In the heart of Madrid, just five minutes from Museo del Prado, the Relais & Châteaux Hotel Orfila promises delights. A small palace built in 1886, it has the feel of an art gallery with period furniture, marble and a garden courtyard. In the 1920s, the hotel was made famous for the plays it staged. Today, the flowered patio invites guests to dine under the stars and there’s an English chic tea room. A member of the Relais & Châteaux stable, the family-owned boutique hotel has 32 rooms, 12 of which are suites. Although each is uniquely decorated, they all share the same traditional style and carry soft tones of rust, green and ivory with carpeted floors, upholstered headboards in floral prints, and 19th-century antique furniture.

There are also artworks from the owners’ collections. The turndown service includes sachets of soothing foot gel – a thoughtful touch for guests who’ve been traipsing around the city all day. Mario Sandoval, who has two Michelin stars at his nearby Coque restaurant, oversees Jardín de Orfila, which is open daily for lunch and dinner and has some of the prettiest terrace tables in Madrid.

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