Hotel Marqués de Riscal, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Elciego
The City of Wine, located in the charming town of Elciego in Álava, encompasses the oldest winery in Rioja alongside the spectacular new complex designed by internationally renowned architect Frank O. Gehry.
One of the most ambitious projects among Spanish wine cellars to date, The City of Wine was designed to create a world of sensations for wine and architecture aficionados. It spans an area of almost 100,000 square metres, consisting of the Marqués de Riscal cellars, the dramatic hotel, two restaurants—the 1860 Tradición and the Marqués de Riscal Restaurant—a spa, roof top lounge, wine bar, a wine shop and meeting and banqueting areas.
Construction of the original cellars began in 1858, the year the winery was founded. Inside these installations, guests will find the 'Cathedral,' a bottle cellar in which Marqués de Riscal guards its greatest treasure—a priceless collection of bottles from nearly every vintage since the winery's founding.
For the hotel's creation, the winery envisioned an ultra-modern building that would evoke strong emotions. To achieve this effect, Frank O. Gehry was selected. Over a glass of wine from the architect's year of birth, 1929—the team laid out their ideas for the project. Mr. Gehry was seduced by the challenge of designing a hotel located in the heart of a wine cellar, something he had never done before.
Like Mr. Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in the city of Bilbao (130km from the hotel), the hotel would be covered in titanium and stainless steel, although this time the architect incorporated the colours of the winery: pink, like red wine; gold, like the mesh around Marqués de Riscal's Reserva wine bottles; and silver, like the bottles’ capsules. The hotel's guest rooms are distributed across two wings—the Gehry Wing and the Spa Wing—both connected by a beautiful glass bridge.
Located in the vineyard of the medieval Elciego, the hotel’s spectacular curves, titanium roof and asymmetrical walls provide a striking contrast to the historic wine cellars designed over 150 years ago by Ricardo Bellsola.
The hotel celebrated its Grand Opening October 2006 with a special visit from the King of Spain, his Majesty Don Juan Carlos.
Offering the best of three centuries of Riojan winegrowing traditions along with the most avant-garde design and amenities, the City of Wine undeniably creates an unrivaled spot for true and passionate lovers of wine and architecture.