History comes to life at this grand 14th century monastery turned hotel. The imposing medieval structure is centrally located in the old town of Haro; a popular stopover for those exploring La Rioja’s surrounding wine country. There is a slight sense that the hotel has lost some of its luster since in its heyday. Nonetheless, there are plenty of ancient stone hallways to wonder, a spectacular cloister and enclosed courtyard that also houses the hotel’s excellent restaurant, and comfortable rooms thanks to modern upgrades sprinkled into their old-world foundations.
All 62 rooms of the hotel, which range from singles to suites, are unique in design and even the single rooms are pleasantly spacious. A number of the hotel’s rooms have been completely remodeled with stylish lines and big windows and chic decor reminiscent of a contemporary hotel, while the others still remain in their aristocratic, old-fashioned state. Choose your own adventure.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The hotel still uses keys for its rooms, not cards.
Black marble countertops give a sophisticated look to the clean and airy bathrooms. The suite comes complete with a two-person Jacuzzi and separate shower.
It is immediately evident upon entering the reception area that this is a hotel steeped in rich history. But the most enchanting part off the hotel is beyond the lobby, where light pours into the glass-enclosed, three-story-high cloister with its classic arched arcade running the perimeter. There is plenty of lounge space with tasteful furniture and tables that makes for an inviting locale to have morning coffee or an evening glass of Rioja wine.
The hotel’s restaurant, El Claustro de Los Agustinos, is worth eating at just for the ambiance; the fine dining establishment is arranged under the arcade of the courtyard, where candle lights and gorgeous chandeliers above contribute to the romance of the meal. Oh, and the menu, made from seasonal cuisines of the region, is pretty damn good too.
In a medieval space beyond reception is a rustic bar and café surrounded by meter-thick stone walls and wood support beams above. It is a charming alternative for guests looking who want a more casual option for food, drinks, and wine from the hotel’s 100-year-old bodega.
Guests can take drinks out from the bar into the courtyard.
The hotel’s central location in town makes it easy to wander the streets of Haro by foot. But a car is needed for exploring the surrounding region, and that being the main draw of coming to Haro, we’d definitely recommend having some wheels. The hotel has an offsite lot that guests can park in for a small fee.
Just across the street is a wonderful local restaurant, Arope (1-minute walk), which not only serves great cuisine but also has a picturesque terrace overlooking the plaza below. It is definitely the spot to be on a nice day. Further into the old town is the century-old restaurant, Terrete (3-minute walk), which focuses on meats from the region and also possesses a sensational wine cellar to make sure your meat is paired with the perfect local wine.
Haro is the de facto wine capital of La Rioja. Some of the closest bodegas to town that are well worth the visit are Mugas, Roda, and CVNE (6-minute drives).
While the bodegas make for great day-time drinking, guests looking for a good drink later in the night should head up the road is Teorema Pub (3-minute walk), a sophisticated cocktail bar with mod furniture and cool lighting, all surrounded by its ancient stone foundations. It’s a fresh alternative than the otherwise typical mix of Spanish bars in town.
WHY WE LIKE IT
The historic building itself is enough to impress. And while the lack of amenities would normally leave us bored after a night or two, in this case, it’s about what’s around the hotel that counts. And Hotel Los Agustinos makes for a tasteful home-base to embark on the many enticing excursions that are calling throughout La Rioja’s wine country.