Spain is much more than the famous Costa del Sol whose beaches and climate attract millions of vacationers from all over the world, and unfortunately building promoters with unoriginal often disfiguring ideas about architecture. The Iberian Peninsula is incredibly, almost disconcertingly diverse. Between the two ultra contemporary cities of Barcelona and Madrid and more traditional cities such as Cordoba and Seville, we tend to wonder if we’re still in the same country. That is the beauty and the charm of Spain, a country filled with modern surprises but one that is faithful to its origins.
In addition, it’s a country which has had to recover from numerous political and economic crises. A prime example of this recovery is the industrial and port city of Bilbao in the north of Spain. It’s the capital of the Biscaye region and located in the autonomous Basque community.
Devastated by the economic crisis of the 1980s, the city underwent a renaissance in 1989. Thanks to urban projects, the transformation of free zones and an architectural rigor in all its projects, Bilbao has become an important tourist destination. The symbol of this “Bilbao effect”, of successful reconversion is the Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Gehry, a building which faces one of the city’s most prestigious and most luxurious hotels.
The Gran Hotel Domine Bilbao and the celebrated Guggenheim Museum are so similar in shape they seem to be conversing with each other. The hotel, opened in 2002, is one of the most important works of Spanish designer Javier Mariscal who wanted to retrace the history of 20th century design through the hotel. It was a surprising challenge to say the least, but there is nothing in the building that resembles a museum. The Gran Hotel Domine is a living and vibrant tribute to design, while at the same time, retaining all the functionality and pertinence of a luxury five star hotel. It’s impossible not to be dazzled by what one sees from the hotel atrium: Mariscal’s monumental “Cypress Fossil”, a huge tree trunk sculpture, two and a half meters thick, weighing 90 tons and whose 26 meters in height rises all the way to the cupola, which crowns the terrace. Modernity and design are kings here, but in addition, they occupy an essential, almost sentimental place. This approach is confirmed by the Tranquilo Txoko Corner, where a reading room has been furnished with design furniture from different eras. Its purposes are informative, cultural and a place to simply relax. The hotel is playful, charming and luxurious. Each of the five floors has its own color code: red, blue, green, ochre and stone. The rooms are all equipped with the latest high tech material and provide intimacy and comfort. Lest we forget, the bathtubs are the work of Philippe Starck.
The Metropole Café is another of the hotel’s successes. It pays tribute to the Bauhaus style which spread throughout Germany in the 1920s. The café has an immense bay window facing the Guggenheim Museum…a magnificent dialogue of arts and styles.
Five stars / Member Silken Hoteles / Faces Guggenheim Museum / Design / Seven-Michelin-star restaurant with local & creative cuisine / Chef Martin Berasategui / Café / Trendy pub / Top floor terrace / Sauna / Turkish bath / Fitness center / Boutique / Library with fireplace / Nightlife
Open all year
145 rooms and suites
Double occupancy from 136 euros
Bilbao Airport (BIO) - Bilbao
GRAN HOTEL DOMINE BILBAO
Alameda de Mazarredo, 61
No time difference
Mediterranean climate for most of the country (dry, hot summers and mild winters)
National ID card or valid passport
No vaccinations required
The euro (EUR)
Valencian, Galician and Basque are official languages in their regions of origin.
English and French in tourist areas
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Book by phone
+33 1 75 43 70 26 *Our reservation department is always happy to assist you via phone or via email. We are open Monday to Friday 9am to 18pm (GMT +1).