A former palace nearly destroyed by the Spanish Civil War, the glorious InterContinental Madrid is now restored with thoroughly modern amenities. Tops are a spa sanctuary, the delightful indoor-outdoor El Jardin restaurant, and one of Europe’s friendliest — and well-informed — hotel staffs. One bellman divulged how much time to devote to the Prado (at least four hours), while a breakfast waiter recommended the terrific Sorolla art museum next door, and the concierges knew the best ham sandwiches in every neighborhood in town.

Paseo de la Castellana, 49