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Funky Friday: The Funkiest Hotel By the Funkiest Architect Ever

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Calle Torrea 1, Elciego, Alava, Spain, 01340
February 28, 2014 at 5:43 PM | by | ()

Welcome to Funky Friday, a new segment we’re trying out which features one photo that we think singularly expresses a hotel’s inner psyche. We look for, and often find, a lot of wacky, wild and wondrous designs that seem to have one thing in common: a Type A personality. So why not have a bit of fun as we all wrap up our week by taking a quick look at some hotels that quite frankly, want our attention.

There are many definitions of the word “funky”, ranging from a musical genre to less than pleasant smells. The Urban Dictionary, however, offers one that we like, “different, but cool, nice.” There are many hotels that qualify for this adjective and we are happy to give them due consideration. Today we revisit one undeniably funky hotel, Hotel Marques de Riscal, designed by the man who invented funky architecture, Frank Gehry, who is 85 years old today.

The Marques de Riscal in Elciego, Spain, a member of Starwood's Luxury Collection, is remembered around the world as the hotel with the wavy ribbon-like metal roof. It is funky indeed but also, masterfully planned and meticulously executed. Yes, the hotel resembles Gehry’s other Spanish work, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, but we can’t spend the night there. We can however, enjoy a night here, not to mention sleepwalk to the adjacent winery.

Gehry’s career has spanned over 50 years and so far, we have only this one hotel that came from his drawing boards. But it looks like he's working on two new hotels in Southern California – The Ocean Avenue Project in Santa Monica (more on that next week), and The Grand Avenue Project in Downtown Los Angeles. The Grand Avenue project has been a long time coming and not without architect-related drama. Gehry was originally hired, then fired, and thankfully, re-hired.

It will be worth the wait to see Gehry’s next hotels, and how perfect that they be located in the region where it all began back in 1962. Happy birthday Funky Frank!

Room rates at the Marques de Riscal start from $450, higher on weekends and high season

Photos: Marques de Riscal; exterior close-up, Fotopedia

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