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    Atrio Restaurant and Hotel

    We just road tripped from France to Portugal and made a one night stop at Atrio on the way. To be honest, we chose this hotel because of the location (midway point between Madrid and Lisbon) and because they allow pets—we had no idea the level this place was. Atrio is easily one of the most beautiful hotels I’ve ever stayed in and it was most definitely the best meal I’ve ever had in my life. Beyond worth it to make the trip here. – Stevie Benanty

    One of twelve courses at Atrio
    One of twelve courses at Atrio

    A vacation to Spain often hits urban highlights like Madrid, Barcelona and Granada, but a trip to the western reaches of the country provides insight into true Spanish culture without the headaches associated with overcrowded tourist traps. For a real adventure that’s still steeped in luxury, head to the Extremadura region’s Atrio Restaurant and Hotel.

    Extremadura is wedged between Portugal and Andalucía, so it’s well worth a stop on any trip through the Iberian peninsula. The region is justly famous as a food destination, particularly since it’s the home of jamón ibérico, Spain’s thinly sliced, salty delicacy that graces many a tapas bar. The small city of Cáceres lies at the heart of Extremadura and is best reached via Badajoz airport, which lies an hour southwest of the city along the Portuguese border.

    Extremadura is best visited in the summer, when average high temperatures barely reach 80 degrees and the sun shines bright. Cáceres is a well-preserved Medieval city experiencing a bit of a Renaissance thanks to a new contemporary art museum, the Centro de Artes Visuales Fundación Helga de Alvear, and to the opening of the Atrio. This restaurant and hotel almost single-handedly revitalized Cáceres, and it’s worth the trip to savor the offerings at the restaurant that’s been awarded two Michelin stars.

    Located in the heart of Old Town and surrounded by hundreds of years of Extremaduran history, the hotel and restaurant’s stone exterior welcomes guests who enjoy fine dining at its most creative. Juan Antonio Pérez and José Polo opened the restaurant in the 1990s, though its current location has been a landmark of excellent cuisine and a gourmet destination since 2010. The fixed menu is subject to change based on available ingredients but expect a mix of seafood, pork, and fresh vegetables and twelve courses; table service for two begins at 320 euros without drinks. Before starting dinner, you’ll be taken downstairs to see their award-winning wine cellar with 3,800 selections available. Finish your meal with some dessert in the courtyard. 

    For the complete Atrio experience, spend the night in the hotel, where spacious, modern rooms make excellent use of the gorgeous natural light of the Spanish sun. Designed by architects Tuñón + Mansilla, the new hotel’s sleek, modern look creates a brilliant contrast with the historic vibe of Old Town. Clean lines and fresh, luxurious linens frame views of the Medieval architecture nearby, while a glistening rooftop pool offers a respite from the heat of the day. Breakfast the next day will follow the same theme from dinner—it is coursed and offers many selections, which will make you wonder why breakfast isn’t served all the time like this. Rates range from 270 euros per night for a double room to 500 euros per night for a suite. Online booking is available for the hotel.

    Address: Plaza San Mateo, 1, 10003 Cáceres, Spain
    Phone: +34 927 24 29 28

    The rooftop at Atrio
    The rooftop at Atrio
    stevie benanty

    stevie benanty

    Founder of a conversation.

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