Pic: Four Seasons
* Music during reading (to feel better the atmosphere of this chapter I recommend this song in the background)
The car that was taking me to tranquillity stopped in front of a magnificent facade with a hundred and thirty years of history. 800 meters spread over seven buildings built during the twentieth century through which windows one day the most distinguished executives of the city leaned out to make crucial decisions, observing the central streets of Madrid.
“Yes, sure. Thank you very much,” I replied coming back to reality, still puzzled, and got out of the car, heading towards an elegant entrance.
“Good evening, welcome to Four Seasons,” the concierge dressed in a pearl grey tailcoat and top hat invited me to pass into a place that could be considered the most impressive urban hotel in Spain.
I walked through the revolving door and found myself in a majestic double-level lobby, where the subtlety and modernity of the decoration met the sublimity and history of the architecture, creating a perfect tandem that exuded elegance and class. I found myself in another world, a world of abundance to satisfy the five senses, a world in which life was the first and principal wonder.
“I found myself in another world, a world of abundance to satisfy the five senses, a world in which life was the first and principal wonder.”
A magnificent antique multicoloured stained-glass skylight created by the Maumejean House shone like new on “El Patio” (The Yard), a place called like this due to its history; Dozens of years ago it was the yard operations of the Spanish Credit Bank. The money was returning where one day was its home, but with a great difference that this time they were doing it to be enjoyed.
Marta was already waiting for me sitting in one of those original armchairs with curved lines, signed by BAMO, the American firm, an expert in luxury interior design that has been responsible for creating most of the furniture and details that the Centro Canalejas housed, the commercial, hotel and residential complex which Four Seasons was part of. When she saw me, she got up and asked me, nervously :
“Are you OK? What happened!?”
I didn’t know where to start. I sat next to her and staring at the spiral staircase surrounded by grandiose Corinthian marble columns, I began to tell my story. The most sensational stories are those in which we are the protagonists.
“The most sensational stories are those in which we are the protagonists.”
“I can’t believe it…” Marta looked at me astonished. “This is a joke, right? I need a little time to assimilate it,” she continued, holding my hand to calm me down, although she was even more nervous than me, “we better go upstairs.”
I was observing the numerous vintage details restored under the supervision of Estudio Lamela whose architects have carried out emblematic projects such as the Astro Tower in Brussels or the expansion of the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, and hundreds of modern art pieces that turned this hotel into an authentic museum where the avant-garde merged with history.
We entered a double room baptized as “Deluxe Alcala”, in honour of the street view that you could see from its huge windows, which continued illuminating the room with the light of still awake Madrid. It followed the same style of the hotel: conservative, elegant and with a clear nod to art, which, together with the rest of the Canalejas complex, placed the city centre on the map of luxury and glamour, thus dethroning the famous “golden mile”.
I was watching the rainfall and I remembered that it was the street where I saw Alex for the first time, sitting in that sports car with the Nordic guy. The Nordic guy. I took the bag with the clues to locate my fiancé and Sommer’s phone number.
“Do you mind if I make a call?” I asked Marta, remembering that I left my phone at home.
“Sure, no problem,” she answered, closing the bathroom door.
I heard the shower water that began to run down contrasting with the sound of the strong drink of the mini-bar that I was pouring to kill my weakness. I took the piece of paper and dialled Michael’s number after all this time.
The conversation that barely lasted two minutes brought me back to calm, or perhaps it was the degrees of the drink. I thought he didn’t remember me, or maybe I wanted to think that because I had forgotten him. Although Alex continued to maintain his friendship with the Nordic-looking, we avoided that topic of conversation.
“I thought he didn’t remember me or maybe I wanted to think that because I had forgotten him.”
I took the watch that the police found on the sofa of my house, and gave me at the police station… Sure! It’s a phone number!… It can’t be, I thought, checking the combination written on the watch band. A number was missing, and it didn’t make sense.
“Any news? What did he say?” Marta, came into the room drying her hair with a towel.
“He’s coming tomorrow,” I replied, putting the valuable object back in my bag, “I have to go home, I need my phone to call Petra and Alex’s parents.”
“Ava, look the time it is, and besides, I don’t think it’s very clever of you to go back home now, after everything that has happened, you must rest now and tomorrow we will see.”
I woke up in a huge bed with the feeling that I was still in a dream, a dream that would end once I left these walls.
“I woke up in a huge bed with the feeling that I was still in a dream, a dream that would end once I left these walls.”
“I called room service to bring us the breakfast,” Marta said while she opened the curtains,“…by the way, I think it will be safer that I go by myself to buy you the phone and some clothes, and you better stay here, at the hotel,” she continued. “Do you know that they are finishing building a mall here? Three floors with numerous luxury shops and restaurants with direct access from the Four Seasons. The bellboy told me that yesterday …”
I could hear her, but I wasn’t listening, my head kept spinning about what the numbers that Alex wrote on that watch could mean.
“… and I saw that Hermès store has already been opened…” Marta continued speaking, without noticing that I was not paying attention
“I think I need a long shower,” I got out of bed, took a sip of hot coffee, and headed to the bathroom, hoping that the water would clear up my ideas.
“How about visiting the SPA?” My friend still was trying to find any way to distract me. “It is the largest in Madrid: four floors and a spectacular pool with views. I’m sure a relaxing moment there will help you more than hours of stress forcing your head to think. Many times it is what we need: To relax and clear our mind so that the solution has the easy and free way to get.
“Many times it is what we need: To relax and clear our mind so that the solution has the easy and free way to get.”
Maybe Marta was right, and we get too overwhelmed, thinking that if we stop we will never arrive, when in fact, we need to pause to gain momentum, or maybe all I needed was someone to give me an excuse to escape from what was happening to me, hiding in earthly pleasures that I could find in this place.
When I got out of the shower, my friend was gone. She had left clean clothes on the bed and a note that said we will meet to have lunch at “Dani”, the rooftop restaurant on the top floor with one of the best views of Madrid, designed by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio and supervised by the chef 3 Michelin stars, Dani García.
The Four Seasons Madrid were an authentic example of elegance, lacked the exuberance that could be found in other five-star hotels with a classic design. I was walking down the hotel corridor in light colours and gold details, which looked like one of those tunnels that give you the assurance that something good awaits you at the end. There are paths that we do not know where they lead us, but something tells us that they arrive exactly where we need to.
“There are paths that we do not know where they lead us, but something tells us that they arrive exactly where we need to.”
“Could you tell me what time is it, please? ” An old man out of nowhere, asked me.
“Yes, of course, I opened my bag, remembering again that I was still without a phone and took out Alex’s watch to answer the stranger. I saw that it was standing at number nine, the same one where I found the key for which the lock had not yet been located.
“Wow, watches like this don’t use to stop, you should call Switzerland,” the man answered surprised and kept walking.
I went down the hall with a clear idea of what the numbers on the watch meant and knowing the missing one.
“Excuse me, can I make an international call? It’s an emergency,” I asked the receptionist.
“Of course,” the young man answered me kindly, bringing me the phone.
Before I could dial any digits, I saw a silhouette I already knew entering the hotel: a tall Nordic-looking young man whose gaze was the beginning of everything.
*Due to the measures taken in relation to COVID-19, the schedule and access to some spaces may change.
TOPICS: ONLINE NOVEL – ROMANTIC NOVEL – 5 STAR HOTELS MADRID – FOUR SEASONS MADRID – LUXURY HOTEL MADRID – THE BEST SPA IN MADRID – ROOFTOP MADRID – CENTRO CANALEJAS MADRID