Thanks to the improvements and changes of the last two decades, Bilbao is a city transformed. A metropolis that was once gray and industrial is currently a spotless and modern city. In great part, this is a direct result of the construction of the impressive Guggenheim Museum whose existence has revitalized the cultural and economic life of the city.
Designed in its entirety by the multidisciplinary artist Javier Mariscal and the interior designer Fernando Salas, the Silken Gran Hotel is in itself a masterpiece. Simultaneously modern and avant-garde, it is influenced by the cultural activity of its neighboring museum. Aside from the tranquility and majesty one expects from luxurious accommodations, the venue is also an example of the best high design of the 21st century; prolific in its interrelationship between objects and furnishings.
The lobby is the most popular place for visitors and encompasses the reception area as well as access to the Café Metropol and the bar Splash and Crash, a popular destination for tapas. The elevators, have the added pleasure of panoramic views. Directly in front of the reception area there is a large red sofa, designed by Mariscal and manufactured by the design firm Moroso.
The atrium fills the interior with light and is one of the singular elements of the Silken Gran Hotel Domine. When entering the space, the visitor encounters the Cipres Fosil, a majestic sculpture (also designed by Mariscal) that occupies the entire verticality of the building, from the ground floor to the skylight that crowns the terrace. The sculptural piece is 85 feet high, 8 feet in diameter and weighs 90 tons. It recreates an astonishing interior landscape created out of 86,432 stones that were brought specifically for this sculpture from a river in Italy.
The Hotel has 135 rooms and ten suites. The furniture and artwork that adorn the spacious rooms were designed exclusively by Mariscal. We find a diversity of colors from ochre to red, where everything combines in harmony, from the rugs to the individual keys for each guest. The luxury of the accommodations extends to the soft and elegant Egyptian cotton sheets and the wool and cashmere blankets. The distinctive Premium Deluxe Room, as well as the suites, offer privileged visits to the Guggenheim and are equipped with bathtubs designed by Philipe Stark, sound systems by Bang and Olufsen and products from Bulgari.
We would be remiss if we did not highlight the importance of the superb gastronomy from this region, which have played an important role in its cultural evolution. The restaurant Doma, presided over by chef Martin Berasategui (a recipient of seven Michelin stars), is one of the best examples of the culinary greatness Bilbao has to offer to its visitors.
The Silken Gran Hotel Domine offers — without a single doubt — the best way to experience Bilbao, an amiable and vital city that is well worth a visit to encounter her charms, of which the hotel is only one of its many delights. ■