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Take an elegant trip back in time at the Santo Mauro, a Luxury Collection hotel, which reopened in December on the grounds of a former aristocratic palace in Madrid’s chic Chamberí district.
The backstory: Dating back to the 19th century, the historic property was once the residence of the Duke of Santo Mauro and spans three buildings, including former stables and the Duke’s daughter’s mansion. More recently, the hotel was part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, and this latest redesign – encompassing guest rooms, restaurants and other spaces, and done with the help of Spanish interior designer Lorenzo Castillo – elevates Santo Mauro to the company’s Luxury Collection.
Space: There are 49 rooms and suites (from $870), ranging from 98 to 394 square feet. They all feel opulent, with a French flair that leans traditional but not prim. Imagine quirky patterned wallpapers and draperies, beds with quilted headboards, upholstered armchairs and marble bathrooms. The Duke’s Royal Suite, once the nobleman’s bedroom, is the most extravagant, with velvet-covered walls, floral-print decor and a dedicated sitting room. Some suites also include outdoor balconies overlooking the hotel gardens.
Restoration : Spanish chef Rafael Peña, best known for Barcelona’s famed gourmet restaurant Gresca, came on board to refresh the two on-site restaurants. La Biblioteca, a formal dining space in the Duke’s former library, serves Mediterranean dishes like steak tartare or glazed calf sweetbreads with lemon and coriander. For more casual fare, head to El Jardin, where you’ll find a new outdoor terrace. You can also enjoy a nightcap at the glitzy El Bar, located in the mansion’s former billiard room.
Additional amenities: The new spa and fitness center, currently under construction, is expected to open later this year. Until then, relax in the heated indoor swimming pool or stroll through the lush private gardens, where you will find centuries-old chestnut trees.
Nearby sites: The trendy residential district of Chamberí, historic seat of the Spanish aristocracy, is worth a visit for its architectural gems. Other major city sites are also within walking distance or a short taxi ride, including El Retiro Park, a royal retreat transformed into a vast public green space; the Museo del Prado, one of the main art history museums in Spain; Puerta de Alcalá, a neoclassical monument that was once the city gate; and the Sorolla Museum, dedicated to the works of Impressionist painter Joaquín Sorolla and his family.
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The federal government advises Canadians to avoid non-essential travel. This article is intended to inspire plans for future trips.
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