Drinking in the Glamour of Spanish Winery Hotels
Wine therapy, wine spas and special wine-pairing menus are just a few of the luxuries that visitors to these Spanish "winery hotels" can delight in during their stays – as well as matchless architecture surrounded by picturesque vineyards.
It should come as no surprise that gastronomy tourism is one of the most important emerging sectors in the Spanish tourism industry today. After all, this country boasts one of the most varied pantries in Europe, if not worldwide, and both its traditional cuisine and avant-garde chefs are lauded around the globe. Spain also has a rich and varied offering of wines, exports of which top those of any other country in the world. When you combine all these factors with beautiful landscapes and stunning monuments, it’s no wonder that this is a fast-growing industry.
Within this sphere, wine tourism – referred to as enoturismo (eno- or oenotourism) in Spain – is enjoying a particular boom, with visits to Spanish wine routes and wine museums growing by more than 20% in 2016 alone (according to the ACEVIN, the Asociación Española de Ciudades de Vino). If you’re looking for a unique experience that combines the luxury of a four- or five-star hotel with the extra draw of fine wines, striking venues and especially luxurious spas focusing on “wine therapy”, look no further than these excellent winery hotels. You may never want to leave.
Abadía Retuerta Le Domaine
Housed in a sweeping 12th-century monastery in Sardón de Duero (Valladolid), on the so-called Milla de Oro, or Golden Mile of Ribera del Duero wine country, this five-star hotel has been ranked the best in Spain by both Trip Advisor (2018) and Conde Nast Traveler (2017). One draw is the singular beauty of the Romanesque building and the surrounding vineyards. Others are the Michelin-starred Refectorio restaurant run by chef Marc Segarra, and the Santuario Spa, located in the stables of the ancient abbey. Here, guests can place themselves in the hands of the Spa Sommelier, who helps determine the most appropriate spa treatment for each guest by leading them through the sniffing of various oils, and the tasting of several Abadia Retuerta wines. Thus, the Spa Sommelier can analyze each guest’s preferred palate and aromas in order to recommend the best wellness treatment to suit their needs. Of course, guests can also visit the modern, gravity-driven winery, enjoy tours of the estate on horseback, bicycle, jeep or even helicopter rides, savor a country picnic and wine tasting, or even spend the day harvesting grapes or learning about beekeeping.
Arzuaga Hotel & Spa
This five star hotel is located just down the Milla de Oro from Le Domaine in the town of Quintanilla de Onésimo, where it sits close to famed Spanish winery Bodegas Arzuaga-Navarro, surrounded by natural beauty, where it is often possible to spot wildlife like deer and mouflon (wild sheep). Besides the peaceful environs and obligatory winery visit, the big attraction here is the spa, which specializes in wine therapy and offers a huge range of different treatments, including a "Wine Jacuzzi," a Gran Reserva body mask, and grape seed exfoliations.
Hotel Marqués del Riscal
It would be hard to miss this eye-catching luxury hotel when driving through the countryside in Elciego (La Rioja). This confection of rippling, silvery ribbons was designed by American architect Frank Gehry and opened in 2006. Since then it has never stopped attracting guests from all around the world, drawn to its world-class architecture, Michelin-starred restaurant – overseen by renowned Rioja chef Francis Paniego – excellent Marqués de Riscal wines, and a spa specializing in wine therapy based on the health and beauty properties of the grape. The hotel’s Bordeaux-trained "vinotherapist" applies wet and dry treatments that capitalize on the effects of grape seed polyphenols, while the "barrel bath" gives guests the opportunity to soak in an invigorating mix of bubbly grape pomace. Also available are the honey and wine wrap, a crushed Cabernet scrub and the "pulp friction" massage made with fresh grapes.
Finca de Los Arandinos
Located in the town of Entrena, Rioja, the four-star hotel is housed in the same building as the family winery by the same name. The interiors of this strikingly modern, boxy, glass structure were conceived by the late Spanish designer David Delfín, and offer views of the surrounding vineyards and Mount Moncalvillo in the distance. Delfin was also responsible for the interiors of the hotel’s Tierra restaurant, which is helmed by chefs Diego Rodríguez and Mikel Zeberio, with a focus on organic ingredients, many of which have been grown in local gardens. The spa is equally designed for wellbeing and relaxation and features therapeutic massages with grape seed oil, antioxidant grape peels, and facials using grape moisturizers – as well as olive oil and chocolate massages that may well border on decadent.
Cava & Hotel Mastinell
This winery hotel merits special mention if only for its unique architecture, which combines a wine aesthetic with a respect for the environment. The low-lying building in Vilafranca del Penedès (Barcelona) is reminiscent of large bottles of cava laid on their sides, producing a low-impact effect on the gorgeous countryside, and with a roof mosaic that pays homage to famed Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. Part of the Olivia hotel chain, this five-star hotel includes En Rima restaurant, terrace, gardens, pool and cellar containing the wines and cavas of the Mastinell winery. Guests can choose from a range of activities: vineyard tours on foot, horseback, Segway, bicycle or by hot air balloon; grape stomping at harvest time; pairing workshops; and wine-therapy sessions and spa treatments that include antioxidant-rich wine or cava baths, for which they can choose from red grapes, green grapes, or Gran Reserva cava, and other body treatments with grapes.