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Reviewed 4 weeks ago

To start this review, I need to put some context in: I’m a food, drinks and travel writer who was visiting the region pre a work holiday, before going on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards in Bilbao. Despite using TripAdvisor for recommendations, I don’t often write reviews as I’m usually staying in places for work, to write them up professionally. This booking was a private reservation made direct with the hotel and based on photos from their website and reviews on social media.

Our booking at Fina de los Arrandinos was for two nights, with dinner, bed and breakfast, weighing in at around £440 GPB. We were wowed by the website and the wonderful, almost Scandi style of the place, as well as a hearty recommendation in the Wallpaper guide to Bilbao / San Sebastian.

My wife and I arrived at the hotel mid-afternoon on Friday, having spend a wonderful day driving down from Bilbao airport via some beautiful and picturesque villages. Upon arrival we noticed, while parking up, that the hotel look somewhat shabby with broken blinds and signs that were hang off their fixtures.

Entering the hotel, it was eerily quiet (only 14 bedrooms, but the feel wasn’t relaxed, but strange) and the receptionist, Marilos, was extremely rude with us, but we decided to give the hotel the befit of the doubt and check out the room (having not formally checked in yet). There was an odd aroma in the hotel, and the place was full of badly repaired ‘mid-century’ furniture, dead roses and plastic flowers.

Marilos showed us to our room, number 11, which was large and spacious with a balcony attached. Unfortunately the room was in an incredibly state of disrepair: the sofa, carpet and walls were filthy; there was an internal blind that was broken and hanging off its rails; the outside lamp on the balcony was held together with tape and attached to the railings with string to stop it from falling over; the walls were cracked and damp. The place was a disgrace, and this is not something I say lightly.

After around 5 mins in the room, we decided that we simply couldn’t spend any time there as it did not feel clean and well kept. On making our way down to reception, we used the restrooms in the lobby of the hotel where the wallpaper was hanging off the walls and there was what looked to be faeces smeared across the wall. We found the level of hygiene extreme alarming, especially given that we had two nights of dinner and two mornings of breakfast booked in.

Keep in mind that this is a hotel that also makes wine: a product for human consumption. If this is the state of their hotel, I dread to think of the conditions under which their wines are made.

PLEASE, PLEASE SEE OUR TRAVELLER PHOTOS.

We returned to reception to alert the receptionist to our disappointment. We now had to find somewhere else to stay that evening (and the following night, too) in a region that is famously busy at weekends, as well as being a rural part of Spain.

We didn’t any fuss, just to slip away quietly with a refund in the hope of finding somewhere new to stay. In speaking to the receptionist, we said that our contract of service had been broken: the hotel was not as advertised and we would like a refund, so we can go and stay elsewhere. We were informed the it was the receptionist’s first day, and that she did not have authorisation to make a refund, and that one would be highly unlikely anyway.

After around 20 mins of talking her through the issues, she tried in vein to contact the hotel manager, Miguel Gil. He was not answering and no one had been left in charge with any authority. It is my experience that a deputy manager covers for a hotel manager when they are not in attendance, to deal with any issues that may arise.

Eventually Marilos managed to call the hotel owner, Roberto Guillen who confirmed that no refund would be made as we had ‘cancelled the reservation outside of the refund period’. We explained that we were not cancelling the reservation, but disputing the quality of the product advertised, and they had breached the contract of supply with us, the consumer.

We asked Marilos is she could call Mr Guillen back so we would speak to him. At this point she threatened to call the police unless we left the property. We then suggested this was a good idea, as the police could help us resolve what we believed to be a miscarriage of justice, as the hotel had, by this point, charged our credit card (without authorisation) for the full cost of the stay. Needless to say, the offer of calling the police was withdrawn.

Marilos then contacted Mr Guillen once more, and we were informed by the receptionist that he would come to the hotel ‘in 30 mins’. At this stage it was 6.30pm.

