“El Hidalgo” was a pioneering project that introduced the concept of the motel to Spain. Though the motel concept derives from North America, in adapting it to the mentality and customs of the country, Spanish motels never became a direct copy of American types but were rather developed as roadside hotels. The Hidalgo was called a motel because the cars were to be parked close to the room, although the bill would be paid in the reception at the end of the stay.
The site chosen was then a four-hour drive from Madrid, thus an ideal place to stop and spend the night during a trip to Andalucía. With this in mind, an ambitious program was conceived that was to have occupied almost seven hectares of the Manchegan plain. Though designed in its totality, only the first phase was built in the end. Today, with travel time considerably reduced, the motel is mainly used by hunters.
The building complex was arranged so that the sense of horizontality would predominate. The louvers applied to the general service openings and the bathrooms emphasized the horizontality. The surrounding landscape was of little interest, with only the distant background of mountains to the south and the east. For this reason, close and attractive views were created in the remaining directions. The shapes of the different volumes were carefully designed with the objective of creating a varied play of volumes within the uniformity and simplicity of the whole. Pedestrian and vehicular circulation, as well as landscaped areas, unified the complex. All the rooms faced the garden areas.
Three metal publicity towers were strategically placed at the perimeter and the center of the built complex. The central tower offers information as to the availability of rooms.
Local materials were used. Maximum nobility and durability were sought, and natural textures were maintained in the metal work, carpentry and brick surfaces. According to a journalist in 1960, “it is with a notable skill that Mr. Lamela achieves his apparent objectives in creating the ambience of the Hidalgo complex: comfort, quality and simplicity, without passing the limits of what we could call a discrete luxury.”