Destination Guide


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Courtesy Bodegas Ysios

Located in the north of the Iberian peninsula, La Rioja lies in close proximity to the Spanish Basque cities of Bilbao and San Sebastian. While most famous for the wines that bear the region’s name, La Rioja has surprisingly diverse offerings in terms of wines but also hotels, restaurants and towns.


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Exterior View - Hotel Marques de Riscal, Rioja, Spain

Hotel Marques de Riscal

This hotel owned by one of Spain’s great wine producers and boldly designed by architect Frank Gehry put Rioja on the map as a travel destination.

Suite at Hotel Viura, Rioja, Spain

Hotel Viura

At first glance, this ultra-modern hotel, whose façade looks like a precariously perched stack of blocks, doesn’t quite seem to fit into the tiny medieval village of Villabuena de Alava—especially given that it is next to an 18th century church. However, upon closer inspection, the hotel’s architecture melds surprisingly well into the surrounding landscape of vineyards.

Viura features 33 rooms including four suites, many of which have private terraces and panoramic views. While the corridors are somewhat dark and have a bit of an industrial feel, the rooms are chic and bathed in light. The contemporary accommodations feature white furnishings and are decorated with colorful artworks and sepia photographs. Large rugs on the polished concrete floors and abundant throw pillows on the beds soften the look. Forgoing the traditional marble or glass, bathrooms feature thick butcher-block countertops and are stocked with wonderful oils and thick comfy robes and towels. Suites feature walls of colored glass between the room and the bath.

The hotel’s lobby and restaurant have an eclectic décor, with musical instruments and pictures of rock stars on the walls and wine barrels hanging from the ceiling of the restaurant. Unsurprisingly, this wine list is excellent, and all guests should make time for a sunset drink on the rooftop deck, which is shaded by a roof made from red sails.

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