Westin Palace, Madrid
With 466 rooms, the luxurious Palace is the largest hotel in central Madrid and has a location that can't be beat. It shares a plaza—one of the city's most splendid—with the Prado and Thyssen museums, the Ritz Hotel, and the Spanish stock exchange. Walk in the opposite direction and get lost among the antiques shops, galleries, and cafés on the narrow streets of Barrio de las Letras, once home to literary lions Cervantes and Lope de Vega. Inside, the hotel is all Belle Époque grandeur (it was built in 1912), especially the massive stained-glass dome of the La Rotunda restaurant, which serves as a natural gathering spot. The guest rooms are currently undergoing renovations—the finished product will emphasize a modern palette of grays and golds and boldly modern furniture, and do away with the faux-antique look of the past.