Castillo El Collado
, Paseo El Collado, 1, Laguardia.
This beautiful old house, built in 1900 in the style of a castle, blends seamlessly into the ancient townscape of Laguardia, just as if it had been there for a thousand years. The heavy stone exterior gives way to a rich and highly decorated interior, in a style that owes much to Arts & Crafts and a little to Modernism. This is a hotel of just ten bedrooms, each one lavishly and individually decorated,and with a spacious and superbly appointed bathroom to match. Javier, the creator and owner of the hotel, spent 15 years on its renovation and conversion and it stands now as a testament to his own personal dream.
Right on the edge of the walled town, Castillo El Collado has views across the vineyards of La Rioja to the Cantabrian mountains. What could be better than enjoying a welcoming glass of wine and taking in the views from the top of the tower?
There is an elegant restaurant serving a wide variety of dishes, or for less formal eating try the taberna which serves a broad variety of tapas and dishes. Looking onto the garden, the bar is a modernist extravagance of glass and stone.
Every bedroom is distinctly different, with the jewel-in-the-crown being the Amor y Locura Suite, with its glorious bathroom set behind a beautiful etched glass screen at the head of the bed. Every room though is a pleasure, with original wooden ceilings, sumptuous fabrics and lots of period detailing such as the cast-iron radiators reclaimed from a local cinema.
From the hotel garden, a pleasant walk will take you right around the outside of the town of Laguardia, ideal for working up an appetite and enjoying the superb views.
Of course Laguardia is ideally situated for all manner of excursions through La Rioja and the nearby mountains, whether you elect to walk, cycle or drive. For those so inclined (and who wouldn't be?), the hotel can arrange trips out to wine museums and local bodegas for a tasting.
The restaurant is divided into three elegant rooms, each quite different. The menu takes the typical cuisines of La Rioja and the Basque Country and offers them in 70 different dishes, some wholly traditional and others quite avant gard. Desserts are a speciality of the house, with everything made on the premises. Finally, the wine list covers the most well-known and the most prestigious wine labels of the region.
Open for lunches from 1.00 till 5.00 and for dinner from 8.00 till 11.30.
Out and About
Cultural trips around Laguardia including the Santa María de los Reyes church
Excursions throughout the Rioja region (typically 20-30 km)
Tours of wine bodegas
Yuso and Suso monasteries - birthplace of the Spanish language
Sanctuary of Valvanera
Church of Santa María La Real, Najera
Cathedral of Santo Domingo de la Calzada
Pre-historic dinosaur footprints
Los Navegantes (The Sailors) is a large room with twin beds, ideal for a couple with children.
El Ruiseñor (The Nightingale) has twin beds and a view of the town promenade.
La Cigarra (The Cicada) has twin beds that can be joined into a king-size, and it's own sitting room.
Doña Blanca is a very feminine room with a queen-size bed and views of the old town.
La Fábula (The Fable) has a queen-size bed and a balcony with fabulous views.
Sancho Abarca named after King Sancho Abarca is an elegant room with a king-size bed.
The most romantic room, in the tower, with a double bed, hydromassage bath and all-round views.
Neptuno has an enormous double bed, a jacuzzi bath for two and great views of the Cantabria mountains.
Reviews from Little Hotels Travellers:
|The hotel was very nice with friendly staff and an excellent location. The only improvement could have been the breakfast, we felt for the price it was not particularly good and not good value.|
|We were very pleased with our stay at Castillo El Collado. Javier was very helpful and accomodating to our needs.|
|We stayed in Castillo El Collado in Laguardia in Spain. A charming hotel with loads of character, very large bedrooms and bathrooms, could possibly do better with toiletries, we had the large jacuzzi bath and there was nothing special to put in the water and the shampoos were in diffucult tear acrss sachets. The owner/chef, Javier is delightful, friendly and helpful. His cooking is extremely good. We would stay there again.|
|A little more expensive than the previous two (Senorio de Brinas and Villa de Abalos.) but very nice inside and an excellent location with stunning views. The carpets may have been a little threadbare but the service was very good. After touring the walled town of LaGuardia we ate in the hotel and were not disappointed. Again very comfortable rooms and beautifully decorated with a very impressive bathroom.|
|It was very unusual. Lots of steps up to the front door and thereafter - no lift. Hopeless for anyone disabled. We had a wonderful room at the top of the tower. It had 300 degree views of the surrounding countryside and looked over a very attractive park. They had used beautiful curtain fabric on all the approximately 8 windows and this was fashionably puddled. The large bath and handbasin were on a platform behind the at least 6ft bed (bedspread in coordinating fabric). The loo and shower were off the platform behind a door. The shower looked very grand with hundreds of spray holes but we couldn't make it work as an ordinary shower and gave up. All the rooms were furnished differently. Some were rather dark. They let us choose.- they didn't have many other quests which we didn't mind. The gentleman who owned the castle was very proud of his hotel. He is very hands on, greeting us when we arrived and serving at dinner. He also parked our car somewhere. It was also brought back for us when we left. The staff were very helpful running up and down with our numerous cases (we were travelling for 6 weeks) and trays of tea. Nothing was too much trouble. There was a large terrace where you could sit and have a drink and look over the park. This was off the restaurants of which there were 2 small rather dark ones. We had dinner there and the food was very good. Breakfast was slightly strange. We had to say a time and it was all laid out ready when we came down. Normal Spanish buffet fare but on our table under clingfilm in individual portions. My husband also had a fried egg which was 7 euros extra!. We had everything we wanted though.|
We enjoyed our stay but thought it was expensive. There were some grandiose ideas which somehow slightly missed. I think the view was well worth it though. My husband isn't quite so concerned about views or fabrics and he finds stairs difficult so he would definitely not return.
