If you're looking for five-star luxury with history, ambience, and great service, then the Alfonso XIII is my recommendation. But if pampering is more your thing, have a look at the Gran Meliá Colón before you part with your cash. Unlike the Alfonso XIII, it has a fully equipped spa and wellness center. It's up on the seventh floor, so there are lovely views across the city to enjoy while you relax in the outdoor Jacuzzi. And whilst the Gran Meliá Colón doesn't have the historic atmosphere of the Alfonso (nor the intimacy and romance of the brace of boutique places further into the historic center), it is exceptionally comfortable, featuring funky furniture by Spanish designer Agustin Diaz and lampshades by Philippe Starck. Rooms are tastefully modern in style, with sleek white furniture, huge beds, and black marble bathrooms. There are no fewer than 10 room categories to choose from—the ultimate being the luxury Red Level, billed on the hotel website as "a boutique hotel within a hotel," with its own concierge, pillow menus, the works. The Red Level Penthouse has its own private outdoor roof terrace and Jacuzzi, something that none of the rooms at the Alfonso XIII can offer.