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About La Rioja
La Rioja's red earth and clear, blue skies don't just produce delicious red wine, pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago also pass this way, visiting the crops of tiny churches, and the ochre soil also nourishes the local cuisine. So come, foodies, walkers, wine lovers and folk looking for a cultural and flavoursome destination, and discover some of the best places to stay in La Rioja.
La Rioja is the smallest of Spain's 17 provinces, the majority of it sitting pretty on a plateau, surrounded by hills dotted with medieval hilltop towns, and beyond that mountains to which ancient monasteries cling.
Logroño is the regional capital, and a burgeoning gastronomic hotspot. They're big on tapas, which is ideal because it makes it easier to try more dishes, and more bars and restaurants!
Logroño also has a beautiful, but stately cathedral, a prime example of La Rioja's religious architecture - devotional, but also very elegant.
La Rioja also has more than its fair share of monasteries, some of which are still very active today, and some of which have been part converted into some of the best places to stay in La Rioja.
The rather staid looking Catedral de Santo Domingo de la Calzada is probably the region's most famous church, a key point on the Camino de Santiago grown monumental due to the wealth of its visitors.
Aside from wine and religion - both of which you can also learn more about at the Museo de la Rioja - La Rioja's other highlights include the Dinosaur Museum or Centro Paleontologico de Enciso and the Eagle Hide, where you can see the local Booted Eagles in action.
La Rioja for the Wine
Centred around the plains of the Ebro Valley, which are surrounded by dramatic, rain-cloud-catching, mountain ranges, the La Rioja wine region actually has three different microclimates.
- The northern Rioja Alavesa grow the fruitier Tempranillo grapes, best drunk young.
- The Rioja Alta is also planted with Tempranillo vines, but here they're left to mature longer, producing the spicier flavours.
- The middle region is the Rioja Baja, best for the Garnacha grapes, which produce the heavier, darker wines most of us think of when we're ordering Rioja.
It used to be that white Riojas were thought of as uninspiring, but these days you'll see them on menus further and further from Spain.
The larger producers have big wineries and offer tours and tastings etc., but many of the smaller family owned bodegas also have welcoming cellars, and this is where you'll find some of the region's most interesting flavours, and memories. You can find a lot of them in and around the hill town of Haro.
For the wine
- As well as being designed by Frank Gehry of the Guggenheim fame, the Marques de Riscal is set amid its own vines and offers fabulous food plus an impressive spa. Undoubtedly one of the best places to stay in La Rioja, for those who enjoy the finer things in life!
For the architecture
- Another property that boasts both noteworthy contemporary architecture and great wine is the Hotel Viura. Here you'll find sleek rooms and suites created from whimsically superimposed cubes, with huge french windows for maximum light and great views. The wine cellar's not too shabby either!
Best Hotels in La Rioja
Marques de Vallejo 51 roomsLogroño, La Rioja
18th century exterior; 21st century interior. Communal areas are decorated in the dark, brooding colours of the wine the region is famous for. Bedrooms are light and bright with modern furnishings and bathrooms. There is a gourmet restaurant serving a fresh take on local cuisine. One for foodies!Sights nearby - Santa María de la Redonda Cathedral is 40 metres away whilst Iglesia de San Bartolome is nearby.Great walks - Logroño is located along the famous pilgrim's route, the Camino de Santiago.Designer - Uniquely designed interiors.Quirky - An experience!
Los Agustinos 62 rooms from $82Haro, La Rioja
Located in La Rioja region of Spain this property is all about the wine. Beginning life in the 14th century as a convent it still maintains huge stone arches with the impressive addition of a vaulted glass ceiling. Rooms are traditional with bright floral fabrics. There is a bar, restaurant and gym.Sights nearby - The 'space age' Dinastía Vivanco museum is just a few kilometres drive away.Full of characterGreat walks - Good for walkers.
Hospederia Casalarreina 15 rooms from $88La Rioja
An elegant hotel in a 16th century building. Enchanting rooms have wooden beams, wall paintings, antiques, and all the mod cons. Spa, gardens and lovely bar area. A magical choice for exploring this rich region of Spain.Romantic Break - Elegant rooms, an historic local town to explore, wine tasting trips and beautiful cycling routesSights nearby - Logroño, Haro, Santo Domingo de la Calzada, VitoriaLocal markets - Good for local colour.Spa
Hotel Calle Mayor 12 rooms from $92Logrono (Logroño)
A contemporary conversion of a 16th century palace, in the heart of Logroño’s historic centre. Chic minimalist rooms feature bold modern design, stark colour contrasts and parquet floors. The lounge-bar area is perfect for pre dinner drink, and the breakfast buffet is worth getting up for.Local exploring - Right in the historic centre of Logroño, perfect for exploring the sights by foot and soaking up the atmosphere.City Style - A 16th century palace, expertly renovated with minimalist contemporary design features and bold use of colour.Sights nearby - Just two minute from the Parque del Ebro, and within easy walking distance of all the main sights.Great walks - Head off and explore the historic old city centre, there is plenty to see and do.
