Parador de Argómaniz - Renaissance Palace (4*)
Situated on top of a hill with breathtaking views across to Vitoria and the Rioja Alava wine region, this 17th century Renaissance style palace became a Parador in 1978.
The Argómaniz Parador was originally owned by the influential Larrea family in the 17th Century, becoming a palace in 1712. Its claim to fame came in 1813 when the commander of Napoleon's forces - his brother Joseph - resided at the Parador de Argómaniz on the eve of the Battle of Vitoria in which he was to be defeated by the Duke of Wellington .
Even though the Argómaniz Parador has undergone a refurbishment in recent years, the pillared doorways and stone staircases help to bring the history of this beautiful Parador to life. The result is a light and airy property with a modern twist on decoration which retains the character of its 17th century origins.
The architecture of the palace is interestingly unconventional in its use of wood. There are no eaves to the building, so the wooden timber beams, resting on wooden pillars, which support the roof are exposed making for fascinating authentic decor. Local belief is that the loft was formerly used as a granary, but today that loft has been removed and now houses the dining area which provides breathtaking panoramic views from one of the many port-hole style windows. These incredible views can also be admired from the terrace where you can enjoy a glass of wine, indulge in a good book or just take in the impressive surrounding scenery.
The Parador de Argómaniz's bedrooms are bright and airy, decorated in a fresh, contemporary style. Some rooms benefit from views over the stunning Alavese plains. The public areas are welcoming, many featuring the original pillars and stonework of the original palace.
Typical Basque dishes, such as La Merluza Koskera (hake served with asparagus, peas and egg) and Goxua (sponge cake with syrup and whipped cream, finished off with confectioner’s cream), are served in the Argómaniz Parador's restaurant.