Though the hotel is located within the city’s historic center—just steps from the Palacio Real, sprawling Casa de Campo park, and the 293-year-old Restaurante Sobrino de Botin (the oldest restaurant in the world)—it’s futuristic metal façade is a beacon of modernity.

Inside, Spanish interior design firm Cuarto Interior has created public spaces that lean closer to art gallery than hotel lobby. Varying tones of light woods and subtly textured furnishings serve as a glamorous backdrop for playful gold leaf sculptures by Nacho Zebelu, and bold pieces by Dutch-born artist and architect Jan Hendrix. At the center of it all is a towering, 80-foot-tall metal fiberglass waterfall sculpture by Catalan artist Pere Gifre, which tumbles down the wall of an interior courtyard.

Gifre’s flashy sculpture extends up to the 12th floor—where what appears to be a skylight from the inside reveals itself to be the glass bottom of the hotel’s rooftop pool. The sleek pool and SkyBar area is one of the best places to see-and-be-seen in the city, boasting sweeping views of Madrid and serving up a mix of cocktails both rooted in classics (think mojitos kicked up with eucalyptus soda and tonka beans) and showcasing 21st century mixology (think Dewar’s 12-Year-Old whisky perfumed with chili, lime and cardamom and sweetened with banana sugar). Come dinner time, guests can head inside to Mediterranean-Japanese fusion restaurant Ginkgo, where views of the Madrid skyline are complimented by bold, angular floors and plush velvet seating.

When it finally comes time to turn in for the night, the VP Plaza España 5*’s 214 rooms offer a welcome respite from the visual feast of both the hotel and the city. Floor-to-ceiling windows give way to creamy white linens, light woods, and softly padded headboards. Check into one of the top-of the line suites to up the luxe factor—as they boast private terraces, walk-in closets, and private gym spaces designed to help you recharge after days spent indulging in Spanish style.