Located at the heart of the Rioja Alavesa – a Spanish winegrowing region known around the world – the Palacio de Samaniego opened on 29 March 2021. Just an hour away from Bilbao and its Guggenheim museum, Edmond de Rothschild Heritage’s first hotel abroad offers nine sustainable luxury rooms and suites in an intimate setting. The hotel was inspired by Ariane de Rothschild’s immediate love of this 18th century palace and has been designed as a family home that shares the art of living that Edmond de Rothschild Heritage holds dear. This exclusive haven combines gastronomy, fine wines, history, art and breathtaking landscapes.
The prestige of a private residence
The Palacio de Samaniego delivers a unique experience, with three floors, nine rooms, a fine-dining restaurant, terraces and a garden with a lap pool. Works of art are displayed throughout this private setting, which cultivates the contrast between age-old local stone and modern materials such as Corten steel. The interior space, designed by LVG Arquitecture and Vila Studio, reduces the building’s ecological impact while achieving a balance between purity, cosy comfort and an eye for detail that will be appreciated by visitors well versed in design. From the outset, the Palacio de Samaniego echoes the elegant warmth only found in private residences. Several small lounge areas have been arranged in the same living room, where people can spend time alone or in a group without disturbing each other. Wood and leather, and beige and ochre shades, reflect the colours of the surrounding landscape, while prune and burgundy colours pay homage to Bacchus. Behind a display case housing a spectacular vase collection, the dining room offers a bold contrast between contemporary paper and aluminium artwork, and the recycled wooden patchwork of the tables, created by artist Mathisse Dalstein.
On the first floor, one room and seven suites (from 22 sq. m to 56 sq. m) are arranged around the original stone staircase. Each bears the name of a grape variety, varying according to the colours of the four seasons. What they share is a minimalist approach to luxury that can be seen in the space, the artwork, and right down to the smallest details, including the top-quality local fabrics and materials. The bedcovers are handmade in mohair and cashmere less than 20 km from the hotel, the bathrooms are fitted with artisan Spanish tiles and double ceramic sinks cut from a single block, organic bathroom products are provided by Uvas Frescas… Breakfast can be taken at modular coffee tables, and Ariane de Rothschild has selected a range of travel, botanical and adventure books published by Gestalten and Taschen, which are displayed as works of art. The top floor houses a room and a suite, both accessed through a separate entrance, which guests can treat like a home from home, with a fitted kitchen and the option of enjoying an à la carte evening meal there.
An immersive tour of the hotel and its restaurant, Tierra y Vino, is available on the website of the Palacio de Samaniego. Room or dinner bookings can be made in just a few clicks.
The little-known region of La Rioja Alavesa
The Rioja Alavesa region is off the tourist trail, revealing its riches only to visitors in the know. It appeals above all to wine enthusiasts, then to visitors with an interest in history, traditions and architecture. The Rioja Alavesa, with its seven valleys, is the perfect embodiment of this secret and still wild sierra. Just a few kilometres from the Palacio de Samaniego, the small medieval village of Laguardia offers an extraordinary panoramic view of the vineyards and, from within its ramparts, the charm of a village with a strong wine-making heritage. Scattered with wine cellars and characteristic narrow streets, the village is also home to an incredible array of buildings dating back to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Baroque and Neo-Classical eras. As well as walks, running trails and visits to the Macán winery and the largest wine museum in the world, Dinastia Vivanco, guests can also explore other leading estates in the valley and La Rioja Alta. While some are remarkable for their long family tradition, such as Marqués de Murrieta, Campillo and Rioja Alta, others are also known for their spectacular architecture, like Baigorri, designed by Iñaki Aspiazu, Marqués de Riscal, designed by Frank Gehry, and Ysios, designed by Santiago Calatrava. The Tempranillo region, which is considered to be one of the finest wine regions in the world, has no fewer than 700 wineries, the vast majority of which offer powerful and very noble wines.
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