Lots of hotels purport to give guests the royal treatment, but few offer the chance to stay in an actual aristocrat’s home. The Santo Mauro, a Luxury Collection Hotel, the upscale Marriott brand’s first property in Spain’s capital, does just that, as it has taken over the preserved estate of the Duke of Santo Mauro. Here are four reasons to book a stay at this ducal domicile.
Because of the destruction caused by the Spanish Civil War, Madrid doesn’t have the stock of centuries-old buildings of, say, Paris. The Santo Mauro, however, takes guests back to the life of late 19th- and early 20th-century European gentry. The 49 rooms are split across three buildings: The 1902 main house, where Duke Mariano Fernández de Henestrosa y Ortiz de Mioño lived with his wife and sons; the stables and staff quarters, which have been converted into two-level suites; and the outlying original 1876 house where the Duke’s parents resided. Ask the concierge for a tour to get all of the historic tidbits.
The visual highlight is the jaw-dropping interior of the main house, which retains many of its original features. Spanish noble families traditionally color-coded the rooms in their houses, and here the walls burst with bright red, blue, and green. Period chinoiserie paintings and upholstery adorn the room that was Duchess Casilda’s tea salon, original lamps and chandeliers light the spaces, and La Biblioteca restaurant is lined with vintage books, including volumes that contain the duke’s handwritten margin notes.
Lavish Meals and Mead
The gustatory pleasures start upon arrival, with a welcome drink of Hidromiel Zángana, a mead brewed in the northwestern region of Asturias. Chef Rafael Peña of the popular Barcelona restaurant Gresca runs the hotel’s culinary program, which includes lavish breakfasts and dinners served at La Biblioteca, as well as more relaxed meals on the garden terrace, El Jardín. (Be sure to stop by at night, when it’s lit up in lovely fashion.) El Bar, a contemporary space that has been updated with a more masculine aesthetic, specializes in gin cocktails. And keep an eye out for additional offerings, such as a tasting workshop with a maestro cortador from Cinco Jotas, one of Spain’s finest producers of jamón ibérico.
Madrid Attractions within Walking Distance
The hotel is set in Madrid’s posh Chamberí neighborhood, which is home to many mansions and foreign embassies. (The Santo Mauro itself has hosted the embassies of the Philippines, Canada, and Romania.) A mere three blocks away is the Paseo de la Castellana; follow this leafy pedestrian thoroughfare south, and you’ll reach the Plaza de Cibeles, the Parque del Retiro, the Museo Nacional del Prado, and many other attractions.
From $632, marriott.com
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