While many Italian hotels rest on the country’s historic laurels by harking back to bygone eras, from the opulence of the Renaissance to the sleek design heaven of the 1960s, the Meliá Génova—itself an art deco icon—is confident enough to stride straight into contemporary decor. Originally a steel manufacturer’s headquarters, long known as the luxe Bentley Hotel, its geometric lines and burnished metals evoke midcentury styles. But the hotel is undeniably modern and understated, with its bright and airy rooms, designer furnishings, abstract artwork, and luxurious touches like hot tubs on balconies. The serene, Zen-inspired subterranean pool and spa area demonstrates the Meliá’s fearlessness in breaking from Italian Riviera traditions, a fact only reinforced by the sultry restaurant and bar, which serves Spanish, French, and Greek cuisine—near heresy in a country that prides itself on its excellent food. But the bets have paid off: not only does the Meliá attract glamorous out-of-towners, but even the locals know it’s one of the hottest spots in town, as evidenced by the lively scene found in the bar each night.