Fodor's Expert Review Hotel Posada Mayor de Migueloa

Calle Mayor de Migueloa 20, Laguardia, Basque Country 01300, Spain See on Map Fodor's Choice

Nestled within the gates of the castle town of Laguardia—a picturesque village that overlooks one of the best wine regions in the world—is the Hotel Posada Mayor de Migueloa. The noble manor goes all the way back to 1619 and has been restored to its former glory while still providing all the modern basics of a present-day hotel. There isn’t an overabundance of luxury here, but an excellent restaurant, bodega, and café compliment the seven-room boutique.

The staff here are very good with organizing daily activities for you that range from wine tours to mountain biking to…wait for it…balloon riding.

room

There are only eight rooms at the cozy inn. Some are a bit smaller than others but they all exude old-world charm, from their exposed foundations to the tasteful antique décor. Rooms are equipped with flat-screen TVs, AC, and free Wi-Fi.

The top floor room offers a balcony that overlooks the quaint cobblestone street below.

bathroom

Simple but with all the essentials. The bathrooms have wood and gilded frame mirrors that feel a little out of place against the modern tiling but everything is clean and functional.

lobby

Passing through the dazzling stone passageway into the 17th century palace brings guests into a delightful common area with slanting timber-exposed roofs and comfortable leather furniture. There’s a living room full of rustic charm that makes for a relaxing lounge to plan the days activities from or wind down in after a glass of wine.

YOU SHOULD KNOW There is no elevator installed here so prepare to put the lug in luggage upon arrival.

dining

Guests looking for a great Rioja meal in Laguardia don’t have to look much further than downstairs: Restaurante Mayor de Migueloa is one of the better spots in the village. Housed in an elegant but unostentatious space, the restaurant uses locally sourced seasonal ingredients to create a fusion of traditional and modern cuisine. There is also a lovely café here that serves tasty pintxos throughout the day in a casual classic space and provides outdoor seating during the warmer months.

drinking

The bodega and cellars here, 25 feet underground, are the oldest in Laguardia (which is saying a lot), going all the way back to when the palace was first built. The Bodega Mayor 1619 has its own limited production wine from its vineyards that is a treat to taste in the old underground environment.

There is a classic marble-topped bar in the hotel as well that faces out onto an inviting social space of wooden table surrounded by the stone foundations. We were pleased to find they know how to make a decent cocktail along with the fine selection of wines.

LOCATION

Getting Around

A car is definitely the best way to get to Laguardia, and to explore the Rioja Alavesa region as a whole. There are some charter buses that will get you here otherwise, and plenty of tours to take with hired drivers for those that would rather not get behind the wheel after all the wine tastings. There are no cars allowed within the castle walls of the village, so guests will have to park in one of the public lots just outside the fortifications. The upside of this, of course, is that it keeps Laguardia that much more romantic and well preserved.

Restaurants

Amelibia (5-minute walk) is near unanimously agreed upon as the best restaurant in Laguardia. Just down the hill from the castle gates, the restaurant provides stunning panoramic views of the region and progressive avante-garde plates of Basque cuisine.

The winner of best pintxos in Laguardia definitely goes to Gastro Bar Bella Vista (2-minute walk), a lovely little restaurant housed in the fortifications of the old town.

Bars

Lovers of wine and history should make the visit to Eguren Ugarte (8-minute drive), one of the most historic wineries in Spain that is also considered one of its best. The tour of the renowned caverns and facilities here are a can’t-miss, and the wine tasting afterwards is spectacular.

Back in Laguardia, Bar Hiruko (2-minute walk) is a classic Basque pintxo bar situated on the gorgeous Mayor Plaza with plenty of drinking options that also stays open later than most anywhere in town.

WHY WE LIKE IT

There are not many rooms available within the immaculately preserved medieval village, which makes it all the more enchanting to be in the middle of it. The hotel is a simple yet romantic home base for all that the Basque wine country has to offer. And we really like the prices, which even in the high season are typically lower than the more glitzy inns found within the fortifications of Laguardia.

QUICK FACTS

Hotel
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HOTEL INFO

Phones: 647 21 29 47

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