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Casa de Madrid, Madrid

Editor's Pick
Toledo, Spain, Europe
2 Arrieta, second floor
Tel: 34 91 559 5791's insider take:

As an aristocrat, art curator, and interior designer, Doña Marta Medina is perfect for the role of hostess of one of the most gorgeous small hotels in town. Her seven-room place—you could call it a B&B, except that conjures entirely the wrong image—is on the second floor of an 18th-century mansion opposite the Royal Opera House. Medina bought it in 2000 and spent three years meticulously renovating, using family antiques and an apparently effortless sense of style. The result is neither minimal nor overdesigned, and instead feels like an exquisite private home. It's not for everyone; those with a knee-jerk disdain for frills and lace, for instance. Services are on a need-to-have basis, but you quickly get the impression that your desires will not go unmet. Breakfast is included, as is the help-yourself bar in the parlor decorated with beautiful period murals.

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