The stars, planets and galaxies appear close enough to touch. Or so it seems with the new stargazing program at Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine that combines a powerful new telescope and perfect viewing conditions.
“What makes LeDomaine ideal for a Stellar Tourism Experience is our location in the countryside far from the city lights,” explained Andrés Araya, Managing Director. “With the naturally pitch-black, clear skies here in the Duero Valley allowing our potent new telescope to peer deep into the heavens, guests enjoy spectacular stargazing evenings.”
Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine, an historic 12th-century abbey and winery that was converted into an exclusive hotel with an award-winning restoration, is located on an isolated 1,730-acre estate in Spain’s Duero wine-growing region.
The Stellar Tourism Experience begins with a short introduction to astronomy followed by stargazing sessions, which guests enjoy sipping their favorite drink and listening to relaxing music. In addition, guests may take astrophotography sessions and shoot night-time pictures. The stargazing experiences are held twice weekly in the “Monks Garden,” a unique setting by the banks of the Douro River and beside the apse of Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine’s medieval church. There is no charge for this inspiring activity that has been newly introduced to enhance the guest experience.
The telescope is the Celestron CPC 1100 GPS, with an exceptionally large 11” aperture, powerful light gathering power, vast database of galaxies and celestial bodies, and a GPS feature that automatically aligns it for the best viewing. The hotel staff has undergone complete training in the use of the Celestron.
“The magnitude of what you can see, depending on the global positioning at any given time, is extraordinary, from Mars and craters on the moon to nebulae and the rings of Saturn,” enthused Mr. Araya.