Visiting this hotel with a small group, we expected spectacular architecture - Frank Gehry is a known, if unorthodox quantity - and given its 5 star status and Michelin starred restaurant we thought it would be a special experience. We were right.
The architecture is spectacular and as a friend said "it puts a smile on your face". I can't think of many hotels that are visually as unique as this. Our room in the Gehry building was just wonderful; spacious, great views, equipped to a very high standard, spotlessly clean and with a bathroom as good as any we have had in a hotel. I guess that if you don't like modern architecture and interior designs, this may not be the hotel for you.
We chose to use room service on our first evening (to accompany the complimentary bottle of wine) and were very impressed. Efficient service delivered our order and the food was excellent - a club sandwich and a delicious desert made a very acceptable light meal.
Breakfast was excellent. Not the vast array of self service options presented in some hotels, but a more than adequate selection of fresh high quality produce and hot food cooked to order and served by smiling helpful staff.
I think the added ingredient is this hotel, which we perhaps did not expect, were the staff. They get rave reviews in Trip Advisor, and they are well deserved, being friendly, helpful and a pleasure to deal with.
So does this hotel have a weak link? Well I have to say that our group had a pre-ordered meal in the restaurant, and I found it slightly disappointing. There was nothing actually wrong with the meal, but given the reputation of the restaurant I felt it was not what I had expected. Of course this may have a lot to do with the pre-ordered menu, so not necessarily the fault of the restaurant, but the menu sounded a bit uninspiring. I do not eat meat and was a little surprised to get two very similar fish courses, the second being instead of the meat. A vegetarian friend simply did not get a main course! A little bit more imagination would have been good - but like I said this may not be entirely the fault of the restaurant. Perhaps the big problem was my high expectations, and I did enjoy the meal.
I am going to give the restaurant the benefit of the doubt and give this hotel 5 stars because it deserves it. It is an exceptional hotel and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to The City of Wine, where you will discover a masterpiece, Hotel Marques de Riscal Elciego. With 43 luxurious rooms and suites, an exceptional spa and a superb culinary offer, this boutique hotel, located in the heart of la Rioja alavesa and designed by famous arquitect Frank O. Gehry, is the ideal place for enoturim lovers. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Marques De Riscal Hotel
- Marques De Riscal Elciego
- Hotel Marques De Riscal a Luxury Collection Hotel Spain/Elciego