My Beat: Madrid

Ever since I visited Seville and Barcelona in 2006 and 2007 respectively, Madrid has been been on my hit list. I loved both cities so I always thought that when I finally set foot in Spain’s capital, I would have an equally swell there. I’m happy to say I was right! I wasn’t sure that was going to be the case because when I asked friends – one of whom is Spanish – what I absolutely shouldn’t miss in the course of the three days I was going to be in the city, it seemed the general consensus was that I should just stroll around the city and discover it by myself, stopping for a cafe con leche here, and at a tapas bar there. Although I did just that and had a great time, sometimes you need concrete tips for what to do – especially if you only have a couple of days at your disposal.

Hotel Review: Hotel Ritz By Belmond, Madrid

When Cesar Ritz was born on the 23rd of February 1859 in the Swiss canton of Valais as the 13th child of poor parents, no one could have imagined the immense class journey the little shepherd boy would take both himself and the hotel industry in just three short decades. Having left Switzerland at 14 to work as a waiter in Paris, Europe quickly proved to be fertile ground for the young man ambition and talent. Through apprenticeships in Paris, Vienna, London and Monte Carlo, he gained the necessary experience to manage and curate luxury hotel experiences and eventually open his own properties in Baden-Baden and Cannes. The rest, as they say, is history.

Celebrity Travel Files: Chris Hemsworth, Madrid, Spain

This week’s Celebrity Travel Files finds a very doting father – Thor Actor Chris Hemsworth – in his wife’s native Marid. I cannot handle how cute he looks totting and adoring his baby girl. A mighty fine example if I ever saw one!