Review of Madrid’s Hotel RIU Plaza España During the Grand Reopening of Edificio España

The former “Edificio España” building is one of Madrid’s most famous skyscrapers and I managed to explore the rooftop after it reopened for the first time in over 12 years!

The RUI Plaza España
Image Source: RIU

Following the completion of its construction in 1953, the skyscraper held the title for four years of the Spanish capital’s tallest building standing at 384 feet tall.

Today, it is the 8th tallest building in Madrid and remains an iconic part of the city’s skyline.

Edificio España
Image Source: Actualidadviajes


This building has had a ROUGH history.

In 2006, Edificio España was abandoned after having been a luxury hotel, shopping center, and office space during its heyday.

Edificio España
Image Source: Wikipedia Commons

Santander Bank acquired it in 2008 but the global recession caused its plans to be put on hold. Then it wasn’t until July of 2014 that Edificio España was sold to Dalian Wanda Group for 265 million euros.

However, only two years later, the Chinese conglomerate backed down from its own plans leaving the iconic building, once again, closed and inaccessible to the public.



After 12 years of sitting vacant, the famous RIU Hotels & Resorts took it over!

The Hotel Riu Plaza España celebrated its grand opening in August of 2019 the same week my family was visiting me in Madrid!

Approaching the new RUI Plaza España

And guess what, we scored rooms there during the RIU’s grand opening!

( had an amazing deal!)

Rocky posting at The RUI Plaza España

Hotel RIU Plaza España is the RIU’s first urban hotel in Spain.

The resurrection of a 27-story skyscraper built in 1953 that closed for 12 whole years only added to the historic significance of this grand reopening!

Story of The RUI Plaza España
Image Source: RIU


Hotel RIU Plaza España’s new layout features 585 hotel rooms, a rooftop bar and lounge with a 360-degree view, and commercial space across its lowest 3 floors.

Lobby at The RUI Plaza España
Image Source: RIU Plaza España

During the RIU’s renovation timeframe, the hotel didn’t anticipate accepting reservations until September, but doors opened earlier than planned and my family got in!

Entrance at The RUI Plaza España
Image Source: RIU Plaza España

On TripAdvisor, Hotel Riu Plaza España is rated 4.5/5 stars.

Steps at The RUI Plaza España
Image Source: RIU Plaza España

Staying as a guest at this 4.5-star hotel not only gets you access to incredible rooms, but you also are given priority access to the 360 degree rooftop bar!


Rooftop Bar at The RUI Plaza España
Image Source: RIU Plaza España

Considering it was the grand opening, having priority access to go to the rooftop was amazing. By the evening, the queue waiting to go up to the 27th floor where the rooftop bar and viewing decks are located was wrapping around the building.

Line for the rooftop at The RUI Plaza España

We definitely felt very “VIP” being escorted to one of the six inner elevators where a simple tap of our room key illuminated the option to visit Floor 27.

There is normally a 10 euro entrance fee in the evening, but it is waived for hotel guests.

360 Rooftop Bar

Skipping that line alone felt like it made being a guest at the RIU worth it!

Bar at The RUI Plaza España
Image Source: RIU Plaza España

The 360º Rooftop Bar is a spacious, modern, and multi-level rooftop terrace equipped with tabled and front-row bar seats.

We grabbed a quick drink from the bar and ordered croquetas: a popular Spanish tapa!

The rooftop bar gives you the chance to discover Madrid from an extraordinary standpoint.


Rocky at The RUI Plaza España

Feeling brave? You should visit the spectacular glass walkway stretching from one wing of the building to the other.

The glass deck at The RUI Plaza España

From here, all of Madrid is at your feet. You can look up, look down, spin in a circle and see Madrid from just about every angle.

Madrid's skyline view from The RUI Plaza España

The glass bridge is constructed 100 meters (328 feet) up in the air!

Trifari family at The RUI Plaza España

It was a breathtaking view and so cool to see the Royal Palace from this perspective!

By the time we left, the sun had set and I could see the Royal Palace fully illuminated.

The Royal Palace at Night



Pool at The RUI Plaza España
Image Source: RIU Plaza España

The hotel’s seasonal outdoor pool is also up on the rooftop!

It looked so inviting and I’m sure it must be incredible to swim there in Madrid’s peak summer season. The sun in Madrid is no joke.

Rooftop Pool at The RUI Plaza España
Image Source: RIU Plaza España

It was mid-August when the hotel was having its grand opening so the pool was not being used since we were having cooler weather by that time in the year.


Speaking of cooler weather, if you travel to Spain in August you should expect sparse thunderstorms here and there.

We had one the night of our stay. Here is a photograph I took that shows our room’s view as well as a burst of lightning from the storm that took place that evening.

Thunderstorm in Madrid

Glad we weren’t on the rooftop for that one!


Although Edificio España’s historic building features 20th-century Spanish architecture built in the Neo-Baroque style, the RIU’s interior rooms are much more modern!

Rooms at The RUI Plaza España
Image Source: RIU Plaza España
Bathroom at The RUI Plaza España
Image Source: RIU Plaza España
Twin room at The RUI Plaza España
Image Source: RIU Plaza España

Rooms include free Wi-Fi! The beds were comfortable. I had no complaints!

Here was a video I took of the view along with a glimpse of the room.

(Please don’t mind the messy bed!)


Breakfast buffet at The RUI Plaza España
Image Source: RIU Plaza España

The breakfast buffet at Madrid’s RIU rivaled the notable breakfast buffet from the Myconian Kyma in Greece.

The buffet at The RUI Plaza España

It was so expansive, I couldn’t believe what a wide variety of foods they had!

Here are two videos of a walk-through I filmed:

I was happy my family could once again try traditional churros and porras with chocolate.

Chocolate with churros


Back when I visited, the RIU’s commercial spaces were still evolving into what they are today. For that reason, I was unable to visit them at the time!

In 2022, the RIU became home to a new flagship Zara store!

Zara at The RUI Plaza España
Image Source: SurInEnglish

This Zara location is now touted as the largest Zara store in the world making it a must-see!


RIU Plaza España is conveniently located only 12.5 miles away from Madrid-Barajas Adolfo Suárez (MAD) airport making it an excellent choice for business travel as well as traveling for leisure.

It is centrally located in the Plaza de España section of Madrid. This is a just steps away from Gran Via and a short 15-minute walk away from Puerta del Sol.

In my post about the Temple of Debod in Madrid, I made mention of Spain’s (controversial) plans to improve and renovate the entire Plaza de España area. This ultimately happened in 2021.

From what I have heard in 2023, Madrilenians seem to be happy with the changes!

You’ll love the location. It’s hard to beat it.

My family at The RUI Plaza España

If you’ve stayed at Hotel RIU Plaza España before, let us know what you thought of it!

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