Marques de Riscal Hotel
Depending on whom you talk to, the architecture critic at El País or the Elciego shopkeeper, Frank Gehry’s hotel at the Herederos del Marqués de Riscal winery erupts with sublime grace or horrific violence. Reminiscent of the Guggenheim Bilbao, with its restless whorls of deconstructed metal, the main building of the hotel (which is being managed by Starwood) is composed of rectilinear sandstone elements buried in a knot of curvilinear titanium and mirror-finish stainless steel. The in-house restaurant specializes in soul-stirring Riojan dishes like croquetas bechamel, and 14 meta-sleek guest rooms quote the exterior’s snaking forms in wall lights and extravagant burnt-caramel leather headboards that climb 15 feet to the ceiling. The remaining 29 rooms and a Caudalie Vinotherapie spa—where guests can try a Red Vine Bath—are in a stucco annex.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.