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Historic castle style hotel, Euskadi and the Rioja wine region

Laguardia | Ref: HLAG2 | Bedrooms: 10


Though built in 1863 in the Modernista style this striking building with its imposing watchtower was constructed with stones from a 12th century barracks and has the feel of a small medieval castle.
The location is excellent, built into the town wall and at the same time set up and back from the road, with views from the tower, over vineyards to the Sierra de Toloña and the town itself, which are truly second to none.

The rooms are quite luxurious, each highly individual and in harmony with the architectural style - with one exception, the 'Amor y Locura' suite which is a true flight of fancy, very modern indeed in stark yet pleasing contrast to the rest.

The hotel has a cosy restaurant and a separate bar which has a nice terrace and is open to the public as well as several common areas where clients can relax. In the reception there is a small 17th century chapel and guests are of course invited to climb the tower and enjoy those magnificent views!

Accommodation Description

8 Standard rooms and 2 suites. All with en-suite bathrooms (recently renovated & restyled to a very high standard), heating and air-conditioning.
All have hair-dryer, telephone, satellite T.V. and piped music.
WiFi throughout the hotel (though reception can vary).
The Amor y Locura suite is decorated in a modern romantic style with an oval, free-standing bathtub.
The Neptuno suite has a double sized jacuzzi bathtub.


Reception with local information. Owners will help arrange visits to wineries, museums and other local highlights.
Small, traditional restaurant offering local Riojan specialities.
Bar with terrace and bodega offering tapas and wine tastings.
Free WiFi throughout.
Visiting massage service available.
Laundry service available.
Watchtower with magnificent views.
NB The hotel does not have parking, but there is a public car park very close by.


The restaurant serves breakfast from 6.00 to 13.00, including fresh baked goods, coffee and orange juice.

Lunch and dinner also served - local Riojan menú and à la carte available.
Traditional, regional cooking in the Basque / Riojan style with some modern touches and the very best ingredients.

The bar offers tapas and light snacks, again with the emphasis on fine ingredients.

There are many more restaurants and bars with tapas (pintxos) in and around Laguardia.

Beach: 130km
Nearest Shop: In village
Bars/Restaurants: In village
Nearest Airport: Bilbao (125km)
Nearest Ferryport: Bilbao (125km)


The historic walled town of Laguardia, strategically placed upon a small hill looking out over the plains of the Rioja Alavesa, is the perfect base from which to explore the region. Populated since Neolithic times, the town became particularly important in the middle ages when the kings of Navarra built an important palace / fortress there to defend against the Moorish and Castillian invaders. Later, at the end of the 12th century, the whole town was fortified with a wall, which still stands in part today.

In the 15th century Lagaurdia passed into Castillian hands and was incorporated into Alava. This began a period of peace for the town and the 16th century saw the development of the wine industry, with the construction of bodegas or caves beneath the streets and houses. Today Laguardia is a pedestrian town, as vehicles cannot enter the town walls due to the risk of these cellars caving in!

The town itself is perfectly preserved and a joy to wander around; the visitor can visit among other things several bodegas, fortifications and the amazingly well preserved polychromatic archway in the church of Santa Maria. There is a good selection of bars and restaurants and interesting shopping, especially for those with an interest in wine.

Nearby there is plenty to explore with several dolmens and a Bronze Age settlement within a short drive. There are, of course, a wide selection of vineyards nearby, some of which have employed the world’s best architects (such as Frank Gehry of Guggenheim fame or Santiago Calatrava) to remodel their bodegas into veritable temples. There are two wine museums, the nearby Villa Lucia and the new Dynastia Vivanco at Briones, a must for any visitor to this region (it is advisable book well before you go to avoid disappointment +34 941-322323 or email [email protected]).

For walkers there are plenty of trails through the vines or for the more adventurous there are the nearby Cantabrian Mountains and the Natural Park of Izki with mountains in excess of 1000m. There is a golf course open to the public in Izki and horse riding can be arranged nearby.
Vitoria is less than an hour away and Pamplona (1hr 45), San Sebastian (2hr30) and Bilbao (1hr 30) all make for interesting excursions, while the local small towns in Rioja Alavesa are fascinating to wander in.

Holiday Ideas near Laguardia

Basque Cuisine
Basque Cuisine
Puente la Reina
Puente la Reina
La Rioja Alavesa
La Rioja Alavesa
Riojan cuisine
Riojan cuisine
Dinastia Vivanco, Wine Culture
Dinastia Vivanco, Wine Culture
Architecture among the Vines
Architecture among the Vines
Izki Golf
Izki Golf
Vindimia - the grape harvest
Vindimia - the grape harvest

Getting There

La Rioja has good motorway links to Bilbao and Santander making it quite easy to arrive from the UK:

Stansted to Bilbao with Easyjet or Santander with Ryanair;
Gatwick to Bilbao with Vueling (BA).
Manchester to Bilbao with Easyjet;
Bristol to Bilbao with Easyjet;
Edinburgh to Santander with Ryanair or Bilbao with Easyjet;
Dublin to Santander with Ryanair or Bilbao with Aer Lingus.

NB Flights are not included but we can advise on routes and timetables

Ferries: Plymouth or Portsmouth to Santander or Bilbao – 7 sailings weekly.

Please ask us for advice on ferry crossings, timetables and flexible start dates to fit with the crossings.

Getting Around

If travelling by air we recommend renting a hire car to make the most out of your visit to the area. If you prefer to use public transport please consult our expert staff for advice on which properties are more suitable.

If coming on the ferry you will use your own vehicle - we recommend that you ensure that insurance and breakdown cover are in place. For full advice on how to prepare the vehicle etc see the Brittany Ferries website

In either case we will provide full instructions to arrive at your holiday accommodation, complete with GPS co-ordinates.

Reviews of this property

Read our clients' independent reviews

"Peaceful and lovely room", (Client 2014)