New Spanish Bed and Breakfast
What do you do when your ancestral home has been taken over by distant cousins and you have nowhere to hang your Goyas?If you happen to be Seville's premier decorator, Manuel Morales de Jódar, the answer is simple: you buy a ruined 14th-century stone church across the road and re-create your family fief as a grand nine-room B&B. With its plant-filled courtyard and frescoed interiors, it's hard to believe that Palacio de San Benito—an hour north of Seville, in the white-washed hill town of Cazalla de la Sierra—is new. But Morales, who also helped design Seville's ultra-stylish Casa de Carmona hotel, has managed to achieve authentic Andalusian flavor without the clichéd castanets and frilly skirts. The rooms' antiques were salvaged from nearby palaces, tapas in the dining room are prepared by the family cook, town Gypsies perform flamenco, and thoroughbred Andalusian horses take guests on carriage rides. Morales himself is ever present, pouring glasses of the town's cherry aperitif and presiding over his hotel like an aristocrat hosting a weekend party. Palacio de San Benito, Cazalla de la Sierra; 34-954/883-336, fax 34-954/883-162; doubles from $132.