Hotel Neptuno (from $125) is a sleek enhancement to the city’s new waterfront, restored in preparation for Valencia’s role as host of the America’s Cup last year. There’s a beachfront lounge, the cream lobby is presided over by a mural of Audrey Hepburn in bright-red lipstick, and a glass elevator ascends quietly to minimalist rooms.
Enjoy the same stretch of beach for fewer euros next door at the no-frills, well-scrubbed Hostal El Globo (from $62).
Curl up on an opium bed at the new, three-room La Casa Azul (from $200), run by local jeweler Vicente Gracia. The queen of Spain wears his antiques brooches and necklaces, and the rooms are designed with the same flair as his jewelry.