La Mancha Spain

TBC47 - Bilbao (Basque Country)

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  • Location: Bilbao (Basque Country)
  • Classification: Central Hotel
  • Price by definition: Contact us
  • Capacity: 50 en-suite bedrooms 3 suites
  • Distances: Vitoria- 38 miles, San Sebastian- 56 miles, Santander- 55 miles, Madrid- 230 miles.
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This is a very pleasant, centrally located, luxury hotel with an interesting history. Originally it was the headquarters for the Club Deportivo de Bilbao. Later it housed the newspaper El Liberal and following the Spanish Civil War, the building was taken over by the government´s press agency. Finally in the early 80´s it was sold and converted into the 5* hotel which it remains to this day.

The hotel features just 53 bedooms which are air conditioned and well equipped with the best technological advances, from showers with thermostats and anti-vapor mirrors to Jacuzzis and ultraviolet lamps. The hotel also features two restaurants, a Tea Room, Club bar and 24 hour room service.

The common rooms and public spaces are all decorated with fine woods, Persian rugs and original oils by the painter Garcia Campos. The cuisine is first-rate whether in the Restaurante Ambigu Orueta – perfect for light dining or in the Club Nautico, recognised as one of Spain´s finest restaurants.

Guests here can look forward to an intimate service in very pleasant surroundings.

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  1. Guggenheim Museum 

Bilbao, founded 700 years ago, is a classic European city in every respect. Uncluttered and easily explored on foot, its wide open boulevards feature interesting public buildings, museums, parks and of course the titanium clad Guggenheim Museum.

A delightful riverside stroll will take you to the Old Quarter where Renaissance, Baroque, Neoclassic and Modernist buildings house innovative shops and traditional Basque restaurants and bars. Also known as the Seven Streets the Old Quarter has a special atmosphere and vibrancy all of it´s own. The oldest monument is Santiago Cathedral in the very heart of the Seven Streets - Gothic style with a beautiful neo-Classical retable inside. Nearby colourful La Ribera Market is one of the largest markets in Europe. In La Cruz Street is the Museum of Vizcaya History and Archaeology and not far from here is the 19th C Plaza Nueva where a traditional street market is held every Sunday and where there are also many excellent bars. Be sure not to miss Victor Montes for traditional pinchos (Basque tapas).

Adjacent to the Old Quarter is the Arenal and the Arriaga Theatre which was modelled after the Paris Opera. It is the scene of all kinds of cultural events, such as plays, operas, Spanish operettas; known as zarzuela, and concerts. 

While the Guggenheim Museum has been acknowledged as one of the greatest buildings of the 20th century, there are many other modern sights in Bilbao worth seeing too including the Zubi Zuri bridge designed by Santiago Calatrava and the award winning metro designed by Norman Foster.

Between the Gran Vía and the Ría is the Dona Casilda Iturrizar Park, the largest green space in Bilbao. The Fine Arts Museum - opened in 1914 in the old Achuri Hospital - is located near the end of the park and is one of the best art galleries in Spain due to its important collections of Dutch, Flemish and Italian paintings. It also features Spanish masters, such as El Greco, Velázquez, Zurbarán, Ribera, Goya and Picasso and its modern arts section has important collections of Basque paintings: Losada, Los Arrúe, Arteta, Regoyos and Zuloaga. In addition, there are sculptures by Quintin de la Torre, Nemesio Mogrovejo and Eduardo Chillida.

Aside from the many cultural attractions in Bilbao be sure to take a ride on the popular Monte Archanda funicular which is just across the river from the Guggenheim. From the summit you can appreciate a magnificent panoramic view of the city. Or take a scenic river ride on the Pil-Pil boat which departs near the Guggenheim. Later explore the many excellent shops along Gran Vía featuring ranges from provincial to top label as well as the top Spanisg department store, El Corte Inglés.

A short ride on the metro out of Bilbao to Areeta Station in Portugalete and you can visit the Puente Colgante, the first hanging transporter bridge built in 1893 by a student of Eiffel and still in use today. Visitors may also take an elevator to the top of the bridge (not for the faint hearted) and enjoy marvellous views along the river. Afterwards take a walk to the mouth of the estuary and dine in one of the many restaurants found in this area.


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