Hospes Palacio del Bailío, Córdoba, Spain
This 16th-century palace is the most dramatic property in the stable of a Spanish haute-design hotel group.
Location: Situated on a whitewashed street in Córdoba, the eighth-century seat of the Moorish caliphate, the hotel is a 15-minute walk from the famous Mezquita, or mosque, and has also become an attraction in its own right.
Pedigree: Hospes, Spain's smallest--and hippest--hotel group, has a knack for turning crumbling architectural marvels into pitch-perfect contemporary hotels, with the help of archaeologists and art historians.
Style Design: A fluid melding of modernity and antiquity; sleek hallways are set off by 15th-century doors; public spaces and bedrooms are lit by cutting-edge Italian fixtures from Catellani & Smith. The star is the soaring atrium, which has a restored 19th-century fresco and a glass floor overlooking a Roman-era villa that was discovered beneath the building's foundations.
Service Amenities: A top-notch multilingual staff, anchored by chef Periko Ortega, who serves Andalusian cuisine, with Arabic influences, in the popular Senzone restaurant; the Bodyna spa incorporates Roman bath-inspired design.
Rooms to Book: Ask for room No. 109, where the walls are covered in 18th-century frescoes, and where Fernando de Cordoba, the Moorish warrior who first called this palace home, slept. The room leads to a tiny private patio with flowers and views of the fountain below.
10 Calle Ramírez de las Casas Deza; 34/957-498-993; www.hospes.es; doubles from $295.