Stretching from the French border to Barcelona, this area of the Spanish coastline is less populated than others and relatively unspoilt. Meaning ‘wild’ coast, the region is known for wonderful golden beaches, a temperate climate, medieval towns and pretty villages. As such the Costa Brava is also home to some of the most divine hotels and resorts in the land, meeting the needs of families, couples and singles alike.
Hostal de la Gavina
Don’t be fooled by the name, this is no ‘hostel’. This retreat, dating back to the 1920s, has hosted a plethora of Hollywood’s icons as well as real-life royalty. Hostal de la Gavina sits on an area of land jutting out toward the sea. This provides panoramic views from most of its sides, with an excellent beach just five minutes on foot via a coastal path. The interiors here follow a palatial traditional style with gleaming parquet flooring, silk wallpaper, Grecian pillars, flamboyant flower arrangements, marble surfaces and antique furniture. Three restaurants (the main dining room offers piano accompaniment at dinner) a spa and a ship-themed bar are available for guests’ enjoyment. Outside there’s a large, glamorous pool terrace, a kids’ play area and tennis courts.
Elke Spa Hotel
Elke Spa Hotel is found in Sant Feliu de Guixols, just over 10 minutes walk from the Cala del Vigatà Beach. It has 66 forms of accommodation each with minibars and huge flat-screen TVs. The rooftop wellness area offers a hammam, a sauna and a hot tub, as well as a large range of treatments. Guests can swim and sun themselves outside on the sleek terrace and dine in one of the two sophisticated restaurants. An indoor soft play area, mini club, games and babysitting services makes it ideal for those travelling with very young children.
Hotel Castell d’Empordà
Take a heritage vacation by staying in this magical castle dating back to the turn of the 14th century. This Catalan ruin – said to have been inhabited by Christopher Columbus at one point – has been completely refurbished to create boutique hotel accommodation comprising 57 bedrooms. Here guests will find exposed stonework, global artefacts, patchwork rugs, stained glass windows, Tibetan textiles and Victorian bathtubs, all contributing to an antique, yet exotic feel. There are two pools, one proffering stunning views and a bar, the other tiled and nestled in the castle’s gardens. Hotel Castell d’Empordà’s restaurants serve Spanish and Asian dishes and a cellar bar provides an atmospheric spot for a drink.
Hotel Camiral at PGA Catalunya
This modern meets mid-century five-star hotel lies ten minutes from Girona, within the PGA Catalunya Resort – making it extremely popular with golf enthusiasts. On the Conde Nast Traveller Gold List and a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, Camiral is the epitome of elegance and chic. The Mediterranean restaurant, chilled out brasserie and bars (including a pool bar) provide ample opportunity for socialising. While a fitness centre, on-site activities, an infinity pool surrounded by luxe loungers, and a spa ensure there’s plenty to keep guests occupied – be it relaxing, or getting active. It accommodates 149 rooms with Elemis toiletries and pillow menus.
Hotel Santa Marta
Lloret de Mar is one of Costa Brava’s premier destinations and it’s here that Hotel Santa Marta is found. Yet this property is hidden away, in an exclusive forested location beside Santa Cristina beach (this is accessed via a woodland path). The 76 room hotel is within reach of the town, yet provides plenty of activities on-site, such as tennis courts, beachside yoga, a waterfront pool with jacuzzi, supervised kids activities and an Ayurvedic spa. Guests can also bring their pets along when holidaying here. Fine dining is available at Hotel Santa Marta and there are two bars – one indoor, one alfresco.