Jet Set: Marqués de Riscal

Marqués de Riscal in El Ciego, Spain
Aside from my husband, travel is one of the big loves of my life. I am constantly dreaming about places that I would like to return to or visit for the first time. I've blogged about travel destinations in the past, but this will be the first official installation of my new weekly series, Jet Set. In the series, I will spotlight an interesting travel destination each week. They may be places that I daydream about on a regular basis or interesting design or cultural destinations.

I have chosen to start off with the magnificent Marqués de Riscal hotel in El Ciego, Spain for several reasons. First, it was designed by one of the most important architects of our time, Frank Gehry, who designed the Guggenheim in the city of Bilbao, a mere 115 kilometers from El Ciego. El Ciego has quickly become a destination for wine connoisseurs and foodies alike as it is situated in the heart of the Rioja region in northern Spain. Despite the fact that there is a very sharp contrast between the traditional Spanish architecture in El Ciego that dates back for centuries and the decidedly unique hotel which was completed in 2007, they seem to coexist quite peacefully.

The Marqués de Riscal hotel is home to 43 suites, two restaurants, a state of the art gym, and Caudalie Vinothérapie Spa. It offers extraordinary views, is situated in the heart of Spanish wine country, and is sure to be the ideal backdrop for an unforgettable experience.
Architectural Juxtaposition at its Best

For more information on the Basque region of Spain including attractions and restaurants click here. For a glimpse into the visit Gwyneth Paltrow, Mark Bittman, Claudia Bassols and Mario Batali paid to the Marqués de Riscal and the area for their show, Spain: On the Road Again, click here.

I must say that Spain absolutely captured my heart when I visited for the first time last June. Seeing as how I come from a Mexican and Spanish background, it was never a place I longed to visit growing up. It was too familiar and I always wanted to visit places that were different, like France or Italy. Well, after visiting all three countries, I was completely surprised to have loved Spain as much as I did. It was so unexpected. I was so enraptured by the culture, the history, and the sheer beauty of it. I think about it each and every day and hope to go back this year with my husband in tow.

All images via Marqués de Riscal Hotel

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