If it’s paparazzi and scenesters you’re seeking, look elsewhere. This 19th-century ducal palace has seen its fair share of rich and famous faces over its years first as the Duke of Santo Mauro’s residence, then as the Canadian embassy, and now as an Autograph Collection hotel, but it also knows how to be discreet. Tucked away in the exclusive Chamberi area—a leafy, scenic neighborhood where Madrid’s 19th-century aristocracy built their private mansions—the AC Santo Mauro hides its secluded gardens, wrought iron balconies, and ornate sitting rooms behind carved stone walls.

Those who cross the threshold are treated to a haven of contemporary luxury: the hotel is still a palace, complete with acclaimed dining in the wood-paneled library, a decadent spa with a 1920s-inspired indoor pool, and the same original architectural features commissioned by the Duke himself. But the rooms have a bit more 20th-century flair, with modern art on the walls, clean-lined furnishings offsetting the building’s gaudier nature, and oversize marble bathrooms fit for a king. Luckily, you don’t have to be a king (or even a duke) to get the royal treatment here.

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