Hotel Viura 33 rooms from $103Eskuernaga, La Rioja
An unusual contemporary design hotel in the Rioja region. Sleek modern rooms and suites with all the mod cons and private balconies. Excellent restaurant, garden and pool, and plenty to explore in the region. A romantic country escape for wine lovers.Wine tasting - Located in the heart of Rioja wine country. There are regular tastings on site, plus visits can easily be arrangedArchitectural - Avant Garde architectureSwimming Pool - A public swimming pool attached to the property is open during summer months. Guests have free access.Views - Enjoy the views from the rooftop terrace with a glass of something coldRecommended by - Tablet, I Escape, Small Luxury Hotels
Palacio de casafuerte 5 rooms from $114Zarratón La Rioja
A striking 15th-century building packed with original features. Five well proportioned rooms with high beamed ceilings and exposed stone walls. A large restaurant, ideal for events, specialises in local cuisine and wines. Well positioned to explore the region. A charming option.Foodies - La Rioja region is famed for wine and the restaurant serves a great selection of this alongside traditional cuisine.Local exploring - Well positioned to explore la Rioja region.Full of characterGreat walks - Good for walkers.
Castillo el Collado 10 rooms from $130Alava, La Rioja
An enchanting castle hotel in the Basque countryside. Unique and elegant rooms are filled with exposed stone walls, antiques and canopy beds. Excellent regional cuisine, fragrant gardens and a lovely terrace with stunning views. A delightful choice for a weekend break.Local exploring - Historic Laguardia, with the stunning Church of Santa Maria de los Reyes, riding trips through vineyards and walks by lagoonsWine tasting - With nine vineyards in the vicinity, this is an unmissable spot for exploring the rich regionViews - Sierra de CantabriaFull of character
Real Casona de las Amas 16 rooms from $157La Rioja
An elegant hotel in a former 17th century palace. Rooms are traditional, with antique furniture, rustic accessories, and bathrooms with whirlpool baths. Spa, a library and a charming old-world bar. An enchanting, historic and cultural choice for exploring this lovely region.Local exploring - A region rich with culture, as the home of Rioja wine. Monastries, abbies and vineyardsSights nearby - Guggenheim museum in Bilbao is one hour away, Monastry in San Millan de la CogollaLocal markets - Good for local colour.SpaRecommended by - Tablet
Hospederia de los parajes 18 rooms from $138Laguardia, La Rioja
Gorgeous historic property in Rioja wine country. Rooms have wooden beamed ceilings, stone walls, chandeliers and jacuzzi tubs. Superb spa with aromatherapy, wine and olive treatments. Outstanding Spanish cuisine in both restaurants, and atmospheric cellar with tasting menu. Unique and romantic.Local exploring - It's an ideal base for exploring Laguardia and its surrounding countryside of vineyards, medieval towns and villagesFoodies - Food pairing courses, wine tasting and hot air balloon excursions to see the vineyardsSights nearby - Palaces and prehistoric remains at the town of La Hoya, and wander the streets of medieval Laguardia.Spa - Spa with hammam, hot tub and wine therapies
Eguren Ugarte 21 rooms from $140Laguardia, La Rioja
This gorgeous hotel, set within a winery has a fabulous lookout tower and bedroom views across the stunning vineyards. Bedrooms are comfortable with lots of natural light and private balconies. The gourmet restaurant serves a range of traditional Spanish cuisines and great wines.Foodies - A great spot for foodies, where you can opt for a gastronomic meal one day and something more traditional the next.Country Escape - A stunning rural escape nestled in front of the Sierra de Cantabria Mountains with beautiful vineyard views.Views - Glorious views over the surrounding vineyardsSights nearby - The prehistoric settlement of La Hoya
Hotel Echaurren 27 rooms from $167Ezcaray (La Rioja), La Rioja
A chic hotel with lots of gastronomic flare. Contemporary rooms feature parquet floors, crisp white linen and uber modern bathrooms. A bounty of dining options from fine-dining to a tapas bar showcase the best of Rioja's cuisine. Beautiful surrounding countryside to enjoy. Fabulous.Foodies - With two restaurants a bistro and a tapas bar, sample the best Rioja has to offer.Back to Nature - Set within lovely countryside ideal for hiking or cycling.Full of characterRomantic - Good for couples.
Finca de los Arandinos 14 rooms from $183La Rioja
A unique designer hotel set amongst vineyards and olive groves. Chic functional rooms with private balconies and creative interiors. The lovely spa offers spectacular views of the Rioja countryside. The restaurant 'Tierra' serves delicious local cuisine paired with their special in-house wines.Total relaxation - The ideal spot to unwind with lovely grounds, a spa with dry sauna and massage rooms, plus plenty of wine to top it all off!Romantic Break - Special packages for couples including a romantic dinner for two with a bottle of wine, spa treatments and wine tours.Back to Nature - Set in a tranquil and picturesque setting, surrounded by vineyards, orchards and mountains.Sights nearby - An hour and a half drive away from Pamplona, Bilbao and San Sebastian.
Hotel Marques de Riscal 43 rooms from $292Elciego, La Rioja
An unusual hotel built by the designer of the Guggenheim museum. Set amid its own vines, a large metallic building with fantastic food and an impressive spa. Sun lit rooms and suites in contemporary style with balconies and sophisticated furnishings. Wonderful views and plenty of exploring.Foodies - The restaurant holds one Michelin star and there is also a bistro for less formal diningWine tasting - Surrounded by the Riojan countryside there's plenty of tasting not just on site.Spa breaks - The huge spa offers a wide range of vinotherapy treatmentsArchitectural - Designed by Frank Gehry of Guggenheim Museum fameRecommended by - I Escape