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“Spectacular, unique setting and architecture” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Hotel Marques de Riscal

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Hotel Marques de Riscal
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   Calle Torrea, 1, 01340 Elciego, Spain   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 2 hotels in Elciego
Jacksonville Beach, Florida
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Spectacular, unique setting and architecture”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2012

I am from Spain, however I live in the USA. I wanted to stay in this hotel for a while, so when I spent a few days with my family in Barcelona decided to take a trip to San Sebastian and spend a couple of days in El Ciego at the Hotel Marques de Riscal.

When we checked in the staff was very friendly and welcoming, we were offered an upgrade to a suite through our American Express Platinum card. These suites are located in a separate building from the main building. I must admit I was a little bit disappointed that we were not inside the main building as it is so unique and our views were not towards the town of El Ciego, but the room was great. Very high ceilings, spacious room, large windows overlooking the vineyards and beautiful bathroom.

We had a tour of the winery and it is a very large winery, we enjoyed the tour and tasting of the wine. The spa located one floor below our room was also very relaxing and well appointed with a terrace overlooking the vineyards.

We had dinner at the restaurant Marques de Riscal and the service was unparalleled, the food was good but we have not had such a good service in a restaurant anywhere else with multiple waiters serving us.

We had buffet breakfast and it was perfect with a variety of cakes, pastries, meats and cheeses from the region, the views from the restaurant and terrace are amazing overlooking the roof of the hotel and the town of El Ciego.

This has been one of the most unique hotels we have ever stayed at. The architecture of this hotel is fantastic, the surroundings are beautiful and the service one of the best we have ever had.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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403 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (78)
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English first
Scottsdale, Arizona
Top Contributor
168 reviews 168 reviews
40 hotel reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
196 helpful votes 196 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

We stayed here for two nights as a part of our vacation to northern Spain/southern France. The hotel, designed by Gehry, is quite striking and architecturally interesting. We had a room in the Gehry wing, which was quite large. I had read reviews about the rooms being small and tight, but upon reviewing the floor plan, I noted that ours was the accessible room, which explained the large spaces. We certainly didn't complain.

The rooms are modern and well laid out. The shower was large and the room also had a separate soaking tub. The products in the bath are all Caudalie from the hotel spa. We had a great view of the old town of Elciego.

The workout room is good size for a hotel and the indoor pool is large enough for laps. We did not use the spa, but from a walkthrough, it seemed quite nice.

The meals were a bit of a mixed bag. We had dinner in the wine bar, and the food, while good, was steeply priced for what it was. However, the breakfast buffet was amazing. Lots of choices and good quality.

The staff was very attentive and they all were fluent in English. The were helpful in recommending and setting up winery visits.

The winery tour there was a bit forced. The large group and the canned description was a little hard to take. Plus, being in the wine industry, we know the process.

Finally, there is a wine bar that is part of the wine tour facility. The prices there are significantly lower than the hotel wine bar prices. Save your tasting dollars or euros for that.

All in all, a great place. Fun modern architecture. Great staff and location.

Room Tip: Try to get a room in the main hotel Gehry wing. The other building is pretty basic rectangle and bo...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

This is not just a hotel, its a retreat and an experience not to be missed! When you first drive up, this hotel will just simply take your breath away, not only because it is so very different from anything in its surroundings but because it is so visually amazing - be prepared to be bllown away! The staff augments this incredible experience, they truly do treat you as part of a 'family' while you are there - they really do anticipate your every need! The rooms in the main building leaves you breathless, every thing in the room compliments the design of the hotel so expect to be blown away by it. We ate at the Bistrot for dinner and breakfast each day and the main dining room for prix fix dinner, there are no words to describe both the experience, the attention to detail and the actual food but beyond awesome - the wait staff was attentitive and knowledgeable and engaging and fun to chat with - it would be ashame to miss either of the restaurants because the food is so different in both and so is the experiences! My husband swam while I enjoyed a massage at the Caudalie spa which was sublime and the piece de resistance is of course having this magnificant hotel on the grounds of a vineyard - life was truly perfect - the three days we spent rejuvinated our mind/body and spirit - it would be an honor to return to this magical location!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
61 hotel reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2012

I don’t normally write such long reviews, but our hotel experience was very special. In brief:

1. Excellent service. Yahia, the doorman/bellboy/repairman, was more than amazing. In fact, there really are no words to describe how fantastic he was! For me and my husband, an excellent hotel experience includes a nice, clean room, good facilities AND great service. This hotel nailed the “service” by having Yahia. He’s your first point of contact at the hotel (he helps you out of your car, taxi, etc). He is an absolute gem, and I hope the hotel holds on to him. Yahia - thank you so much for making our stay unforgettable!

2. Rooms with a view. Not only were there top of the line electronics within the room, the bathroom was probably one of the most spacious that we've ever had (includes 2 closets, bathtub, shower stall with rain shower, Cinq Monde toiletries and a separate toilet closet). Our room was in the spa wing and had a stunning view of the church and the rest of the village of Elciego. If you don’t get a room in the main building, ask for one facing the town - you won’t regret it!

3. Great food. Dinner at the hotel’s Michelin star restaurant, “Restaurante Marqués de Riscal,” is an absolute must. We had the 10 course tasting menu, and it was the best dinner we've ever had. It was creative and delicious using local ingredients. The restaurant/Chef also worked around my shellfish allergy so that I could enjoy the dining experience with my husband. My dishes were exquisite and my husband loved his too. Thank you Chef! I would also like to applaud the 5-person team that were flawless and courteous throughout the dinner service.

