An oasis in the heart of the city, this mid-sized hotel occupies a stately 18th-century building with a cool stone courtyard, a welcome surprise after a hot day’s walking. With a high glass roof and air-conditioning, it’s so serene that many guests choose to hang out there in the afternoon, encouraged no doubt by the free tapas served between 5 and 7pm. The modestly sized rooms are soundly appointed with new hardwood floors, marble bathrooms, and a soothing autumnal color scheme. Most have large double-glazed windows opening onto the courtyard or Calle Atocha, and outside noise is largely kept at bay. The English-speaking staff are particularly friendly and welcoming, and if you book directly on the hotel’s web-site you’ll be offered a free glass of cava.