Calle Mayor s/n
Villabuena de Alava
Alava 01307. Spain
+34 945 60 90 00
Rack Rate: $275 per night + tax
Our Rate: $172 per night + tax
Booked Via: Hotel Website
Hotel Viura is one of the most unique boutique hotels in the Rioja region of Spain. While there’s the Gehry designed Hotel Marques de Riscal in nearby El Ciego, you’ll pay half the price here and still be close to everything Rioja has to offer.
Location: Viura is located in the tiny town of Villabuena de Alava, a small town of just 317 people, yet boasts over 43 wineries. Laguardia is less than 10 minutes away as are many small villages in this area of Rioja. The main facility in town is the hotel. There is a small taverna just off the church square less than a two minute walk from the hotel, but there aren’t any other services here, so be aware.
Rooms: Rooms here are unique. And that’s unique in a good way. Very few are exactly alike and all furnishings are very modern. From mood lighting in various colors, to faux fur rugs, if you like modern, Viura is your place. Rooms are very well sized for European hotel rooms and furnishings are minimal. Some may not like the “colder” feel of polished concrete floors and walls, but rooms still feel cozy. Some rooms only have showers, so if a tub is you’re thing, make sure to ask when making a reservation. Some rooms have an “open bathroom” concept, with only a curtain separating the bath/toilet areas from the room. There’s plenty of storage for bags and your gear, including a nice sized safe in each room. Rooms have a simple color palette and the beds are very comfy. Almost every room has a great view of the town and rooms on the third floor, actually have small outdoor patios.
Facilities: The hotel has a very large bar area with comfy couches and chairs. It also boasts an extensive outdoor patio area, great for those warm Spanish nights. The bar serves drinks as well as a wide array of appetizers. There’s a large open meeting area and computer lounge, just past reception, along with various seating areas throughout the lobby. On the lower level, there’s a large restaurant. It’s decor is unique with dozens of wine barrels suspended from the ceiling. In addition to al fresco dining outside, there’s also a very unique wine cellar featuring hundreds of wine from throughout Spain and the world.
Staff: Front desk staff here were very helpful and knowledgeable about the surrounding area. Housekeeping was quick and efficient and included turndown service each day. Breakfast service wasn’t the best. On a couple of days during our stay, the restaurant was full and the staff overwhelmed. Even on non-crowded days, service took longer than it should for a continental breakfast with eggs to order. Our advice is go as soon as the restaurant opens.
Pros: A completely unique hotel in an unbeatable setting. Wine on the rooftop deck during sunset overlooking the village and surrounding countryside makes for a truly special occasion. Unobtrusive service with just the right amenities to relax and enjoy your stay in Rioja.
Cons: Once you’re here, you’re here. No small markets, grocery or other places to dine other than the hotel. Very slow, inconsistent breakfast service.