4. Stunning hotel. Designed by frank Gerry, I found the exterior ribbon-like architecture of the main building mesmerizing and surreal. I must have taken at least a hundred pictures of the hotel, but still feel like my pictures didn’t do it justice. Just gorgeous.

5. Other. We didn't get any spa services (Claudalie products), but the pool was really nice and the lounging area by the vineyard was relaxing. We also ate most of our meals at the next town over in Laguardia. Recommend trying the Michelin-recommended restaurant Marixa. We had the roasted peppers in olive oil and the lamb chop – delicious! Their dining room also had a nice view of the countryside. If you like architecture, make sure you visit the Ysios winery.

Highly recommend this hotel.

Happy travels!

Room Tip: If you don't get a room in the main building, ask for a room facing the town of Elciego.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fullerton, Ca, USA
Top Contributor
122 reviews 122 reviews
60 hotel reviews
Reviews in 71 cities Reviews in 71 cities
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2012

We previously stayed at the Marques in the fall of 2010. That stay was fantastic. I reviewed it in Tripadvisor on October 9, 2010. While our recent stay ( October 2012) was still very pleasant, there were a number of factors that made this visit much less memorable. I will give some recommendations first and then go into more details for those who want more specific information. Request a room in the main building with a view of the city/church side (15 rooms in the main building- 28 in the annex). If your schedule permits, try not to stay during the grape harvest time, unless you specifically want to observe this occurring. The building itself is a Gehry "work of art" and each room in the main building has a character of it's own. If you end up staying in the annex, also request a room with the church/city/ main building view. If your room does not have a nice view, on the third floor of the main building there is a large outdoor patio with lounge chairs and tables. On a nice day you can enjoy some refreshments and the wonderful surroundings. Our first stay was in room # 4. A fantastic room! The room's window panes extend outward at different angles. There is a cushioned window seat at the base of the window that extends the entire length of the windows. In room #4, the view is of the vineyard in the foreground and the city and church in the background. It was so picturesque that we would often sit on the window seats to read for a while and then just sit and enjoy the view. Even though they were very busy this last visit, since we were a returning spg platinum-level guest, they were able to honor my request for a room in the main building - which I certainly appreciated. This time we were in room # 10. The room itself was very nice, but the view outside was basically a little bit of the vineyard, a little bit of the winery, but mostly of the paved road leading up to the hotel from the entrance and winery. Looking out and watching various tour groups and individuals walking up the road and taking photos of the building is not all that inspiring. Last time , when we checked in, we were given two coupons for a free glass of wine at the bar. After a day of driving and sightseeing, we thoroughly enjoyed some time relaxing, having our drinks and eating some tapas in this nice venue.No coupons were given to us this time (no problem) but the problem was when we went up to enjoy the bar. It was not available, as it was being set up for a private function later in the evening. We thoroughly enjoyed our dining experience last time. This time, the food was fine, but service was extremely spotty, as there was a group of twelve seated at a large table that often required the complete attention of the serving staff of three, compromising the service to the other patrons. I also observed two large tables being set up for another evening, so we went to the near-by town of Laguardia for very nice dinner that on that night. (other Tripadvisor reviewers give more detailed information about dining options in Laguardia). Last time, I really enjoyed spending some relaxing time in the pool. It's almost like a large lap pool, with en elevated faucet ( like a small waterfall) supplying the water. This time I had just finished some laps and was enjoying relaxing under the "waterfall" when apparently a tour group or two returned to the hotel. About 12-14 people all came down to the pool area within 10 minutes of each other. It became quite noisy and crowded. So, to summarize: the staff is very friendly, knowledgeable and accommodating; building and rooms very modern, quite spacious and interesting; wonderful spa, the pool and exercise room very nice; fantastic winery; exceptional dining options. However, your overall experience here will ultimately depend upon your expectations, your particular room and how busy/crowded they are.

Room Tip: City - church view side rooms have fantastic views.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2012

Spent a very enjoyable two days at the Marqués de Riscal on our way from the UK to the Costa Calida, staying in the Gehry Suite.

The hotel has a truly breathtaking design and the suite was spacious with superb views across the town to the distant mountains. All staff were very welcoming and friendly from the moment we arrived. The service during breakfast and especially dinner was excellent. Food was very good - we ate at the Bistró 1860 on both nights.

Spa was a peaceful and calming place to spend a few hours - never more than a couple of other people using it at the same time as us. Quiet pool, hammam, and large jacuzzi. It was very pleasant just wandering around the vineyards and Elciego, admiring the hotel design from different aspects. The tour of the bodegas was interesting and worth attending - a definite highlight.

Overall, ranks up with the best places we've stayed and we'd go out of our way to stay here in future.

Room Tip: Gehry Suite was excellent.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2012

We drove over from laguardia to visit the hotel and have lunch. We were met by a uniformed guard who shunted us to a parking lot and a shop selling wine and knicknacks. The concept that we were guests looking forward to a nice lunch and drinking wine was lost on the staff, who wanted to charge us $15 each for the privilege of visiting the restaurant. This visit was not in the high season, which makes our treatment even more inexplicable. oh well, we had a nice meal elsewhere.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Hotel Marques de Riscal

Address: Calle Torrea, 1, 01340 Elciego, Spain
Location: Spain > Basque Country > Alava Province > Elciego
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 hotels in Elciego
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Hotel Marques de Riscal 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Welcome to The City of Wine, where you will discover a masterpiece, Hotel Marques de Riscal Elciego. With 43 luxurious rooms and suites, an exceptional spa and a superb culinary offer, this boutique hotel, located in the heart of la Rioja alavesa and designed by famous arquitect Frank O. Gehry, is the ideal place for enoturim lovers. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Marques De Riscal Hotel
Marques De Riscal Elciego

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