Haro-Tour Wine Region

Jun 6th, 2006, 09:29 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 13
Haro-Tour Wine Region

Has anyone been to Haro? My husband and I are interested in touring the wine region and were interested in staying near the city of Haro. Would anyone recommend any hotels in that area?? What else is there to do?

nad is offline  
Jun 6th, 2006, 10:30 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,395
Dear Nad:

Check out www.maribelsguides.com for info on this area. We are headed there next week (for only 1 night) and are using her info.

Good luck,

MichelleY is offline  
Jun 6th, 2006, 11:52 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
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When are you planning of going? The Hotel Los Agustinos is an excellent hotel in Haro. It's similar in style to a Parador. It also has an excellent chef.


Villa de Abalos, with 12 rooms, sits across the river in the village of Abalos. It's centrally located for touring the region and the owners are great hosts.

The Palacio Samaniego is also another excellent small hotel (12 rooms) and is located a few minutes down the road from Abalos, in the direction of Laguardia.


Laguardia has three excellent small hotels and the larger Villa de Laguardia, which has a pool.

As already suggested, download a copy of Maribel's Guide to La Rioja and the Basque Country for more information on the region, where to stay and where to dine.
Robert2533 is offline  
Aug 8th, 2006, 09:16 PM
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Hi Nad;

I don't know if you have gone to La Rioja yet, but I wanted to make a suggestion: Do Not stay at Palacio Samaniego. It's not that it's not an interesting remodel of an ancient building or that the location isn't sweet. Charming old village with absolutely nothing happening there at all, except the hotel. And the wines of the area are wonderful. It's the owners and the management--- in a word--- horrible.

I have traveled the world for 37 of my 54 years and Never have I had such a bad experience. In fact, I can't think of any other bad experiences, anywhere. There have been challenges but nothing that I would characterize as bad. I have stayed in the finest and the not so fine establishments but this is the only and worst experience I have ever had and I am convinced it was not a communication problem because we speak excellent Spanish, though not fluent.

These people and their manager convinced us to stay an extra night in order to experience their "famous" Basque cuisine and then never showed up to cook the meal and then denied that they ever said that they would.

I know this sounds like a misunderstanding but I promise you it was all very clear with a reservation and an involved conversation describing the dishes that would be served. It was weird and most unfortunate for us since we didn't really like being stuck out there and have left after the first night. We also were recommended to the hotel by an acquaintance of theirs so it's not like we came out of nowhere.

There were no apologies and no compensations and may I just add no dinner. 10 p.m. no food in the kitchen and no where to go to eat either. Wow, was I glad to leave that place and those people. It did not taint my opinion of Spain, La Rioja or the Basque people because we had so many very wonderful experiences and continue to do so. I do feel that innocent travelers should know that the owners and management of Palacio Samaniego are irresponsible and not hospitable.

Aug 8th, 2006, 10:25 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 8,827
An interesting report on Palacio Samaniego. We'll have to ask friends in the region to see what they think, but I have no doubt that there was some sort of miscommunication somewhere along the way, otherwise they wouldn't remain in business very long due to the competition.

10 p.m. is a still rather early for dinner in the Rioja during the summer. You could have gone to Marixa in Laguardia, which is only a few minutes away. Casa Toni in San Vincente de La Sonsierra is also fairly close. There are at least a dozen other great restaurants within a 20-minute drive of Samaniego, including several in Logroño, which is right across the river.
Robert2533 is offline  
Aug 9th, 2006, 07:29 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 29
Definitely check out Maribel's guide. It is spot on. My wife and I travelled extensively in this area last year and of all the towns, Laguardia is the the way to go. A very romantic medieval, walled village with no cars at all in the center. Underneath the town are huge limestone caves where families have been making and storing wines for generations. We stayed at Castillo El Collado (reserve the tower room for incredible views of the surrounding countryside full of vineyards). This hotel is owned by Javier Acosta. He is the most gracious host. Although his English is minimal (as is our Spainish), we "talked" forever.

Just outside of the walls of Laguardi is a Wine Museum/Institute. This should be your first stop. They will help you make appointments and arrangement to tour a variety of different wineries.

For food in this region, my recommendations are Asador Hector Oribe in Paganos (west of Laguardia).
Batxoki,El Portico & Marixa in Laguardia. Arino in Labastida.

For wineries, Bodegas Campillo in Laguardia. Ysios (outside Laguardia with an amazing titanium undulating roof.) and Palacios.

Honestly, I was diappointed with Haro. They have a great wine store, but the town itself and Muga winery just seemed so impersonal compared to the surrounding towns and wineries.

Don't forget that Rioja isn't the only wine region. Ribera del Duoro to the west produces the some of the finest wines in the world and the suburbs of Barcelona produce some amazing Cava (sparkling wine).

Have a great trip. Maribel is spot on with her recommendations so you will be in good hands if you follow her lead.
jonalex is offline  
Aug 9th, 2006, 02:37 PM
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When you've been driving all day and touring the countryside and you finally have made it home to a dinner that was promised to you, to find out that it wasn't there nor is it ever going to be there; not even a snack-- there comes a point when driving anywhere else is not an option. You are totally exhausted and feel abused and just want to go to sleep and leave the place as soon as possible. And frankly, even without that experience, it wasn't worth staying there and going out of our way. As you said there are many other places to be in La Rioja.

As for your comment about them not remaining in business very long if they commonly made mistakes like this---
I doubt that very much. I can't believe the numbers of people who provide services with a haughty attitude and often a mediocre product that remain in business for a very long time and those that are wonderful people with a great product that go out of business. We see it all the time in every field.

We are travelers that people like to have as guests. We are very undemanding and independent with an open mind to local customs. We asked them for nothing and it was the management that offered us the meal. I believe the lack of communication was between them and not us. Perhaps they have ironed out their problem and have learned from their mistakes and I certainly hope they have but I wouldn't go back there if it were the last place to sleep or eat on Earth.

Btw, I don't recall Logrono being right across the river. We had been there that day and it was a considerable drive.
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