A 90-minute drive from Madrid, the Valdepalacios is the aristocratic country inn the Spanish capital has long needed. From the farmland approach, it doesn't look like much, but inside the apricot-colored estate walls, the old manor house has been transformed with exquisite taste into a 27-room retreat as deeply comfortable as it is utterly modern. The public areas are warmed by fireplaces and dotted with antiques, and the main house's first-floor rooms feature sleek furnishings, wide-planked floors, and picture windows that offer broad views of the countryside. Past the spa, the sunny patio, and the pool are the garden cottages, their airy interiors done up in tasteful chintz. Apartment-size bathrooms feature separate tubs and showers and Molton Brown toiletries. It's like a chic English retreat—except for the restaurant, Tierra, which is overseen by star chef Santi Santamaría (of Barcelona's Can Fabes), whose olive oil tastings and crisp-skinned pork make it thoroughly, wonderfully Spanish.