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The Hotel Marqués de Riscal is the design hotel to trump all others, designed as it is by the renowned Canadian architect Frank Gehry, who revitalised Bilbao with his Guggenheim Museum.
The hotel is located just outside the village of Elciego, in the heart of the Rioja wine region, and has already become a tourist attraction in its own right. The structure is clad is Gehry's signature sheets of twisting titanium, tinged pink and gold to signify the red and white wines of the Marqués de Riscal winery, which commissioned the building at a cost of some £50m.
The 43 suites come with marble bathrooms and facilities include an indoor swimming pool, hammam, and Caudalie Vinothérapie Spa, which offers a variety of massages and treatments based on grape extracts. The main restaurant serves gourmet cuisine, and there is (of course) a wine bar and a rooftop lounge with panoramic views across the vineyards to the rooftops of Elciego. Activities include tours of the winery, visits to other nearby estates on the local wine route and medieval villages such as Laguardia, and horse-riding, mountain-biking or walking in the surrounding countryside.
A chateau for the 21st century, Gehry described his creation as 'the flowering thing'.
Nick, Original Traveller