Spanish wine country: The 10 best wine hotels in Spain

Exceptional without pretension; stylish but warm, the Spaniards know just how to please us, travellers. Spanish wine country, in particular, is exactly the place to be wined and dined, allowing appreciation of slow countryside living amidst elegant boutique lodgings and grounds that roll verdantly and endlessly towards the coast. Dreaming of wine-ing away some time in the Spanish countryside? See our guide to Spain wine country and the best wineries in Spain below.

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Photo: Finca de los Arandinos

Know your wine!

First thing’s first before we jet off is to learn our Spanish wine types and where they come from. Of the more well-known wine regions in Spain, there’s La Rioja, Navarra, Penedès, Priorat, Rias Baixas, Ribera del Duero and Jerez. Under their regional umbrellas meanwhile, there are also a number of luxury bodegas (the Spanish term for wineries) to know, such as Marqués de Riscal, Abadía Retuerta, López de Heredia and Dominio de Pingus.

1. Hotel Marques de Riscal, La Rioja

Beginning with a full-bodied red we enter the best rioja wineries by way of the Hotel Marques de Riscal. A luxury retreat opened by one of the region’s oldest bodegas, Hotel Marques, enlivens the sleepy town of Elciego with its avant-garde architecture, designed by Frank Gehry to blend tradition and modernity. Since being taken over by the Marriott, the hotel maintains its allure thanks to its vinothérapie spa, rooftop terrace and wine library with exclusive access to the Marques de Riscal cellars. Besides the wine, other selling points include the Michelin-starred restaurant, balcony views over the Rioja Alavesa sub-region, plus complimentary guided tours and free bicycles to help you explore the area.

Hotel Marqués de Riscal, Spain | Photo: Jun Lee

Hotel Marqués de Riscal | Photo: Jun Lee

2. Abadia Retuerta, Le Domaine, Castilla y Leon

Rival of de Riscal and revolutionary for Spain’s wine tourism industry, Abadia Retuerta is one of Spain’s biggest names in wine. His self-named wine hotel Abadia Retuerta, though based just outside Ribera del Duero, can still be seen as one of the region’s finest offerings, built within an ancient abbey that stands as Castilla y León’s most important Romanesque structure. Opened as recently as 2012, with a redesign from Swiss-Italian architect Marco Serra, the hotel provides top-notch service and a luxury spa, all complimented by Michelin-starred cuisine at the on-site Refectorio restaurant. Try vintage Vega Sicilia wines or go for something more casual at the second tapas-style restaurant or pool bar.

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3. Hotel Finca de Los Arandinos, La Rioja

Also in the Rioja wine region, Hotel Finca de Los Arandinos competes for those guests seeking the best Spanish red wine (although tasty whites are also made locally too!) offering up a bold white-washed boutique, furnished in pale woods and polished concrete to contrast with the Rioja Alta sub-region surrounding. The Arandinos’ winery stretches across 16 hectares around Entrena, with all its wine produced in the Hotel’s downstairs cellar. Try the on-site restaurant Tierra for local fare paired with a selection of rare Rioja vintages. The small but fancy spa is also a great way to while away the hours after a thirsty day’s work of wine tasting.

Photo: Finca de los Arandinos

Photo: Finca de los Arandinos

4. Castilla Termal Valbuena, Castilla y León

Another cloistered living experience in Castilla y León lies at Castilla Termal Valbuena, itself located inside a 12th-century Cistercian monastery. A great jumping-off point into the Ribera del Duero region, Castilla Termal Valbuena boasts the utmost luxury living in a modern structure designed to a T. Explore the region by day, hurrying back to the hotel to swim in the pool, relax in the hot spring bath and dine at the Converso restaurant where the à-la-carte menu is paired with a number of rare vintages. Those wishing to explore more can also rent a bike or car from the hotel, driving 38 kilometres to Valladolid or 48 kilometres to Palencia.

