Madrid's Ritz was built in 1910, thanks to a personal intervention by King Alfonso XIII, who had been embarrassed at the time of his wedding to Princess Victoria four years earlier because his guests could not find a hotel that was up to scratch. When the hotel first opened, the handful of bathrooms, one telephone per floor and lift were considered the height of luxury, and it soon attracted politicians, royalty and writers. Today the 167 rooms maintain some of the original belle-époque style, though the swirly carpets and occasionally shabby fittings are incongruous in such a setting. And, for the price, it has fairly minimal fitness facilities (and no pool). In terms of today's clientele, the Ritz has shaken off its slightly stuffy image and now welcomes celebs it once shunned; however, guests must still adhere to a strict dress code in the restaurant.