Caro Hotel — Valencia, Spain
Interior designer Francesc Rifé has created this contemporary hotel in the middle of the old town of this vibrant Mediterranean city, just 200m from the cathedral. The building, the Palace of Marquis of Caro, is a mix of different ages, combining Roman mosaics of the 2nd century BC, the Arab wall of the 12th century, and gothic arches and a façade from the 19th century. All of these are mixed by Rifé with clean lines, an abundance of wood, and modern furniture (most of it designed by him). A carefully considered lighting system ensures a warm, intimate atmosphere. The 26 rooms are all different in character (the top floor ones, with sloping ceilings, are superb), featuring big beds and spa style bathrooms. The gastronomic restaurant (Alma del Temple) and the bar and terrace (Meta Bar) are open to non-guests and are well worth a visit.