We spent a weekend at the Torre del Marqués hotel, the coolest five-star hotel in Teruel

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The Torre del Marqués pool with the hotel in the background. DR

-LRB- If you think of a tourist destination, Teruel is probably not the guide place that comes to mind. You should reconsider. For many reasons: its landscapes, which vary depending on where you are in the province; the middle ages looking towns; good food (at this time Teruel is a paradise for mushrooms and truffles); its qualification as a safe destination and, of course, those hotels that mix history and modernity and that are a marvel in themselves. The one that we present to you is one of them: it obeys the name of hotel Torre del Marqués, and is an individual project of its owner, Óscar García Arano, with only 18 rooms and common areas from which you can see a good part of the Matarraña region (adjacent to Castellón) in which it is located, one of the areas that is doing the most to promote ecotourism and historical tourism , with villages dotted with medieval vestiges carefully cared for in the case of Valderrobres or Calaceitie, to mention the two with the most inhabitants in the area. And not only that, because Torre del Marqués is very, very close to the Sierra de la Molinera, on whose slope the battle of Tévar took place with two exceptional contenders, El Cid and Berenguer Ramón II, Count of Barcelona.

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One of the hotel rooms. DR

-LRB- But, returning to the hotel at hand and we have been lucky enough to visit, the philosophy of Torre del Marqués is to combine sustainability with luxury (in fact, belongs to the Small Luxury Hotels label). With the five-star category ahead, which already indicates that what you are going to find here is going to be good, the property wants the client to disconnect from the stress of the day day. Óscar has spent most of his working life in Madrid–he was a manager of a telecommunications company–and he knows very well what he is talking about. He has insisted, for example, that none of the hotel rooms have a television “so as not to distract us from the marvelous landscape that we have outside”; Those who want to enjoy the audiovisual must ask at reception for an tablet enabled or connect to their own devices through Wifi. Likewise, the extremely comfortable kid beds and all the bathrooms have handmade sinks and a bathtub with views, so that there will always be a window close to you that overlooks the Matarraña. And yes, it has a day spa. Small but cozy. In short, a very modern interior in soft tones that already indicates that commendable restoration work has been done here. We ask and they tell us that the establishment is built on an 18th century farmhouse once owned by the Marquis of Santa Coloma and that was used as a summer residence for his descendants. They knew what they were doing. From there, the contribution of Óscar, a great fan of the history of the place, is to always make improvements while preserving the architecture of the environment in which it is located. An example? The walls of one part of the hotel were built using earthen mortar and straw from the farm that surrounds it, with great results when it comes to cooling in summer and conserving heat in winter. By the way, speaking of heat, the biomass boilers–which is extracted from the farm’s pine forests– take care of the heating, although in terms of energy we also find solar panels to comply with all the sustainability commandments.

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The Torre del Marqués restaurant, with views of the estate and the Matarraña region. DR -LRB- Once outside the building, the view stretches out over a farm that exceeds 150 hectares and in which there is no shortage of vineyards or olive trees (very close, in the town of Cretas, are the olive groves where the renowned Diezdedos oil is produced that supplies the hotel). From the large windows of the restaurant you already sense that this place is a marvel with which to be ecstatic, but going out into the gardens that are almost watchtowers, equipped with tables and chairs to have an aperitif or a wine, or stroll by the pool, you It allows you to appreciate that you are really in an exceptional place.

What else can we tell you? Well, Torre del Marqués has its own garden, which right now is not very big, but treasures the vocation of adding products to As the project progresses, which it will, since the owner intends to build new rooms nearby, turning the hotel into a kind of eco-sustainable complex. And let us not forget: the restaurant has a magnificent cellar conveniently stocked with local wines. In reality, its objective is to stock up on local products, not only to practice local cuisine, but to give farmers or ranchers the recognition they deserve that until now, perhaps, few had noticed. It’s a pity, because if Teruel stands out in another thing, it’s because the food here is exceptionally good.

Yes, it can happen that you get tired of disconnecting (difficult, but not impossible). We insist: visiting the surrounding towns is one of the most interesting activities, as well as practicing shopping of products from the area– already note cheeses and sausages on the list–. There are also more or less long hiking trails, depending on the visitor’s taste, and the beaches of the Ebro Delta are an hour’s drive away, more or less. But this is not all, because with the aim of promoting the benefits of the area, Óscar Gracia is already ‘plotting’ new activities that you will surely like: oil tastings where you can discover the different varieties of olives; paired dinners with the exceptional wines of the Altavins winery, which is making a tremendous effort to recover the Garnacha, guided tours… If you go, you will want to return.

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