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Built for the Count of Artaza while Gran Vía was still under construction in 1917, this former noble home was transformed into a boutique hotel with a literary theme in 2005. It was a leader in rehabilitating Gran Vía. A few touches remain from the count’s era: the quaint polished wood and cast iron elevator, carved details in the stone lintels, and some of the original hand-painted tiles in the lobby. As well, the bones of the noble home are still very much in evidence: large wooden-framed windows, oak hardwood floors, high ceilings, and a flood of natural light that brightens the deep, saturated wall colors. Quotations by Spanish poets, novelists, and essayists are stenciled on the walls throughout the hotel, but if you don’t read Spanish, you can consider them simply fine decorative figures with a hidden semiotic meaning. Far and away the nicest rooms are the superior terrace rooms on the 5th and 6th floors. Their outdoor wood-slat terraces have panoramic views of Gran Vía in one direction, the old city in another.