From the moment you step through the revolving door of this grand corner block at the lower end of Gran Vía you know you’re in good hands. The English-speaking staff are particularly welcoming and helpful. Behind the 1915 façade, the design is simple, stylish, and literary: bright blocks of color on which quotations from famous Spanish and international writers have been printed. The theme continues in the high-ceilinged, parquet-floored rooms, which are airy and surprisingly quiet given the busy road below. Some have tiny wrought-iron balconies; deluxe rooms have their own terrace and jacuzzi. For the best views, head to the compact rooftop pool and cocktail bar—a great place to watch the sunset before dinner. Gran Clavel, the recently retroed restaurant (now with obligatory vermouth bar), serves Madrilenean classics, although you can get more authentic versions in Chueca just across the road. It is worth staying in for the fabulous brunch.