Five Best: Design Hotels In Spain
Danielle Demetriou discovers the modern marvels that are shaking up Iberian hospitality
Saturday 15 July 2006
Hotel Omm Barcelona
The white marble façade sets the tone for an establishment revolving around all things light, created by the architect Juli Capella. The lobby is an open space with bubble lights hanging over impeccable taupe furnishings. A cocktail bar, glass-fronted courtyard and Moovida restaurant fill the ground floor, while the 59 rooms are flooded with natural light and feature minimalist white furnishings and oak flooring.
Hotel Omm, Rossello 265, Barcelona (00 34 934 454000; www.hotelomm.es) Doubles start at €195 (£139), room only.
Hospes Palacio de los Patos Granada
The classical and modern sit happily alongside each other at the Hospes Palacio de los Patos. A 19th-century ochre-tinted palace, beautifully restored, is next to a striking contemporary structure with a sheet façade of alabaster chain-mail. High ceilings, intricate mouldings, murals, marble staircases and a towering cupola set the tone in the palacio. The 42 guestrooms alternate between classic romanticism and stark modernism; you might get a wrought iron bedstead and trompe l'oeil ceiling, or a minimalist space with circular window and a white day-bed. The modern part houses the gourmet Senzone restaurant, a spa, plunge pool and 22 rooms.
Hospes Palacio de los Patos, Solarillo de Gracia 1, Granada (00 34 958 535790; www.hospes.es). Doubles start at €180 (£129), room only.
Marques de Riscal Elciego
Frank Gehry shook up the Spanish landscape with Bilbao's landmark Guggenheim Museum; now the architect has turned his attention to a hotel in the Rioja heartland. The new hotel, in the rolling vineyards of one of the region's most acclaimed wineries, is a futuristic creation with a bold exterior consisting of an intricate roof of undulating ribbons of pink, gold and silver titanium and a 95,000sqft canopy. Gehry also designed the interior, which will house 42 suites. Life at the hotel will inevitably revolve around wine, with a wine museum, shop, vineyard tours and a spa with a "vinotherapy" menu. Opens 1 September.
Hotel Marques de Riscal, Calle 1, Elciego, Alava (00 34 944 280000; www.luxurycollection.com/marquesderiscal). Doubles start at €321 (£222), including breakfast.
Sheraton Bilbao Bilbao
Inspired by the Basque sculptor Eduardo Chillida, the hotel is fashioned from Travertine marble in the heart of the fashionable Abandoibarra district. Ricardo Legorreta has created a bold work defined by flashes of colour and strong shapes. The hotel is filled with art by Jorge Castillo, Francisco Amad and Antonio Clavet and also has an impressive collection of ship models. The 211 rooms have plasma TVs and hydro massage baths, while the sixth-floor spa overlooks the Nervion river.
Sheraton Bilbao, Calle Lehendakari, Leizaola 29, Bilbao (00 34 944 280 000; www.sheraton-bilbao.com). Doubles start at €105 (£75), room only.
Hotel Puerta America Madrid
A rainbow of coloured awnings adorned with fragments of Paul Eluard's poem "Freedom" makes the façade of Puerta America unmissable. Inside, 12 architects and designers were given a free rein on 12 different floors, working on anything from corridors to bathrobes. Zaha Hadid opted for a calming Zen space of fluid white curved lines; Norman Foster went for the leather look; Ron Arad included a circular black bed. Lagrimas Negras is the haute cuisine restaurant, while the Skynight bar crowns the building.
Hotel Puerta America, Avenidade America 41, Madrid (00 34 917 445 400; www.hotelpuertamerica.com). Doubles start at €161 (£115), room only.
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