Hotel Marqués De Riscal

Iconic Architect Frank O. Gehry's Avant-Garde Accommodations Bring Spain's Fruits Of The Vine Into The 21st Century While Respecting Tradition
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Wild grape vinings, country houses overflowing with handmade cider, and romantic vineyard landscapes of vanguard architecture amidst rolling hills have given the ancient medieval town of Elciego, Spain its affectionate sobriquet, "The City of Wine."

Nestled in the heart of the Rioja Alavesa region, the Hotel Marqués de Riscal's avant- garde design rises from the Vinos de los Herederos del Marqués de Riscal's vineyard with all the luxury impress to live up to its surroundings and iconic designer, Frank O. Gehry.

The architect is famous, among a long list of accomplishments, for his work on the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. So it's only natural that he would return to this center of culture and class to create a masterpiece hotel whose sinuous curves and metallic iridescence make a shining statement for spectators to admire the way they admire the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.

Using his signature choice of material, Gehry bends and twists titanium to meld 21st-century artistic innovation with Spain's ancient traditions of cultivating wine and fine cuisine. To this end, Gehry's asymmetrical, progressive design houses a chic but informal wine bar and rooftop lounge where guests can choose from thousands of international wine found in the hotel's historic cellars, designed in 1858 by the architect, Ricardo Bellsola.

The hotel also serves this elite selection of wines in its Marqués de Riscal and 1860 restaurants. Award-winning chef Francis Paniego, who provides culinary classes to hotel guests, and executive chef Ramon Piñeiro combine traditional Basque-Riojan cuisine with contemporary influences to complement Gehry's cutting-edge design of modern furnishings and unorthodox architecture.

To indulge visitors in all the luxurious benefits wine has to offer in this, the oldest Rioja winery, Marqués de Riscal practices wine therapies in The Caudalie Vinothérapie® Spa, with 14 massage and treatment rooms, an indoor swimming pool, steam room, fitness center, Jacuzzi, shower, and Caudalie Vinothérapie® products made of grape extract and mineral water.

Twenty-nine guest rooms, including 10 suites, located in the Spa Wing provide breathtaking vantage points of the vineyards and the town of Elciego. The 14 guest rooms in the Gehry Wing follow the forms and materials for which he is best known. Leather and raw maple imbue an organic quality, while furnishings by Gehry and Alvar Aalto keep the rooms modern, light and airy.

Whether staying to bask in "The City of Wine," visiting the coasts off Vizcaya and Guipúzcoa, or exploring the neighboring medieval towns of Laguardia, Santo Domingo de la Calzada, Samaniego or Haro by foot, bicycle or hot air balloon, Hotel Marqués de Riscal embraces the romance and rich history of architecture, food and wine that the sophisticated and cultured people of Spain have been cultivating for centuries.

Hotel Marqués de Riscal is part of The Luxury Collection of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. For further information, visit the hotel online at the website, For more on Starwood Hotels & Resorts and its Luxury Collection of more than 50 properties in the United States, Mexico, Asia, South America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, visit

Courtesy of Hotel Marqués de Riscal, The Luxury Collection; Elciego, Alava (Spain)

Text by
Jesse Bratter