One of Madrid’s oldest hotels, dating back to the 1880s, this classic establishment has just emerged from a total refit which transformed it into one of the city’s most stylish boutique hotels. Although the name might make you imagine lawns and fountains, it is set down a narrow Las Letras street, directly opposite the lovely old La Venencia sherry bar. But there is nothing dusty and decaying about the Gran Hotel. The sleek Art Deco design is spectacular. The high-ceilinged lobby and chandeliers have the air of a 1920s club—more American than English—with leather stools around an island cocktail bar. Everything is tasteful, solid, understated; service is spot-on. The soundproofed rooms are a revelation too. Painted all white, they have subtle design flourishes—in some the designer has taken lines of molding and continued them across the ceiling, in others the low attic ceilings resemble the angles of a stealth aircraft. Some rooms have balcony views and free-standing baths, and the beds have Egyptian cotton sheets. The in-house restaurant Lobo8 continues the sophisticated theme, with an impressively presented tasting menu, good value at 55€, including wine.