Supper, Villa de Ábalos, Spain

While staying overnight at the Hotel Villa de Ábalos, I highly recommend eating supper there. When you make your reservation, be sure to let them know you would like to dine as well. It is a truly home-cooked, Spanish meal. The menu changes with the seasons and the availability of fresh ingredients. Here is the carta as provided during my visit:

Menu for supper at Hotel Villa de Ábalos.

Menu for supper at Hotel Villa de Ábalos.

These little gems were presented to start the meal:

A little something to start the meal at Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain.

A little something to start the meal at Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain.

The two appetizers were creative and delicious. The first was a leeks and spinach terrine that you see in the next photo:

Leek and spinach terrine appetizer at Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain.

Leek and spinach terrine appetizer at Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain.

The other appetizer was a sautéed vegetable medley that I was so anxious to eat, I forgot to snap a photo. But, next came the entrée, and what a fantastic one it was. Slowly cooked oxtail then removed from the bone and placed inside a sort of dumpling with a very nice sauce, as you see in the next photo:

Oxtail presented inside a dumpling for supper at Hotel Villa de Ábalos.

Oxtail presented inside a dumpling for supper at Hotel Villa de Ábalos.

This incredible meal was finished with a warm almond cake and vanilla ice-cream that truly hit the spot:

Warm almond cake with vanilla ice-cream at Hotel Villa de Ábalos.

Warm almond cake with vanilla ice-cream at Hotel Villa de Ábalos.

All this was served in a pleasant dining room you see here:

Dining room at Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain.

Dining room at Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain.

I would also like to mention the owner of this fine hotel makes his own wine, which is very good, especially the white. A bottle with dinner or afterwards is a great addition to the meal. Here’s a photo of the bottle:

Preferred wine at Hotel Villa de Ábalos.

Preferred wine at Hotel Villa de Ábalos.

When traveling, be sure to enjoy the local cuisine as much as possible.

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Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain (2014)

Hotel Villa de Ábalos has been among my favorite places to stay in Spain. It is located in the center of a small village with tiny streets and an almost medieval atmosphere.

Facade of Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain.

Facade of Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain.

However, the hotel is decidedly modern within its historic shell. You’ll have all the modern conveniences in every room. Here’s a look:

Room 12 at Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain.

Room 12 at Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain.

The bathroom features everything you need to be comfortable:

Bathroom of Room 12, Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain.

Bathroom of Room 12, Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain.

You’ll also find inviting common areas where you can gather with fellow travelers to relax and share stories from the journey:

Second floor common area at Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain.

Second floor common area at Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain.

And another similar space on the ground floor:

Salon at Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain.

Salon at Hotel Villa de Ábalos, Spain.

I stayed at this hotel four years ago, and it was a pleasure to return. They added a small bar in the reception area where you can enjoy a glass of wine and various tapas. Locals from the town stop by and it was fun to chat with them, learning a bit about life in the Rioja area. The owner of this hotel makes his own wine, which is not yet available in the United States. While there, you definitely want to try it because it is among the best I’ve had in Spain. I’ll post more about that and the meals at Villa de Ábalos soon. Check back frequently so you don’t miss anything.

Hotel Marques de Riscal, Elciego, Spain

Marques de Riscal is a famous winery that has done many clever and interesting things. In recent times, they hired architect Frank Gehry to design a hotel for the Elciego, Spain, location. Here’s a look at the building:

Frank Gehry designed Hotel Marques de Riscal, Elciego, Spain.

Frank Gehry designed Hotel Marques de Riscal, Elciego, Spain.

That is one funky design that definitely catches your eye. It’s set amid vineyards at the edge of the village of Elciego. Here’s a look at the other side:

Frank Gehry designed Hotel Marques de Riscal, Elciego, Spain.

Frank Gehry designed Hotel Marques de Riscal, Elciego, Spain.

The terrace you see there is a great place to sit for a drink supplied by the bar inside. I’ll have a post about that very soon. In the mean time, I suggest you check this place out if you are interested in architecture, wine, both, or simply like to see the creative expressions of others put to good use. Enjoy the journey.

Hotel Puerta de Pamplona

Hotel Puerta de Pamplona recently changed its name from Hotel Puerta del Camino. Located at the edge of the old town, it offers comfortable rooms, an excellent restaurant, and off-street parking.

Facade of Hotel Puerta del Pamplona, formerly Puerta del Camino.

Facade of Hotel Puerta de Pamplona, formerly Puerta del Camino.

I highly recommend the off-street parking. There are very few places in this part of town, and your vehicle will be right there if you want/need it. Moving inside, you’ll find a welcoming lobby with plenty of seating. The rooms are well-appointed.

Standard room at Hotel Puerta del Pamplona.

Standard room at Hotel Puerta de Pamplona.

Complete with safe, mini-bar, clothing rack and more:

Other view of standard room at Hotel del Pamplona, Pamplona, Spain.

Other view of standard room at Hotel de Pamplona, Pamplona, Spain.

Bathrooms have everything you need as you see in the next photo:

Bathroom in standard room at Hotel Puerta del Pamplona, Pamplona, Spain.

Bathroom in standard room at Hotel Puerta de Pamplona, Pamplona, Spain.

As well as a nice amenity kit that will come in handy and save you packing space.

Bathroom amenities in standard room at Hotel Puerta del Pamplona, Pamplona, Spain.

Bathroom amenities in standard room at Hotel Puerta de Pamplona, Pamplona, Spain.

Finally, here’s a view of an outdoor gathering space as well as the parking. Again, I highly recommend paying for parking at the hotel.

Parking at Hotel Puerta del Pamplona, Pamplona, Spain.

Parking at Hotel Puerta de Pamplona, Pamplona, Spain.

I had a great stay here. Sadly, only one night, but did explore the town, see the sights, and have a few conversations with the locals. Also, a great meal at the hotel restaurant, La Capilla. More on that in a future post, so check back often.

 

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