Passing through the wine region of Rioja, Spain you will not miss the curious structure that seems wildly out of place next to the older sandstone buildings scattered across the vineyards. This is the Hotel Marques de Riscal.
This hotel was completed in 2006 by Canadian Frank Gehry who also created the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, USA. Gerhy’s signature style of postmodern rejects formal and austere architect guidelines, creating magnificent and whimsical pieces. The Hotel Marques de Riscal is one of these and upon entering the hotel you find yourself surrounded by uneven and bevel walls, winding windows and towering ceilings.
The hotel is attached to the Marques de Riscal Winery. This vineyard originated in 1858 and is home to over 8 million bottles of wine; some dating back as far as 1862. Guests can join daily tours, learning the entire process from grapevine to finished product. This tour, of course, ends with a delectable wine tasting!
We highly suggest, if you have the time, to take a detour off the Camino de Santiago and spend a night at the winery. There is a restaurant in the hotel that serves regional plates from fresh local produce with breathtaking views overlooking the Basque mountains and the small quaint town of Elciego. For those pilgrims who need some extra pampering, book yourself a seat at the Chef’s table!
The views from the balcony of Hotel Marque de Riscal provides a surreal break from your strenuous pilgrimage. Ask us about adding this side trip to your self-guided Camino; or bring some friends and we can arrange a private customised fully-guided trip for a Camino and Wine Tour! We have done it before and we are more than happy to take more deserving pilgrims to this luxurious location. After all, the Camino is tough; why not enjoy the fruits of your labor!
Frank Gehry. (2016, November 18). Retrieved March 28, 2017, from http://www.biography.com/people/frank-gehry-9308278
Hotel Marque’s de Riscal, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Elciego. (n.d.). Retrieved March 28, 2017, from http://www.hotel-marquesderiscal.com/en