At 7.40pm Mr. Guillen arrived. The first point of call was to show him our room, and walk him through the issues. Cross-armed, Mr Guillen listened. He looked at the broken lamp, the damp and cracked walls, the knackered blind, the dirty sofa and carpets. His response: “it’s your opinion. The state of the hotel is your opinion”. He then proceeded to talk us through how the hotels in London are staffed by Pakistanis, and are of poor quality too, all of which we have recorded on video. His comments seems to have no relevance to the state of his own hotel, his lack of understanding of hospitality, or indeed his understanding of cleanliness.

At this stage, Mr. Guillen said that the only way we could have our money refunded was to fill in a form and send it to the tourism office in Logrono (Gobierno de La Rioja) where they would make a judgement on a refund. We are now in the process of spending out holiday filling in form and printing out photographs.

Finally we left the hotel feeling utterly deflated, robbed and shocked at the property and the people.

We have no doubt that this was an impressive hotel when it was first built, but it simply seems to have fallen into a terrible state of repair. If we can save people from not having the experience we had, then this post, and this website has done its job. Please, please do not book this hotel.

  • Stayed: June 2018, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
4  Thank partyapproved
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Finca A, Director de Recepción at Finca de los Arandinos, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

Dear Mr. Harrison,

According your opinion, we want to explain the facts that took place on the afternoon of June 15, when you arrived at the Hotel, as follow:

You had made one booking through our website for the nights 15th and 16th of June, 2,018, with an offer that includes (2 nights on half board). In the comments of the same, you asked us to put in your room a cake and a bottle of wine free of charge.

When you arrived at the hotel and before seeing your room and making the checking, you told to us that you did not like the Hotel and you want to leave it with out pay your booking.

As the answer, both the Receptionist (Mariló), the Director (Miguel Ángel Gil) and the Owner (Roberto Guillén), was that NO, since we attended our cancellation policy, which was informed to you by e-mail in your booking form.

Finally, you got angry and wrote this so subjective opinion on TripAdvisor.

It is unfortunate that we have to give explanations of a fact that we can denounce to the authorities, since you took photos and recorded conversations to our staff, without authorization and this is not legal.

For all that, we ask to you to delete this opinion of TripAdvisor.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 weeks ago

My family booked 3 rooms here, and I must say that I cannot understand how there are any positive reviews about this place at all. It doesn't even qualify as a hotel, because it has been turned into sub-motel class. It is quite horrendous. These could have been normal hotel rooms -- they have plenty of space to do them right -- and instead they have been turned into the worst kind of diy projects you can imagine. Their idea of high-end "design" is plywood or pressboard covered in olive-green formica, no bath "room" but rather a convertible origami-style foyer which turns into the different parts of a bathroom, and furniture which is all either wooden boxes or oxidized metal pieces that looked like they had been found in a dumpster. The wrong use of materials (by someone who had no idea what they were doing) was evident all over the hotel rooms ... stacks of wood shims haphazardly shoved under the homemade "cabinet" pieces to keep them level, rusted metal hinges on the shower doors (never meant to be used in a bathroom), horribly peeling wallpaper in the toilet room, alarming heat coming out from the mini-fridge stuck into an enclosed cabinet with no ventilation (did I mention this was designed by someone who did not know what they were doing?), and half-walls that served no purpose except to get in your way in the shower, or that create a hallway where you did not want or need one. Perhaps the worst use of material was on the terrace, where there is a large metal plank acting as a railing which completely obliterates most of the view of the beautiful vineyard below (which ostensibly is the reason you're there) if you're sitting in the oxidized chairs out there, or lying on the bed, or anywhere inside the room looking out. You literally cannot see the view! (Plexiglass would have been a better modern choice, or just a good old-fashioned metal or wood railing would have given you a fairly reasonable view of the lovely greenery out there. Such poor design simply cannot be explained!) Speaking of the furniture, you will not find a comfortable chair in the entire place. They are all either tiny wood boxes (seriously) that someone nailed together so you can sit inside it (with no cushions), or child-sized metal chairs. I think "discomfort" was what they were going for, and achieved. There were cobwebs everywhere, since the exposed pressboard cannot be easy to clean, and the main hallway off of which all the motel-room style doors lead off of is covered in a floral wallpaper that did not match the style of the interior wallpaper at all. It looked as if rolls of old wallpaper had been picked up at the dollar store. Since we had been staying at 4- and 5-star hotels during our trip, this hotel room was beyond sub-par, to say the least. It was a huge downgrade. We ate at the restaurant, as well, and they actually did a fairly decent job with a few glaring exceptions: The unfinished cement ceilings, while obviously a deliberate part of the "decor," certainly didn't add to any notion of upscale dining. But that aside, under-seasoned food and steak cooked to the wrong temperature will not win you any brownie points, either. They kept the wine glasses full and the food was fine once we got the salt on the table (Note to the chef: please taste the food you're sending out first) and the meat re-fired, so you will get a decent meal. The wait staff was also very accommodating and attentive, so absolutely no criticism there. But I'm not going to say it was worth staying in somebody's run-down dorm room with no views, and showering in the hallway (hope you're not shy!) in order to get a passable meal. There are other options in the area. Absolutely cannot recommend this hotel to anyone.

