Welcome to our 13 new (rich) neighbours

The center of Madrid seems to be the place to invest. The hotel world has taken over most of the neighborhood’s buildings and several new hotels will open in the next months. Madrid is being designed as the best product in the world for travelers. And it is happening very quickly.

The center of Madrid is rapidly changing its landscape. There are three big changes expected to happen in the neighborhood:

  1. The Gran Via shall be partly pedestrianized in order to become a friendlier space.
  2. The Gran Via metro station shall be enlarged and shall connect to the Sol Train Station.
  3. The center of Madrid shall concentrate 75% of the new luxury hotels.

Maybe what I find most relevant of all is the fact that the hotel world has put its eyes on the neighborhood. This area has become the center of huge hotel investments.

Seventeen new 4 and 5 star hotels are being under construction in Madrid. Out of thirteen new 5 star hotels under construction in Madrid, nine shall become new neighbors. That is 70% of the new 5 star hotels in Madrid. If that figure does not impress you, take into account that 100% of the 4 star hotels under construction shall also become our new neighbors.


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Old memories of the old stables

The Marquis del Busto married Maria Teresa de Gabiña in 1865. He was one of Queen Isabella I’s personal doctors. He had his own horse charriots, three, and his own horses, also three. The animals lived in the building, in the ground level, until the last one died in 1900.

In 2013 horses came back into the building for an Israeli commercial shoot. I shot some images and made a little hommage to Maria Teresa de Gabiña, the Marchioness del Busto. She was born in 1818 in the building and died in 1901 in the building. She was an illustrated woman who was ahead of her time. This is to her.

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VillaJardines has been a big catalyzer of the sharing economy in Madrid

One of the best secrets of VillaJardines is that since 2012 it has been hosting hundreds of meetings of citizens who promoted the sharing economy from different angles. Members of more than 20 Peer-to-Peer communities dealing with homesharing, carsharing, foodsharing, talent and time sharing have used VillaJardines as their meeting point. Ideas and projects were shared among strangers who shared values. Now, a museum showing historical pieces is on display in the building’s old stables.

Items from the origins of P2P communities in Madrid like Airbnb, Blablacar, TimeRepublik, Meetmeals, Peers, Yottotel, Thinkeers, FIDE, Greenpeace, Traity, Micocar, Ouishare, Sharing España, Bluemove, Quiero, etc are on display in boxes in the building’s old stables (2018)

The sharing economy was the future in 2013. Five years later, in 2018, it is already the past. It is funny how things evolve so quickly now. What was a real novelty a few months ago “for the future” is now widely understood by basically everyone. That is the case with the sharing economy. Pioneer Peer-to-Peer platforms like Airbnb or Blablacar were almost unknown five years ago and now they are totally mainstream.

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VillaJardines is (y)ours

Your host in VillaJardines. Picture by Marisol Cosimano. 2017.

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Past and present times


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The team behind the clandestine cocktails. Thanks!!

Some of the clandestine cocktails hosted in VillaJardines have been a blast. In the past years, on dozens of occasions, people have gathered in VillaJardines to interact with their peers. Under total discretion, four people quietly made things work…

Mónica, Margarita, José and Pepa are the logisticians behind the clandestine cocktails. It is really thanks to them that all cocktails always work like a Swiss clock. José is Chief of Catering Services and Sucreries at Pomme Sucre, our provider of exquisite food. Thanks to all!!

This  four-engine gastronomical human motor of perfect execution makes easy things like:

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VillaJardines as (y)our chill out area

My experience hosting through online platforms like Airbnb has allowed me to accumulate a huge amount of knowledge on the possibilities of a demand-driven digital society. And the specific learnings from the homesharing activity never seem to end.

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