drinks and light fare throughout the day. The Green Room, a private chef’s table serving an exclusive menu to no more than six guests, is set to open in September.

Lifestyle consultant and international restaurateur Maria Font Trabocchi has played a crucial role in bringing the gastronomy at Hard Rock Hotel Madrid to life with her distinct Spanish spin. As the woman behind Fiola, Fiola Mare, Sfoglina and Del Mar in Washington D.C. and across the United States, Maria has built a career’s worth of successful restaurants based on excellent quality and hospitality.

“I am honoured to be working with Hard Rock Hotels to bring my knowledge, experiences and personal take on restaurants to the capital of my home country,” said Maria. “The hotel is incredibly well-located, and we are confident that it will soon become a social hub and meeting spot for residents in the city as well as visitors. The restaurants offer beautiful surroundings, the food is vibrant, and we look forward to the chef breathing his own emotion and energy into the restaurants now the hotel is officially open”.

The property also encompasses an outdoor swimming pool, Body Rock® fitness centre and Rock Om®, which fuses the ancient practice of yoga with the rhythm of a custom DJ-curated soundtrack for complimentary, in-room yoga sessions.

In true Hard Rock style, the hotel will offer an array of signature brand experiences and amenities exclusive to Hard Rock Hotels, including The Sound of Your Stay®, which allows guests to experience curated playlists (Tracks®), listen to a tailored selection of vinyls in-room (Wax®) or jam on a Fender® electric guitar in the privacy of their own room along with headphones and an amp (Picks®).

Rooms at Hard Rock Hotel Madrid start from 180 EURO. hardrockhotels.com/madrid/

image: Courtesy of Hard Rock Hotel Madrid

Dani Restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel Madrid, a new dining concept by lauded Spanish chef Dani García

Dani García

One of Spain’s most beloved chefs and a decades-long champion of the country’s culinary heritage, Dani García launches his latest restaurant, Dani, atop Four Seasons Hotel Madrid in September 2020. The long-awaited venture from this pioneering Michelin-starred chef, it eschews traditional fine dining in place of a relaxed informality that will welcome everybody. In the process of creating Dani, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Dani García were clear that the first restaurant in the Spanish capital to bear the chef’s name should be easy going, convivial and lively – much like Madrileños themselves.

On the seventh, top floor of Four Seasons Hotel Madrid, this elegant brasserie will provide guests with a previously off-limits panorama of the city and menus that showcase Marbella-born García’s adoration of his home region Andalusia. Open from early morning until fashionably late, it will offer everything from languid breakfasts and easy going lunches to afternoon cava and tapas; casual, carefree suppers; and midnight feasts.

Dani Casts a Spotlight on Superlative Spanish Produce

For first-time visitors to Spain, an essential introduction to the nation’s superb produce will be presented through a Naked Season Produce menu, a unique concept in Madrid that puts singular ingredients centre stage. Prepared on the spot by chefs who understand the best ingredients shine brightest when treated simply, dishes including plump anchovies with just a dash of truffle jus, caviar and crab dabbed with dill, and salt-baked avocado will be served at an island counter in the centre of Dani.

Beautifully illuminated by the rising sun, the restaurant’s all-day roof terrace should be particularly popular during breakfast. (Madrid is one of Europe’s sunniest capitals and receives 2,769 hours of sunshine per year.) In keeping with Dani García’s commitment to sustainability and supporting small-scale farmers and producers, each morning will provide a showcase for superb Spanish cheese, jamón and salads.

Only at Dani: Dani García’s Signature Nitro Tomato Makes its Long-Awaited Return

Lunch and dinner will also be local affairs at Dani, with Madrileños just as evident as Hotel guests. Comprising seven historical buildings in the centre of the city, Four Seasons Hotel Madrid is encircled by the capital’s most notable landmarks, and shoppers, sightseers, neighbours and local workers will be able to access Dani directly via a dedicated elevator on Calle de Sevilla. With bottles from Dani’s expansive Spanish-centred wine list starting from EUR 30 and approachable menus that cater creatively to vegetarians and vegans, there will be something for everyone.

All devised by Dani García himself, starters will include carrot tarte tartar, Malaga-style ajoblanco, white shrimp ravioli with herring caviar and sweet squash jam. For mains, deep-fried hake is cooked in fennel and chicken sauce, while cured Iberian pork presa is served with miso, red pesto and dried tomatoes. Perhaps the most eagerly awaited offering of all will be García’s revived Nitro tomato and green gazpacho, which drew plaudits from the discerning crowd who attended the two-night Four Seasons Pop Down London in October 2019. The dish was a favourite at Dani García Restaurant in Marbella, which García, in typically free-spirited style, decided to close immediately after it was awarded three Michelin stars.

Madrid’s Most Exciting New Brunch Revealed

For afters, diners can plunder the carefully curated cheese trolley (for a flash of theatre request the homemade marmalade as a garnish – it is spritzed with nitrogen there and then at the table). Desserts include a creamy hazelnut soufflé with lemon cream and verbena, and adobo-marinated chocolate with streusel, mascarpone and spices-infused ice cream.

On Sundays, an extended afternoon brunch will include a bustle of live cooking stations, entertainment from local musicians and a “flying buffet” concept, with servers carrying specialities through the restaurant so diners can immediately enjoy whatever takes their fancy. For spontaneous socialising at Four Seasons Hotel Madrid, Dani’s two standalone bars – one inside, one on the terrace – are set to become go-to spots for city-centre sundowners and snacks. Expect classics that have been upgraded subtly – here the perfect G&T might come with a touch of rose pepper or cranberry – and cocktails that again emphasise Spain’s finest ingredients and flavours.

Personal Touches: Martin Brudnizki Interiors and Dani García Playlists Will Set the Space Apart

Designed by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, the restaurant’s interiors amplify Dani’s easy going ambience. From the olive-green cloth that sheaths the walls to tactile fabrics embossed with golden feathers, Dani’s hues are light, soothing and natural. Simple parquet flooring and antique mirrors provide respectful nods to the brasseries of old; materials used inside and out include marble, leather, mohair and velvet. On the roof terrace, a spread of colourful flower pots and a canopy of greenery add a lush vibrancy that will contrast beautifully with the vivid pinks and warm yellows of a typical Madrid sunset.

With all these facets combined, Dani is such a complete realisation of Chef García’s vision that he decided even to curate the restaurant’s playlists. Whether waking up to classic Etta James at daybreak or spending a sociable evening with friends on a wave of playful, tasteful pop, everyone is invited to feel completely at ease at his new rooftop home right at the peak of Four Seasons Hotel Madrid.