The Vibe: 1970s Gran Hotel
The Area: Not the best of locations, in a rather dull business district, but the metro will take you downtown in 20 minutes.
The DNA: Opened in 1975 as the Princesa Sofia Hotel, named after Princess Sofia of Greece and Denmark, wife of Juan Carlos I, who accessed the Spanish throne that same year. It was the heyday of a wave of new ‘Gran’ hotels as tourism and economy boomed. For some years it traded as an InterContinental and now it is back after a major overhaul (courtesy Jaime Beriestain) as ‘just’ the SOFIA. Beriestain plays with mirrors and winding shapes to create light spacious-feeling rooms where privacy isn’t compromised. The circular bar is particularly stunning, crowned with a vast gold-leaf palm on the ceiling. There is a fitness centre, swimming pool and a spa – luxury of the 2020s.
Suite-Me-Up: The suites are perhaps the least interesting design wise, in stead opt for the ‘Sphere’ rooms divided into two spaces by giant round mirrors.
✅ free Wi-Fi • size matters: 465 rooms (22-39m2) (237-420 sq ft) & suites (40-300m2) (431-3,229 sq ft) • hotel opened: 1975 • interior design: Jaime Beriestain • bathroom amenities: Natura Bissé • parking possible on-site (charged) • no pets allowed • 24-hour front desk