“A supremely indulgent, tranquil and epicurean hideaway in an undiscovered corner of Aragón”
La Torre del Visco’s estate embraces a 220-acre slice of one of the region’s most beautiful river valleys. Surrounded by meadows and orchards, rose, herb and vegetable gardens, the 16 understated rooms and suites combine original art, antiques, old stones and muted fabrics in a master class of interior pizzazz. Fit for a king? Sure, he’s stayed here, and when I slumped into a sofa next to a blazing fire it was to share conversation with 4 of Spain’s best-known actors. Remote, remarkable and revitalising, La Torre del Visco is about hospitality at its very best.
- Award-winning cuisine with a a daily changing menu and an open-kitchen philosophy: you can learn what’s behind the divine food
- Beautifully remote and peaceful with fabulous hiking, biking and horse riding all around
- A lovely pool for lazy days
- I liked owner Jemma's warmth and enthusiasm, and a high staff-to-guest ratio ensures you’re brilliantly cared for
- Perfect for a special occasion
- Winters can be very cold, but crisp and sunny too, and you won’t find a more snug hideaway
- No TVs or minibars, though Suites have DVD players and open fires
- No other restaurants within walking distance, but you'll want to eat in every night anyway
- Only children over 6 are allowed, it feels more of an adult place
- You’ll need a car to get the best out of a stay here
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- Restaurant and bar (open daily)
- Over 6s only
- Open all year
- Outdoor Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Bicycles Available
Rooms and suites look out to the estate’s rose gardens, patios and meadows; a couple embrace views of the valley beyond. I was struck by their quietude, and not just in the literal sense. Original art, antiques and muted colours and fabrics impart individual character, yet the rooms aren’t in the least bit showy. Expect cut flowers and smooth Egyptian cotton sheets on excellent beds. There’s WiFi but no TVs or minibars: that’s not what La Torre del Visco’s about.
Most rooms have tubs, and you get a pile of white towels, along with bathrobes and slippers. Bathroom goodies are courtesy of Woods of Windsor - gel, shampoo and body lotion, herbal soap.
If you're here during winter, book a Suite for a lovely lounge with a fireplace. Just the spot for a day of reading and tea drinking.
If you're here during the peak of summer, do note that many but not all of the rooms have air con- if this is very important to you, please request when booking.
- Air conditioning
- Extra beds
Meals at Visco are imaginative and beautifully presented. Recipes combine Aragonese and Catalan influences with those of the Med, and many ingredients (including the olive oil) come from the estate’s organic farm. Fish and shellfish are brought up from the Ebro Delta whilst meats are sourced close to home.
At dinner I opted for the menú de degustación (à la carte is also on offer). Cherry gazpacho was followed by a salad with home-smoked salmon, before turbot cooked with saffron was served with sautéed veg. Next came lamb wrapped in leaves of Swiss chard, then coffee and walnut sponge with goat’s cheese ice cream. The accompanying local wines were superb, and if you’re looking for a grand coupage you’ll find it in Visco’s 15th-century wine cellar.
Evening dining is about candles and silver service, but you can choose to breakfast at one big table in the kitchen whilst watching the cooks at work. It’s convivial, fun and might easily morph into brunch... Or you can grab a table on the terrace and soak up the views as you tuck into just-squeezed OJ and flaky pastries.
- Borrow a bike and ride the magnificent Val de Zafán Via Verde
- Walk out from the house along one of 4 marked hiking trails, through forests, meadows and past wild-swimming spots
- Saddle up and explore the Matarranya on horseback: there’s a stables just down the road
- Discover medieval villages without the tourists: La Fresneda and Valderrobres are fascinating places to begin your forays, the latter with a stunning Gothic castle
- Learn some skills while you're staying: formal cookery courses are on offer, and classes on photography and painting are run regularly
- Dip into a good book. The library has thousands of titles (Jemma was formerly a publisher in Madrid), and the pool is made for lounging by
- Head out with binoculars and a bird guide: La Matarranya is an ornithological wonderland
- Play the piano or have a game of chess
- After dinner, hunker down on the star-gazing terrace where you’ll find sofas and a couple of powerful telescopes (the hotel is Starlight Foundation certified). Best done with a cognac
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Art classes
- Cooking classes
- Creative writing
- Historical sites
- Horse riding
- Mountain biking
- Photography classes
- Plantlife / flora
- Private guided tours
- Star gazing
- Wine tasting
Children over 6 are welcome even if this isn’t a hotel which focuses on families. The library, extended breakfasts, art and foodie focus are all pretty grown-up, but there's lots of outside space.
Babies (0-1 years), Teens (over 12)
Family friendly accommodation:
Each of the room categories has a twin option, and several rooms are large enough to take extra beds (or have sofabeds), making them ideal for families.