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Palacio Villapanés, Seville 

31 Santiago
Spain 41003
Tel: 34 954 502 063
view web site ›'s insider take:

Seville is awash in converted palaces, but Palacio Villapanés is easily the most impressive. The 50-room property—located in the quieter, less touristy part of Barrio Santa Cruz—stands out for its architectural assets, dating back to the 18th century: an imposing stone entrance topped with a family coat of arms (there's another inside, on the massive staircase), high ceilings, and heavy carved wooden doors. Villapanés is saved from appearing too cold and formal by a surprising pairing of historic grandeur and contemporary furniture with a retro feel, such as Patricia Urquiola's Fat-Fat circular stacking tables and Crinoline woven chairs. Guest rooms have parquet floors, walls in soothing gray, and sumptuous beds with bendy reading lights. The bathrooms come in different shapes and sizes: Some are open plan, some have colored ceramic tiles, others are black; all are equipped with Bulgari toiletries. The five suites have iMacs—opt for the Torréon, which has a 19th-century marble bath and a private terrace. If it's already taken, you can always bag a chaise longue on the spacious patio lined with orange trees and oversize white parasols, or cool off in the bijou plunge pool on the roof terrace with views of the city. Breakfast, served in a cozy basement restaurant, features tiny apple turnovers, tortilla, empañada de atún, and dried figs. For bigger appetites, there's sausages, bacon, and eggs. The delightful staff speaks English well and can help you negotiate Seville's winding streets.—Fiona Flores Watson

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