July 27, 2021
Rated one of Spain's most beautiful towns and with just over 1,000 inhabitants, Albarracín is a small walled town in the province of Teruel, with cobbled streets that tell of the country's medieval history.
The municipality, nestled around a meander of the river Guadalaviar, was declared an official National Monument in 1961 and has been awarded the Gold Medal of Fine Arts. It's a town that entices you to stroll through the ancient streets, discovering viewpoints, squares and churches. These include highlights such as El Salvador de Albarracín Cathedral, Plaza Mayor, Albarracín Castle, Fundación Santa María and the Diocesian Museum.
In the historic quarter, 16th-century stately homes stand alongside newer constructions such as Hotel Sensaciones 1877. This building is within the town's heritage site and the design features collections by PORCELANOSA Group.
Albarracín through natural textures
The work of architect Mapi Hernández (MHM Arquitectura) and Javier Gutiérrez (1299 Arquitaria S.L.), who drafted the construction project and led the site works, the 10 premium rooms capture the traditions, crafts and artisanship of Albarracín, with organic textures and harmonious colours that integrate the building into the landscape, reinforcing the connection between the individual and the surrounding nature. "Our concept was to convey Albarracín's rich culture, making the hotel part of the city as a whole and blending it with its surroundings. I was able to find the perfect solution for each space thanks to the diversity of Porcelanosa's collections, making it easier to manage the final result and achieving rooms with exactly the character we were looking for", explains Mapi Hernández.
The architectural concept links Albarracín's past with its present through a striking design that respects and conveys the legacy of Aragon's heritage, history and cuisine. The Esencia restaurant, for instance, champions locally-sourced produce and traditional flavours in its modern menus, offering a fresh take on traditional Teruel dishes that draws on original methods and meaning.
The contemporary Aragonese creations from chef Reynol Osorio include standout dishes such as crispy black pudding and peppers, lamb sweetbreads, partridge royale, and trout loin with goat's cheese.
Interior design connected to the land
The hotel's deluxe rooms feature a bespoke interior design that converts every space into an intimate haven, where guests can escape from it all. "Each room started with a name, kicking off the research process. I wanted to work out the essence that would form the backbone of the room design, through textures, colours, formats and finishes. Our aim was to design room schemes which - along with the furnishings - would create an immersive experience for guests, encompassing the history, tradition and environment of Albarracín", states the architect. For him, the Porcelanosa brand offered not only quality, but also the flexibility and precision required to turn around each space within the agreed timescales. "The sheer variety and versatility of Porcelanosa products - dimensions, textures, reliefs and finishes - along with easy installation, meant we could work within our construction deadlines. Examples include choosing large format pieces to clad some of the headboards, the hotel staircase, and the fireplace in the reception area".
Mapi Hernández: "The architectural concept links Albarracín's past with its present through a striking design respecting the historic legacy of Aragon"
The colours of the Sierra de Albarracín mountains grace each of the 10 rooms: Doña Clotilde, Manzanilla, Rodeno, Pinares, Isabelina, Guadalaviar, Azulete, Cristal de Roca, Aljez and Forja. Each room gives a nod to Aragón's popular culture and ancient professions: cabinetmakers, potters and forgers are all reflected through Porcelanosa's materials, lightweight textiles and handmade furniture.
Red sandstone, the flight of the Spanish moon moth, native pine forests, the indigo blue of ancient palaces, the colours of medieval churches, and the meandering of the river Guadalaviar are just some of the themes evoked through the ceramic tiles used such as Amber Beige Polished by Porcelanosa; Weft Grey (natural stone mosaic by L'ac) Colors Aluminium Olive (metallic mosaic by L'ac) and large format XTONE (Urbatek) collections inspired by black marble. Delaware Natural, Nogal and Minnesota Ash ceramic wood by Porcelanosa have been used as flooring in the rooms, shared areas and restaurant, accented by Butech's LED pro-skirting profiles.
The bathrooms meanwhile, feature some of Noken's most cutting-edge collections, such as Lounge taps (by designer Simone Micheli) and Round in Finish Studio finishes, which marry perfectly with the brand's Pure Line mirrors, Aro and 3 Way washbasins, and Kole countertops by Krion® Solid. "We had to distil all our ideas into 10 concepts that would each represent a small part of everything Albarracín has to offer. Through these concepts, we're providing guests with a starting point, enticing them to embark on their own discovery of the town's rich history and beautiful enclaves", says Hernández.
The resistance, safety, and overall sobriety of tiles by PORCELANOSA Group gave them the means to achieve this objective. "Maintenance is incredibly important, and even more so in a hotel like this, where the target audience are looking for an all-encompassing experience. This is why it's important that materials contribute to a sense of wellbeing, at the same time as being functional, making it easier to clean and manage", he points out.