Eurostars Hotel Company
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        History of the building

        A 'temple devoted to health'

        Everything in La Toja is legendary, from the stories of discovering the healing virtues of its thermal waters to the hygiene revolution brought about by its soap factory. Designed by architect Daniel Vázquez-Gulías, the island and its Gran Hotel have been the summer retreat for important personalities for over a century.

        In 1841, chemist and pharmacist Antonio Casares found calcium, iron, magnesium and sodium in its thermal waters, ideal for curing certain diseases. Years later, the Marquis of Riestra, the island’s owner, recognised the business opportunity in spas.

        After staging an international competition to construct a grand hotel-spa, the Gran Hotel was inaugurated in 1907, a creation of the Ourense architect Daniel Vázquez-Gulías. The two-part building followed the structure of the great spas of the time: the French Vichy and the German Baden-Baden.

        In 1989, the Bilderberg Club chose this location for one of its annual meetings. Its members, including the kings of Belgium, tycoon David Rockefeller and Henry Kissinger, selected it for its absolute tranquillity. During those years, personalities like Gabriel García Márquez and Severo Ochoa also stayed there. The Nobel Prize in Medicine hailed the Gran Hotel as “a genuine temple devoted to health”.

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