Real Madrid v Liverpool with Alex & Dan

20 March 2023


Alex and Dan were invited to Madrid by Palladium Hotels, read about Alex’s experience:

When our friends from Palladium Hotels asked if a couple of senior AOK Events employees wanted to go to watch Real Madrid play Liverpool in the Champions League, it took a combined time of just under 3 minutes for Dan Bull and myself to secure the relevant pink tickets and book our flights.

The Hotel

Air Europe provided an excellent, on time service from London Gatwick and after whizzing through customs, by 2pm we were hurtling into Madrid City Centre, courtesy of Fernando Alonso, our taxi driver.

Bless Hotel was a 5-star delight, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.  Located in the Salamanca district, the most exclusive neighbourhood in Spain’s capital, the 111 room 5-star hotel features a magnificent roof terrace (not open until May), three bars, two restaurants and its own nightclub with bowling alley.  The bedrooms were beautifully designed, incredibly comfortable, with lots of tech thrown in. All the staff at the hotel were wonderfully friendly too. So, I would go back tomorrow if I could.

Lunch at El Paraguas

After arriving, we quickly left the hotel to find a traditional restaurant for some lunch and we were welcomed with open arms by the lovely staff at El Paraguas, less than 3 minutes from the hotel.  With the sun shining and the temperature topping 23 degrees, we sat outside and enjoyed a delicious lunch with the highlight being Dan’s steak tartare, predominantly because it was served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a bed of parmesan.  The jury’s still out…

After meeting an old friend in the hotel bar for a drink, we met our host, Monica Sanchez Borja, who introduced us to rest of the party, made up of other leading UK agencies including First, Black Tomato, Tag and Top Banana. Everyone was delightful. Following a quick G&T we hopped on a coach and before we knew it, we were at The Santiago Bernebeu stadium. 

VIP’s at a Real Madrid Game

Neither Dan nor I had ever been to Real Madrid’s home before and despite undergoing renovation, it was still an absolute sight to behold.  Huge just does not do it justice.  After tapas and some local red wine, we took our VIP seats next door to Los Blancos’ famous singing section, so we had a great atmosphere all night.  The game itself wasn’t a classic but Benzema’s late goal saw Real Madrid progress to the Quarterfinals and eliminate Liverpool in the process. We couldn’t work out if Madrid’s playing of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” over the tannoy after the game was a sign of respect to their vanquished opponent or they were rubbing it in…

The Most Beautiful Park in Madrid

After a great night’s sleep, we enjoyed a delicious breakfast, before a 90-minute stroll around the capital, with the highlight being Madrid’s El Retiro park, where the birds were singing, and the trees were bursting into life. The park was packed with locals exercising, children on school trips and tourists taking in the quite beautiful surroundings.

All in all, it was a terrific 24 hours in Spain’s capital. Bless Hotel is a great venue, regardless of whether you are a business or leisure traveller, and we will definitely be putting it forwards to our clients in the future. 

Have you always wanted to go to a Real Madrid or Liverpool game? Get in touch with our hospitality team.