Hotel Marques de Riscal
Architectural statement, wine-lovers, rustic chic
Elciego Calle Torrea, 1 (34) 945-180-880 www.starwoodhotels.com
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At a Glance
This hotel owned by one of Spain’s great wine producers and boldly designed by architect Frank Gehry put the Rioja region on the map as a travel destination.
- The visual contrast between Gehry’s avant-garde design, the surrounding vineyards and the medieval village of Elciego
- Chef Francis Paniego’s superb cooking at the hotel restaurant
- The prime location for visiting the region’s wineries
Hotel Marques de Riscal Review
You won’t need GPS to spot this hotel; The tangle of silver, gold and pink titanium ribbons that top the roof of the main limestone building make the Marques de Riscal visible from a distance. If this building startled the locals when it opened, it has since become a local landmark and even a quiet source of pride. The property is the most comfortable and convenient place to stay while touring the bodegas, or wineries, of Rioja.
It’s best to book one of the 14 rooms in the main hotel building, which have lovely views of the village of Elciego, or one of the three rooms in the spa wing that overlook the main building. Otherwise, you won’t experiencing first-hand the playful oddness of Gehry’s design. Each room is different because of the building’s shape and roofline, but they all feature light-colored wood paneling, parquet flooring, Gehry-designed white canvas “Cloud” lamps, B & B Italia brown leather sofas and Artemide lamps. The spacious bathrooms are lined in rich brown Brazilian granite and have separate tubs and showers; other in-room amenities include Bang & Olufsen televisions and Nespresso machines. The hotel’s two wings are connected by a glass suspended footbridge, with a third wing currently under construction.
Local star chef Francis Paniego helped earn the onsite restaurant Restaurante Marqués de Riscal a Michelin star. Here, he serves a multi-course menu of Riojan cuisine in a dining room with beautiful views over Elciego. Don’t miss the red shrimp carpaccio with tomato tartare and the pigeon with pears and lime. If you’re not in the mood for fine dining, guests can stop intp the hotel’s other restaurant, 1860 Tradición for more informal local cuisine; if the weather is nice, grab a seat on the sunny terrace. A tour and tasting of the renowned (albeit commercial) onsite Marques de Riscal Winery is included for all guests of the hotel.
Who Should Stay
Design lovers and wine buffs will love this hotel, which is best for couples or solo travelers.