PAMPLONA EL TORO HOTEL&SPA
More than 50 years as a hotel, but more than 400 years of existence.
The history begins in the year 1607, when a noble house was built in the small village of Alzorriz, known as “La Gran Casa” (the Great House). It was inhabited until the first half of the 20th century, passing through different owners over the years.
In 1965, the Marquis of Villamar, Lieutenant Colonel Trino de Fontcuberta, bought “La Gran Casa” with the aim of making it a hostel. Its mission entailed a great challenge: the transfer of the building to Berrioplano, 35km from Alzórriz. It was considered a privileged location, since it is 5km from Pamplona and near the road that leads to San Sebastián. The building was dismantled and rebuilt with great success, faithfully representing the original facade and structure. On September 14th, 1968, the “Hostal del Toro” was inaugurated in a grand opening ceremony attended by important personalities of the moment, such as the Minister of Information and Tourism, Manuel Fraga Iribarne.
The Hostal was decorated with rich traditional style furniture and valuable pieces of collecting, of which some are still preserved today, such as a medieval bust, a medieval-church altar frontal from the 15th century or a collection of 15 wooden chests of the S. XVII and XVIII. It is worth highlighting the floors of the common areas, also conserved, composed of clay tiles made in the Ceramics Factory of Santa Cruz de Mudela (Ciudad Real), all with the name of the hostel and a bull head engraved. To provide the hotel with an even greater artistic value, and as a focus of tourist attention, the sculptor José Luis Martínez Ripollés was entrusted with a sculptural ensemble that paid homage to the San Fermín worldwide-famous festivities. The monument, composed initially of two bulls and four runners, had a cost of more than 271,000 pesetas and was made in real size bronze and set on cobblestones from Estafeta Street, on the same level of inclination.
The subsequent years were uncertain in the economic plane and the impossibility of amortizing the large investment made for the construction of the hostel, caused its closure only 7 years after its opening (1975). The building was left unfortunately abandoned, being targeted by looters and thugs. The most valuable items that were still safe moved to the Hostal del Ciervo (belonging to the same property), having already disappeared many pieces and, among them, two of the corridors of the Encierro Monument.
In 1988 the navarrais entrepreneur Antonio Catalán, founder of the Nuevos Hoteles chain (NH Hoteles, at this time beginning its expansion phase), reached an agreement with the Fontcuberta family, still the owner of the building, and acquired 70% of the exploitation . At this time the hotel underwent an important renovation with which it was upgraded, being reopened as Hotel El Toro ***.
Then came the great years for the business, becoming an emblematic landmark of the city’s hospitality industry. The hotel mainly housed business guests, but also sports (specially cycling, Banesto and Once used to concentrate on the hotel and Miguel Induráin himself received several tributes in it) and culture (Joan Manuel Serrat, Azúcar Morenor, Rappel, Carmina Ordoñez, Rafael Moneo, Miguel Echenique, Rodrigo Rato, Ana Botella, Pedro J. Ramírez and Ortega Cano were some of the characters who stayed in their rooms.). Personal events, such as weddings, acquired great fame in Navarre in general, to the point that in Pamplona it was said:
“A citizen of Pamplona only gets married if the San Fermín chapel and the El Toro Hotel’s restaurant coincide. ”.
But the last years of the business were difficult. The growing hotel competition in the city, the decrease in the celebration of events, the need to reform the facilities and the national economic crisis led to the closure of the hotel on January 9th, 2017.
The Fontcuberta family decided to give the hotel a new opportunity by putting it in the hands of a new property. In this way, on April 11, 2017, Jesús Ángel Berisa, Navarrian businessman with great experience in the sector, reached a purchase agreement, opening a new stage for the hotel. A new reform is then carried out in the hotel facilities, with the highlight being the remodeling of the common areas and the rooms and the construction of the Mirador Saloon and the Wellness Zone. In this way the hotel is recategorized with one more star and reopened as in July 2017 as Pamplona El Toro Hotel & Spa ****.
The project was crowned with a high quality customer service policy. The guests are for the hotel the most important thing, and for them, all the staff of the hotel, represented in the Service of Excellence Mister10, devotes great efforts pretending to personalize to the maximum each stay and surprise the client as soon as it is within reach. In this way, the hotel has managed to resurface the excellence that once characterized it.