To sum up - It's in a good position. The town is very small but well worth a stop. The countryside is spectacular. It's unique, interesting and comfortable but a bit expensive but in fairness the town was a bit expensive for what seems like the wilds of Spain. It's right on the Rioja trail which does bump up the prices possibly. All in all it was a worthwhile stop.
Thank you for finding this unusual place.
|We had a most pleasant stay at Castillo el Collado. The owner Javier (and his staff) could not have been more helpful. The food was mostly very good (although a little pricey) Our room was lovely with a wonderful view and Javier himself was extraordinary. He must be the most hard-working of any hotelier that we've ever met. Nothing was too much trouble and he was always there to help. We would definitely recommend a stay at the hotel (but don't park on the road below as you are likely to have your car dented by a spaniard trying to park in too small a space).|
|We have nothing but praise for the hotel and our host, Javier. The setting is straight out of a story-book, the rooms lovely, the food & service was impeccable.|
The only disadvantage was that we could not drive up to the hotel to drop our bags and this was quite an inconvenience, given that we were all tired from driving all day and one of us has a back problem. We ended up opening our bags in the parking lot down the road and taking only enough for our one-night's stay. It would have been nice to know about the lack of access so that we could have arranged to do this before-hand. I hope the construction work has been finished & that future visitors can drive up to the front door.
Javier was very helpful in booking a bodega tour for us, but neglected to mention it was only in Spanish. Of course it is our fault as well for not specifying we wanted an English tour, but given we were arriving from Singapore & USA, the chances of us being fluent in Spanish were low, eh?
In spite of these issues, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay, exploring the hotel & Laguardia, as well as chatting with Javier.
|Castillo El Collado was lovely; the owner and host, Javier, was extremely helpful and friendly. Though we spoke no Spanish and Javier's English was limited, we got by very well with a combination of written English, simple French and sign language.|
Javier was owner, chef and concierge rolled in one. Whatever questions, needs, etc we had, he managed to provide a solution.
Laguardia is also a lovely little town, and a good base for those looking to visit vineyards in the Rioja area. Although Laguardia is a walled city with only 1000 inhabitants, it has many bars and good restaurants.
Our five days there passed by quickly without a dull moment. Only wish we had more time.
|Staying in this hotel was one of the highlights of my trip across Spain. Javier is a charming and lovely host. Our room was gorgeous, the dinner was delicious, and Javier gave us some great recommendations about vineyards and wines of the region. I hope to come back some day.....|
|We returned from Spain yesterday and I wanted to tell you that Hotel Castillo El Collado in Laguardia was wonderful! The owner Javier was extremely helpful and attentive. We also ate two fantastic dinners there. It was more than we usually spend on hotels when traveling, but it was well worth it.|
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BOOK THIS HOTEL
For a really romantic special occasion book into the room in the tower, called "Amor y Locura" (Love and Madness!), which is a paragon of luxury. There are wonderful views too, from the windows that surround the room.
A Word from the Owner
"To those of you thinking of coming to visit here, I extend my welcome. This is my home, and I hope you will see it as your second home too. For everyone who works here in our little hotel, it is not so much our job to serve you, but our pleasure. When you finally come to leave, we hope that you will find a little bit of your soul remains here, because then you will have to come back again."