I first came across Spain’s AC Hotels group back in 2003, when I was reviewing hotels in Barcelona for Condé Nast Traveller. At the time, boutique style hotels were still the exception rather than the rule, and the AC hotels stood out for their modern, minimalist design, great bars and fresh outlook.
This April, seven years later, Mango booked me into the AC Santo Mauro in Madrid when they flew me over to attend their AW10 fashion show. I knew immediately I was in an AC hotel from the neat touches (glass bowls of jelly beans in reception, the furniture in the public spaces (Eames) and the thoughtful bedrooms (free mini bar, bedside reading lamps, iPod docks).
The hotel is in the former residence of the Duke of Santo Mauro, about a twenty minute walk from the Prado and minutes from Madrid’s smartest shopping street, should life become unbearable without the prospect of a new Loewe handbag.
The house is set in a substantial private garden, with a shaded eating patio (excellent lunches are served here), and a chic bar area, wonderful for aperitifs. The main dining room is in the elegant former library, with panelled walls, high ceilings and shelves of books in case of boredom over supper. Everything I ate from perfect poached eggs to that work of art fruit salad was delicious, bar a slightly dodgy sandwich vegetal from room service.
Some of the bedrooms are in the main house, with most in the courtyard annexe, where I was staying in a room with fabulous tall windows which I flung open to let the sun flood in over the parquet floor.
I shot a quick video of my quarters which is below:
LLG was a guest of Mango in Madrid