Hotel Viura is a luxurious, avant-garde oasis in the heart of wine country. The post-modern boutique hotel, with its colorful cubist design, is a stark contrast to the medieval stone village of Villabuena de Álava that surrounds it. The chic hotel features a rooftop terrace, a terrific restaurant, plenty of bodegas and wine tastings nearby, and unique rooms that are both stylish and exceptionally comfortable. Its location in the middle of Rioja Alavesa makes it an excellent home base for exploring all that the region has to offer, and Logroño, Haro, and Laguardia are just short drives away.
The staff here is insanely passionate in helping take care of every need; don’t hesitate to use their assistance for anything from transportation arrangements to private bodega tours to simply bringing a drink from the bar up to the roof for you.
While no two rooms are the same, they are all designed with open modern layout that creates an airy feel, while features like big French windows, stone floors, and walls adorned with oxidized concrete slabs and industrial artwork add to the stylish setting. All 53 rooms are stocked with a curated selection of local wines and come complete with complimentary waters, Wi-Fi, and flatscreen TVs. Suites feature private balconies.
The library downstairs holds a great collection of DVDs, offered in many different languages, that guests can borrow from the front desk and watch in their room.
The open layout means there is no door separating the washroom area from the rest of the bedroom, which works well aesthetically with the rest of the design. Don’t worry though, toilets and full bathtubs are in a private room separated by frosted glass doors.
Take advantage of the sumptuous toiletries here, like the Greek honey orange shampoos and green tea body lotion.
The sophisticated and experimental interior of the hotel is as striking as its exterior; exposed bedrock runs along one side, creating the artistic sensation of a hotel erupting right out from the earth. Impressive paintings adorn concrete walls and the blown glass jugs trapped within clever wooden sculptures pay tribute to the wine country. Past the reception area is a splendid library as well as a lounge area that would feel at home in a museum of modern art.
The hotel does not have a private pool, but it does offer guests free access to a clean and relaxing public pool directly across the street from the hotel during the summer months.
The hotel offers a wide selection of wellness services, revitalizing massages, and face & body treatments. Reservations should be made in advance.
For a unique experience befitting of the region, try the Wine Elixir facial, where the healing qualities of grapes are incorporated into a rejuvenating mask treatment.
Located in an enclosed glass room on the rooftop terrace, the fitness room is definitely style over substance. Though strength workouts are limited to a range of dumbbells, the real pleasure of the gym is stepping onto one of the cardio machines and taking in a panoramic view of the old town and rising mountains beyond as you sweat out the previous night’s bottle of wine.
On the bottom floor of the hotel is Restaurant Viura, an elegant dining room with wine barrels covering the roof and enormous floor-to-ceiling windows that let natural light pour in. The inspired regional cooking here (albeit a tad expensive) is as outstanding as the wine on offer, which is fortunate given that it is the only place in the vicinity to have an upscale dinner without having to drive. A small selection of lighter fare is offered at the bar.
Directly adjacent to the hotel is an upscale wine gallery, cellar, and tasting bar with outdoor seating where guests can enjoy all of the best wines of the region paired with light snacks to go along with them. It is also an excellent place to buy a bottle for later, with the hotel’s expert sommelier ready to help. There is also a fantastic bar within the hotel tucked away behind the reception area in a sleek open lounge space complete with a grand piano. Peculiarly stacked wooden boxes of wine are affixed to the ceiling, creating an upside-down visual appeal, while modern art adorns the walls. The bar has a covered outdoor patio that is open during the summer months.
And speaking of summer months, a favorite feature of the hotel is their sprawling rooftop terrace, which offers plenty of seating as well as gorgeous views Sierra de la Cantabria Mountains. Though there is no bar on the roof, guests can bring drinks from the bar or, even better, the bartenders and hotel staff are always happy to deliver drink orders up there for you.
A car is the best way to arrive to the property, though the hotel is also happy to help arrange private transportation service in advance from wherever you may be coming from for those without wheels. Located in the tiny village of Villabuena de Álava, the hotel can be notoriously hard to find, so make sure your GPS is pre-programmed before you set out. Once here, there are a number of wineries within walking distance, though a car or bike would be helpful for exploring the greater region at large.
The hotel offers complimentary bike rentals for guests who want an active and scenic way to visit the surrounding bodegas and vineyards.
Bar La Plaza (2-minute walk), is, as you may have guessed, a bar that sits on the picturesque central plaza of town, just behind the hotel. The café is great for a plate of unfussy Spanish food or a pintxo and a drink out on one of the plaza tables during a warm day. Guests looking for a place to eat in nearby Laguardia should try Amelibia (15-minute drive), a local favorite serving up creative Rioja cuisine with breathtaking views.
There are no less than a dozen distinguished wineries within a mile of the hotel. Start with Bodegas Luis Cañas (9-minute walk), a bodega featuring intimate facilities, a friendly staff, and some of the best wine in the region.
For a charming local experience, stroll up the hill to Sotera Taberna (3-minute walk), a delightful little roadside pub along the main stretch of the village.
WHY WE LIKE IT
The hotel’s iconoclastic design juxtaposed against its old-world surroundings ends up feeling at home with the rest of the radical Basque art movement as a whole. Modern luxury, splendid services, and a variety of amenities make Hotel Viura a marvelous retreat right in the center of wine country with all the region has to offer at guests’ fingertips. And we love that all of this comes at an outstanding price for this type of a property.