- The Ritz Madrid (tel. 800/237-1236 in the U.S., or 91-701-67-67; www.ritz.es): This is the most famous hotel in Spain, and arguably the best, at least for those who want the grand style of living enjoyed by aristocrats and Spanish dons at the turn of the 20th century. In the luxurious bedrooms, you can live the pre-World War I glory days of the Belle Epoque.
- Hotel Alfonso XIII, Seville (tel. 800/221-2340 in the U.S., or 95-491-70-00; www.starwoodhotels.com): The royal family stayed here when the Infanta Elena, daughter of Juan Carlos, married in Seville in 1995. Built to house visitors for the Iberoamerican Exposition of 1929, this grand hotel features Moorish-style rooms with doors opening onto small balconies; they overlook a Spanish courtyard with a bubbling fountain and potted palms. Set in front of the city's fabled Alcázar, the Alfonso XIII is one of Spain's most legendary hotels.
- Marbella Club, Marbella (tel. 800/448-8355 in the U.S., or 95-282-22-11; www.marbellaclub.com): Built during the Golden Age of the Costa del Sol (the 1950s), this bastion of chic is composed of ecologically conscious clusters of garden pavilions, bungalows, and small-scale annexes. The luxurious rooms are modeled after those displayed in a European design magazine. The Marbella Club has many competitors but remains an elite retreat.
- Puente Romano, Marbella (tel. 95-282-09-00; www.puenteromano.com): On manicured and landscaped grounds facing the beach, Puente Romano evokes a highly stylized Andalusian village. Exotic bird life flutters through lush gardens planted with banana trees and other vegetation. Villas are spacious and beautifully outfitted with tasteful wood furnishings, big mirrors, and marble floors and bathrooms. During summer, flamenco dancers entertain here.
- Neri, Barcelona (tel. 93-304-06-55; www.hotelneri.com): Tucked away in the Gothic quarter, this restored palace near the cathedral is the most romantic place to stay in Barcelona, ideal for honeymooners. From its creeper-covered terrace to its crystal chandeliers, to its plush bedrooms, the Neri hotel is for those seeking the good life.
- Hotel María Cristina, San Sebastián (tel. 800/221-2340 in the U.S., or 94-343-76-00; www.westin.com): One of the country's great Belle Epoque treasures, this old-world seafront hotel has sheltered discriminating guests since 1912. Oriental rugs, antiques, potted palms, high ceilings, formal lounges, marble pillars, and marble floors show off a turn-of-the-20th-century glamour. The guest rooms are traditional in style, with wood furnishings and tasteful pastel fabrics. Nothing else in the Basque country quite measures up to this old charmer.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.