Wellness and Wine
Head into the deepest Duero wine region to discover the true meaning of rest and relaxation at Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine
Review by Marion Graham Photography by Andy Barnham
It’s rare to find a luxury hotel that is truly unique but just over two hours from Madrid, you can unearth a secret escape that is just that; Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine, a former 12th century monastery is situated on a sprawling 1,730 acre estate which has been painstakingly renovated and transformed into a five-star luxury hotel, spa and vineyard boasting a Michelin star restaurant.
Once the abbey of Santa Maria de Retuerta the Hotel LeDomaine and Abadía Retuerta Winery near Valladolid nestle in the midst of the prestigious Ribera del Duero wine region. This is the ultimate hotel for wining, dining and relaxation. To say that this hotel ‘will take your breath away’ is not an understatement, from the moment you see the stunning building from the main road and turn off to head down the drive lined with vines harvested, to produce the estate’s world class wines, you won’t be disappointed.
Large windows look directly out on to the vineyard where there are fields upon fields of vines as far as the eye can see. There isn’t one window in this hotel that doesn’t offer a breathtaking view at any time of the year. All of the rooms from the classic double – starting at 391 Euros, to the master suite, at 926 Euros per night – have clean, sleek lines and white walls enlivened with splashes of art. The bathrooms are beautifully finished with all products from luxury French skincare brand, Anne Semonin, who also offer treatments in the spa. An over-complicated decor would detract from the beauty of the landscape outside and the astonishing architecture of this nearly 1,000 year old abbey.
The corridors and original galleries of the abbey are spacious maintaining their lofty grace, high ceilings and arch ways; with exposed stone and large windows flooded with natural light, you could walk around inside for hours admiring the long forgotten craftsmanship of this building (they don’t build them like this anymore). Originally built in 1145 for the Premonstratensian Order the abbey is Baroque-Romanesque in style with a classic Benedictine layout of church, cloister, refectory, chapter house and hospedería. It is one of only two such abbeys to have survived destruction by Napoleon during the Peninsula Wars.
Abadía Santa Maria de Retuerta has been carefully preserved and only recently went under the eight year restoration to turn it into a luxury hotel opening in 2012. Italian architect Marco Serra was at the helm of the restoration; the result is impeccable and the attention to detail is flawless. Using local materials and traditional techniques was of the utmost importance during the restoration, one of the most important being the Campaspero stone used throughout the property. During the process the utmost respect was paid to the hotel’s heritage with no alteration made to the Romanesque-Baroque architecture.
The spa opened its doors in 2015 and has been a success since the off, it’s not hard to see why, the decor mirrors the architecture of the abbey with huge stone walls and soaring ceilings yet the spa maintains a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
La Sélection du Sommelier, is the the massage that you’ve been waiting for. Anything that combines the words wine and spa will get most people’s attention and the world’s first Spa Sommelier experience will do just that.
This experience starts with a wine tasting, three very different wines are offered, all from the estates vineyards starting with the LeDomaine White, a refreshing blend of mostly Sauvignon Blanc with citrus and oak notes followed by an award-winning red, Selecion Especial, a spicy, rich blend of Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah and last but certainly not least the Pago Valdeballon, a deep-red Cabernet Sauvignon with fruit and mineral notes. There is a taste for everyone, and if you like wine you will most likely love them all, making it hard to choose a favourite. Once the tasting is complete a decision nonetheless is needed as each wine has been paired with a customised oil blend to be applied by the therapist during the massage. As I’d fallen in love with the flavours of the Termpranillo I chose the Selecion Especial, the corresponding cedar oil blend is known for its grounding, anti-stress benefits.
Each massage is personalised to match the chosen oil and the wellness needs of the client at that particular moment, combining techniques from all over the world to make the massage a personal experience. The treatment is all that and more, it is a luxury experience that will leave you feeling grounded and completely stress-free (the cedar oil properties do work).
If you’re looking for a treatment that is the epitome of rest and relaxation then the Grand Cru is the one for you, this heavenly two-hour treatment features an invigorating grape seed body scrub and a regenerating red grape body wrap that is sure to take you to a place of tranquility.
Following a blissful treatment, it’s a must to enjoy dinner at Refectorio, LeDomaine’s Michelin-starred restaurant, for a culinary journey. The nine-course tasting menu offers a parade of dreamy flavours and textures, is paired with limited production (and amazing) wines from the Winemakers Collection.
Following dinner it’s recommended to take a trip to the snug at the top of the abbey, this room has has views of the vineyards as far as the eye can see as well as being home to a cosy room with Chesterfield sofas and a hidden bar with an enviable whisky collection. For anyone wanting a pleasurable, unique and relaxing break, Abadia Retuerta LeDomaine should be at the top of your list.
Enquiries: Abadia Retuerta LeDomaine, 47195 Sardón de Duero, Valladolid, Valladolid, Spain / +34 983 68 03 68 / www.ledomaine.es/en/