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19 de Marzo 2012
Marques de Riscal Trip Review

This post will cover our 2 night stay at the Marques de Riscal hotel during our visit to the Rioja region of Spain on our two week trip to Madrid, Mallorca, Rioja and Barcelona.  The hotel is part of the Starwood Luxury collection and was a category 6 at the time we visited the hotel.  The hotel is in the Rioja region and is also a winery, the Marques de Riscal winery.

Trip Report

Flight From Orlando to Madrid on Lufthansa (LH) in First Class
Westin, Madrid
Hilton Sa Torre, Mallorca
Castillo Hotel Son Vida, Mallorca
Marques de Riscal, Elciego
Hotel Arts (Ritz Carlton), Barcelona
To get to Elciego from Mallorca we flew on the direct flight from PMI to BIO and thanks to my Delta Platinum status I was able to gain access to the Air Europa club lounge in Mallorca (see pictures below).  The club lounge was clean and had a decent spread.  Overall this lounge blew my experiences away at the Alitalia lounge in Rome a few years back.





When we arrived in Bilbao, we rented a car to cruise around Bilbao and then drive the 1.5 hours (see google map) down to Elciego.

Arrival

We arrived in Elciego and easily spotted the Marques de Riscal.  Driving through the front gate, you pass the old and new buildings where they make the wine.  The main part of the hotel is the funky design by Frank O. Gehry.  Parking was easy, there is a large parking area just to the right of the hotel entrance.  The lobby is clean and modern and has a lounging area just outside looking at some vines and the church in the town center.  We were “upgraded” to a room in the main part of the hotel, but I would recommend staying in the spa section as the rooms are much larger.









The Room / Hotel

We were in the main part of the building and were given a great (small) room with a view of the winery and church in the center of town.  The room had a small closet to the right and modern bathroom.  The room had a bench along the window and the bed, not much room for anything else.  The main floor of the building had a sitting area overlooking the winery.  The top floor of the building was designated as a club room with a library and deck overlooking the winery.  There was a walkway over to the spa building.  The spa was fantastic with a full size pool and hot tubs.  We were pleased with our room for the two nights we were there.  But wish we had selected the spa side as the rooms were larger.











El Ciego

The town itself and nearby towns were great to visit and kill time in between visiting wineries.  On our visit to the Marques de Riscal we ran into a group of several consultants who were also hitting up some of the same hotels in Spain.  One group tried the W Barcelona and didn’t like the feel because it was somewhat isolated at the end of the beach, we were to stay at the other end of the beach on our next leg at the Hotel Arts (Ritz Carlton) which will be detailed in my next post.   We saw some very old buildings where they used to make the majority of the wine, now they use it as an overflow area and house some of their oldest wine.  With old wine you get corkage problems.  To fix the broken cork issue, they use a method to sear the top of the bottle off with the tool in the picture below, then they poor right out of the bottle.  Here are a few pictures around town and in the winery.















Bottom Line

Overall we had a great 2 night stay at this property.  We got great value here using certificates from the Starwood summer free weekend night promotion.  The location is a bit out of the way, but was a great stop on our trip.  I would recommend asking for a spa room and making a short trip out of the visit







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