Madrid: The Meaning of Hard Rock Hotel

Posted on August 30, 2006

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by almendro

“It’s going to be a 24-7, three-dimensional experience,” said Trevor Horwell, chief hotels officer for Hard Rock International. “You’re going to have moods happening within the rooms, vibes going on within the restaurant and another vibe in the bar.”

Vibes within vibes. Just the thing for a hotel that used to house bullfighters like Manolete and their retinues before and after corridas at Las Ventas–a sixth-floor suite functioned as the dressing room where they would don their trajes de luces. Just what the Plaza de Santa Ana, one of the most delightful squares in Old Madrid, needed. The corporate lackies at Hard Rock International tried to pass off their transformation of the once-famous Reina Victoria Hotel as sophisticated. I guess that someone realized that perhaps mirrors etched with David Bowie lyrics and pillowcases decorated with Hendrix-style guitars fell a little short of hip.

But happy day, Hard Rock Hotel Madrid is not to be. The hotel’s owner, the Tryp corporation, backed out of the partnership earlier this month. The reason, they said, was because the Hard Rock brand was about to be sold to another company. But I like this quote from Tryp’s Dommunications Director. “No one really understood what being a Hard Rock Hotel meant.” Least of all Manolete.

Photo credit (Hard Rock Hotel): Mofo 269

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