Photo: Castilla Termal Valbuena

Photo: Castilla Termal Valbuena

5. Hacienda Zorita Wine Hotel & Spa, Castilla y León

Also in Castilla y León the Hacienda Zorita Wine Hotel & Spa boasts more in the way of monkish history (its building founded as a Dominican monastery in the 14th century), modernising with its vinothérapie spa and stylishly converted living spaces overlooking the Tormes River. The estate lies just moments from the city of Salamanca while remaining in easy reach of Arribes del Duero Natural Park to the west, the border to Portugal. The winery here produces Marqués de la Concordia wines in addition to organic farm fare, such as olive oil, ham and cheese. Stay in the monk’s rooms or separate villas, touring the 1,366-barrel cellar and farm (via four-wheel drive) in your downtime.

Photo: Andrea Piacquadio

Photo: Pablo Guerrero

6. Pago de Cirsus, Navarra

On to Navarra, a definite pin on your Spain wine map owing to its mountainous scenery and rolling vineyards that make it one of the nation’s more eye-catching wine regions. Family-run lodging and winery Pago de Cirsus is a fine base to enjoy Navarra, where guests of the 12 exclusive suites, can enjoy access to the outdoor pool, terrace lounge area and traditional restaurant all set in view of the Moncayo mountains.

7. Hotel Mastinell, Penedès, Barcelona

The wine region closest to Barcelona is Penedès, a key producer of Spanish sparkling wine. Of the many lodgings in Catalunya, Hotel Mastinell wins out with its elevated take on rural life, its bottle-stack window design showcasing unique views over the Penedés’ vineyards and a large outdoor pool. Fill your days with horse riding, biking, hot-air ballooning or Segway adventuring, moving back to the hotel to refuel on tapas and shellfish at the ‘En Rima Culinary Space’ before unwinding with some bubbles and a vinothérapie bath. Stay during the harvest season and you’ll also get to be involved in the annual grape-stomping tradition!

Photo: Jassy Onyae

Photo: Diego Lozano

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Dive into the estate’s wine-making history at tasting sessions in the cellar, sobering up at the Alma Mater restaurant with regional Spanish fare

8. Terra Dominicata, Montsant, Tarragona

Also close to Catalunya’s best vineyards and overlooking the sublime natural scenery of Montsant, Terra Dominicata offers up 26 rooms across two medieval builds, where lavish luxury and relaxation go hand in hand. Rather than being extravagant, Terra Dominicata has a friendly and rustic vibe, enhanced by warm staff and earthy tones. Dive into the estate’s wine-making history at tasting sessions in the cellar, sobering up at the Alma Mater restaurant with regional Spanish fare. Montsant Natural Park lies nearby for daytime exploration, though even closer to home lies the monastery history of the Escaladei ruins to roam in peace and quiet.

Photo: Kelli McClintock

9. Trossos del Priorat, Tarragona

Though there are fewer hotel choices in the mysterious Priorat region, Trossos del Priorat is a welcome high-end addition in Gratallops village, 30 kilometres from the sea in the centre of Priorat. The Trossos del Priorat winery is the main draw, though the micro hotel allows for intimate retreats for those who book early enough. What the winery lacks in a pool or spa, it more than makes up for in vineyard views, with breakfast served up as a picnic to be enjoyed on the grounds. Rent a car to best explore the region and its winding mountain roads, luxuriating on the terrace come sundown with self-serve Priorat wines (with as much Spanish white wine as red) from the honesty bar.

10. Casa Viña de Alcántara, Jerez, Cádiz

Also on the small side in Jerez’ sherry region is Casa Viña de Alcantara, offering up six elegant rooms and Andalusian hospitality like nowhere else. The historic Casa Viña de Alcántara showcases both the legacy of the region as well as its natural beauty, with views over the vineyards of Jerez de la Frontera and grounds covered in century-old cypress, laurel and mastic trees. As well as an outdoor pool, guests can choose to drive just 15 minutes to the coast, revelling in the Moorish architecture of this part of the country.

Photo: Casa Viña de Alcántara

Photo: Casa Viña de Alcántara

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The historic Casa Viña de Alcántara showcases both the legacy of the region as well as its natural beauty, with views over the vineyards of Jerez de la Frontera and grounds covered in century-old cypress, laurel and mastic trees

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