This renaissance palace overlooking the picturesque plains of the Basque countryside was once used as Napolean’s headquarters during the Peninsula War but is now put to more peaceful uses as an elegant hotel for leisure and business travelers alike. The Parador de Argómaniz is just 12 kilometers outside of the Basque capital of Vitoria-Gasteiz and all of its historic, cultural, and gastronomical delights. Highlights of the palace include stylish accommodations, an excellent traditional restaurant, and an outdoor terrace.
YOU SHOULD KNOW The first three weeks of August are when the Vitoria-Gasteiz, San Sebastián, and Bilbao festivals take place, respectively, so prices tend to jump during that time.
106 rooms range from double to suite and are a breath of modern design compared to the historic atmosphere throughout the rest of the hotel. Warm wood floors and minimalist gray tones accent the airy bedrooms and all come with complimentary Wi-Fi, flat screen TVs, minibars, and comfortable beds.
We recommend going for one of the rooms with terrace that provide fresh air and pleasant views of the surrounding gardens
Big contemporary bathrooms are blessed with double sinks, tile floors, and a generous assortment of toiletries. Upgraded rooms and suites come with full tubs.
Inside this grand palace is an exquisite interior of old-world charm with high roofs and long halls to wander with exposed timber ceilings, thick stone archways, and imposing roman columns. Tables are set under the classic arcade of the green courtyard for a protected place to relax outside.
A fine dining option, Restaurante Aletegui, is located on the top floor of the hotel and serves traditional Basque cuisine with daily menus and is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The scenic views from the high vantage point are spectacular as is the long selection of wines from the surrounding region.
There is a lovely bar and café downstairs that makes for a casual alternative to the fine dining restaurant for guests just looking for a snack. The outdoor terrace is one of our favorite places to be here when the weather is nice, where the property’s perched position on the hill provides wonderful views of the idyllic countryside.
Don’t let the billiards table go to waste if you have some downtime here.
A car is needed to reach the hotel but the property offers an ample amount of free parking once arrived. Vitoria-Gasteiz is a short drive down the highway while Bilbao, San Sebastián, and Pamplona are all about an hour’s drive away.
The winding cobblestone streets of Vitoria’s historic old town are teeming with phenomenal pintxo bars. Bar Erkiaga (20-minute drive) is an award-winning establishment here that exemplifies why pintxos, the creative bite-sized Basque takes on tapas, are so beloved by foodies everywhere.
Zalidiarán (22-minute drive) is the only Michelin-starred restaurant in Vitoria-Gasteiz. Innovation is the name of the game here and guests can expect to be wowed by the progressive plates that are served in this luxurious setting.
In the historical center of Vitoria-Gasteiz is La Dolce Vita (20-minute drive), a sleek cocktail bar with cool lighting and chic white accents and some of the best cocktails in the city.
For afternoon and early evening drinks, make sure to stop by La Unión (20-minute drive), a classic café and bar under the arcade of the spectacular Espainia Plaza, a neoclassical square in the middle of the old town.
WHY WE LIKE IT
The beautiful palace, with its easy access to the freeway and central location in the Basque Country, is an excellent overnight stopover for those traveling the region by car. Guests can easily explore the capital city of the Basque Country nearby while enjoying the tranquility of staying in a classic village.