Palacio de Aranjuez
Aranjuez is a sleepy town near Madrid. If it were not for the incredibly impressive palace it might not be worth the visit. Room after room it offers a fascinating glimpse into the luxury these old royals surrounded themselves with. The garden even contains a miniature palace built for little Charles the 4th to run around in and play soldiers and Indians (or the 18th century equivalent). Goya's famous portrait painting of the royal family which can be seen in the Prado Museum was completed here while they were on spring break in the early 19th century. The themed rooms are so ostentatious you'll wonder if you like it or loathe it, there's a room for all tastes however, from the mosaic lined Arabic style smoking room to an oriental inspired porcelain room. When you see this kind of fantastical decoration you begin to see the Spanish royals weren't such a dry lot after all.
The museum is located in the town of Aranjuez and is near great hotels like NH Principe de la Paz
, Dona Francisca
and Carlos I