The Hostal del Cardenal, a former archbishops summer home, is an absolute jewel. As an added bonus, it has a convenient locationon the northern edge of Toledo, with an entrance next to the Puerta de Bisagra (the citys main gate). Your introduction to the small hotel is through a dramatic 11th-century wall and into an enchanting garden with a reflecting pool reminiscent of that found at the Alhambra. Climb the stairs on the right to reach the tiny foyer of the hostal. The stunning stairway, the patio with its lovely fountain, and the cozy sitting rooms embellished with antiques all reflect the hotels 18th-century heritage. The period furnishings in the inviting guestrooms seem to blend into a tasteful whole. Although smallish, the rooms provide modern comfort with an unbeatable ambiance of past centuries. The indoor dining rooms (which are used only in the winter) are fabulous with their heavy wood beams and fireplaces. In warmer months, meals are served in the garden in the shadow of the medieval walls. The kitchen is outstanding and serves Castilian specialties such as suckling pig. The Hostal del Cardenal has a natural grace and authentic old-world charm frequently lacking in more deluxe hotels. With its gardens, excellent management, and lovely ambiance, this is definitely the finest place to stay in Toledo (and the price is low for value received).