Room Tip: The larger suites are definitely better, but bathtubs with windows into the bedroom do not promote a "family" experience, either.
  • Stayed: June 2018, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Ada P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Finca A, Recepción at Finca de los Arandinos, responded to this reviewResponded 4 weeks ago


Dear Ada,
We are sad to know that you did not enjoy your stay and the rooms designed by the famous designer David Delfin.

Kind regards

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 November 2017

One of the most amazing hotels I have ever stayed at. Excellent food and accomodations with staff willing to go above and beyond. Designed by professionals, the hotel was classic and contemporary at the same time. Early morning views across the vineyards were breathtaking. It was worth a drive from Santander to stay here. There is nowhere else I would rather stay in this region, just that next time it would be for a week not just one night. The hotel also has it's own winery in the basement and a spa as well as an award winning restaurant. The chef is amazing.

Room Tip: Any one room is magnificent with large bathroom and balcony.
  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Tim C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Finca A, Director de Recepción at Finca de los Arandinos, responded to this reviewResponded 2 December 2017

Dear Tim,
Thank you for your feedback.
We are pleased to receive your words as they encourage us to continue working in this line.
We hope to see you soon at Finca de los Arandinos.
Greetings,
Miguel Ángel Gil

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 November 2017 via mobile

Stayed at this amazing boutique hotel for one night during our stay in Logroño. It was wonderful. The hotel was very quiet so it was like we had the whole place to ourselves. The outlook from the rooms is stunning especially at night when all the surrounding villages are lit up. We dined in the restaurant and the food was top notch and great value. Just over €80 for two with 4 courses including water and wine. Highly recommend staying here if you can.

Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
Thank David M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 October 2017

This hotel was reserved for us by our tour group and it was indeed special. Right in the middle of the vineyards, a colourful experience in the beginning of October, a modern white building arises on top of a hill. It is a very quiet place containing rooms with excellent views. They also have a restaurant, a spa and a wine cellar and thus combine the best of the Rioja. We had a wonderful experience and we even skipped the wine tasting option.
We had a room are designed by David Delfín. When entering you observe a lot of screens and a bed. All services (shower, toilet, sink, safe, desk and fridge) are behind the seventies' style screens in cupboards. That is a totally new experience, although it is not easy for everybody to understand how things work. The bed is good and there is sufficient light and space. Plus a balcony with a view over the vineyards. A smaller set is designed by Javier Arizcuren and are located over the cask hall. These are very light in decoration and a bit easier to understand. All together a very nice room setting that basically all of our group liked. A bit unfortunate that the air-conditioning didn't allow us to cool down the room temperature. The alternative was to open the balcony door (the room had no windows that we could open), which attracted a few flies. Overall a nice experience of room decoration, but not everything is handy (like with more design objects).
Personnel were all speaking English quite well. They take care both of the front desk as well as the small bar. With only 16 rooms not a lot of service is required. At breakfast they offer quite a lot of choices of fresh products as well as fresh made eggs. Throughout the hotel retro-style furniture is positioned to relax. The wireless connections are however only optimal in the lobby.
This place is a good starting point for exploring the Rioja area and also to return to at the end of an explorative day for a relaxing evening or a good diner.

Room Tip: If you like design ask for one above the spa
  • Stayed: October 2017, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Ortwin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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