When the weather’s cold and the days are dark I always find myself wanting to go back to Spain. The reason? It’s diverse, vibrant, beautiful – and warm! However it’s not just all about beaches of course. Spain is filled to the brim with culture and tradition, and in the region of Rioja wine in particular is a major part of the local culture and cuisine. Wine has been grown in this region for centuries – it’s famous the world over! It’s only natural then that at some point a hotel would be bound to celebrate this wine-making, and I’ve found one that does exactly that. Not to mention, it’s a real eye catcher. Wine-lovers, this is one for you!

Hotel Marqués De Riscal – A Wine Lover’s Paradise!

The Hotel Marqués De Riscal lives and breathes wine. However this 5 star hotel is perhaps more famous for its very unusual architecture! Designed by Frank Gehry, the architect who designed the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, the hotel really stands out from its traditional surroundings, and it means that this hotel really is one of a kind. Trust me – if you think it looks incredible from the outside, just wait until you see the interiors!

Marques 12Hotel Marqués De Riscal: Granted, the architecture may not be your cup of tea, but you have to admit it really is impressive!

Marques 2Hotel Marqués De Riscal: There are some stunning views to be had of the town of Elciego and the surrounding vineyards.

Marques 6Hotel Marqués De Riscal: The library on the top floor is a cosy place to have a cocktail and read up on the area.

Marques 3Hotel Marqués De Riscal: The Gehry Suite is the largest suite, with its own private terrace, lounge and the best panoramic views.

Marques 11Hotel Marqués De Riscal: Even if you book one of the smaller rooms you’re still bound to get incredibly light and spacious rooms thanks to the building’s crazy design.

Marques 4Hotel Marqués De Riscal: The marble bathrooms are probably some of the nicest ones I’ve ever seen from any hotel!

Marques 9Hotel Marqués De Riscal: The wines aren’t just for show – at the Wine Bar you can take part in tastings and there’s a wide range of wine on sale.

Marques 13Hotel Marqués De Riscal: The rooftop terrace next to the library has the best views of the area – how gorgeous is that?

Marques 7Hotel Marqués De Riscal: The indoor pool of the spa. The spa at this hotel is really something special, because some of the treatments aren’t exactly conventional…

Marques 1Hotel Marqués De Riscal: …In fact some of the treatments revolve around wine and grapes! How about a bath in red wine in a barrel-shaped hot tub?

Marques 8Hotel Marqués De Riscal: The hotel is adjacent to Marqués De Riscal winery, which produces some fantastic wines. It’s possible to book tours here as well!

Booking with Hotel Marqués De Riscal

It’s an interesting hotel, don’t you think? Not only because of that eye-catching architecture, but also because of how everything about the hotel seems to revolve around wine – in a tasteful manner! Obviously there are other themed hotels, but this one’s quite a bit more understated with the dark red colours and the spa treatments (which, admittedly do sound a little crazy, but they must be so lush)! If you’re interested in seeing this crazy hotel for yourself you can check prices over Trivago. They compare prices from a range of different websites so you’ll be guaranteed to get the prices. But even if it’s outside your price range you should still definitely pop by this hotel if you’re ever in Rioja and are interested in experiencing Spanish wine up close. As I said before, the bar has plenty of wine for sale, and there are vineyard tours and wine tastings on offer too. Maybe you could try one of the wine spa treatments…

Getting to the Hotel Marqués De Riscal

Getting to the hotel is pretty straightforward with Bilbao Airport just an 1½ hours’ drive away. There are flights from Dublin for a reasonable price, unfortunately not direct but only one stop. As for the journey from Bilbao Airport to the hotel you can check it over at Rome2Rio, and it’ll also tell you how long it will take. You won’t need any additional travel documents when you travel as Spain is also a member of the EU. Easy peasy!

I found an awesome video that not only shows you round the hotel, but also reveals just how central wine is to the hotel’s atmosphere – it’s awesome!

So, there you have it! If you’re looking for a posh trip to Spain in a hotel that’s a little different, you just can’t go wrong with the Hotel Marqués De Riscal! It won the Traveller’s Choice Award for Luxury in 2013 over on TripAdvisor and has also been awarded a Certificate of Excellence, so you can be sure to have a fantastic stay. Do you know any other hotels that revolve around wine? Or have you been on some fantastic wine-tasting trips before? Let me know in the comments below!

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