Deep in Rioja, in the village of Elciego, is Hotel Marques De Riscal.
It sits on a piece of land owned by the Marques De Riscal winery. The owners commissioned Frank Gehry to design a hotel on the property and this is what they got.
We came to visit the winery, but I was far more interested in the hotel.
It’s such a stark contrast to rest of the Rioja and is even more stunning in person. The cascade of metallic ribbons were created to evoke the flow and colors of wine. There are only 15 rooms in the main building. They have an annex with 28 rooms, but the main building is where you’d want to stay.
It’s part of The Luxury Collection of hotels which is owned by Starwood. We could go into so much more detail on hotel groups and who owns what (did you know Hilton owns Waldorf Astoria and that Radisson owns the Missoni hotels?) I find all that stuff fascinating, but we’ll save it for another day.
Meanwhile, take a look inside the hotel’s dining room.
We stayed for a lunch of striped bass and clams…
…idiazabal cheese cake…
…and torreja, the Spanish french toast that tastes like the fluffiest bread pudding in the world with a crisp, caramelized exterior. Heaven. This one came with bananas, caramel ice cream, and a cacao sauce. In NYC, Degustation does an excellent version (even better than this one!). I’ve been meaning to try the torreja from Tertulia which they serve with hazelnut ice cream.
A post-lunch tasting of the Marques De Riscal wines.
Here’s a peek inside the “wine graveyard” where the bottles date back to 1860!
We got to wander in for a few minutes, it was simultaneously spooky and fascinating.
I found this handwritten log towards the back of the graveyard.
Here’s where the wine production takes place. Everyone was busy taking notes…
….but all I could think was ahh, let’s go back to the restaurant for a glass of wine…
…and then maybe a massage? Hehehe ^_^[photos 2, 3, 4, 14, 15 via]