The Duke of Santo Mauro’s 1895 French-style neolassical mansion is now one of Madrid’s most elegant and luxurious hotels. At just 51 rooms, and located in a largely residential district off the Paseo de Castellana, it’s intimate-a feeling magnified by the discreet nature of the service. Any number of foreign dignitaries and stars of the stage and screen prefer the Santo Mauro, but as for names, the staff aren’t talking, and except for the Beckhams (hardly the world’s most discreet couple anyway), neither are the guests.
Unlike some of Madrid’s grand old hotels, though, the Santo Mauro has been updated a bit; designers visiting from Barcelona have brought a splash of the contemporary, including some sleek modern furniture, as well as massive, decidedly ahistorical super-king beds. Many rooms have Persian rugs atop parquet floors, and many have restored Italian marble fireplaces. The mansion’s exquisite former library has been converted into a restaurant, serving an excellent and refreshingly un-trendy international cuisine, and what were once the ballrooms are now used for conferences.
Though not exactly right in the middle of downtown, the Chamberi neighborhood is convenient enough, and as quiet as any in Madrid-this is where all the Spanish nobility established their residences at the turn of the 20th century. The Santo Mauro takes advantage of the luxury of space, offering an indoor pool and fitness center, as well as a parking garage. There are palace hotels that are nearer the city center, and more opulent than this; but it’s hard to imagine anywhere more discreet and private.
Zurbano 36, Madrid