In the heart of the Costa Brava’s lush, wine-growing Empordá region, nestled in its own extensive grounds and with wonderful views of the surrounding countryside, the hotel is a world unto itself. The lovely medieval hilltop town of Begur is a short drive away, as are golf courses and some of the Costa’s most beautiful beaches, coves and harbour villages. But if you just want to de-stress and get away from it all, the self-contained apartments with pool are the kind of place you could just settle in for the week without ever setting foot outside your door. (As some A-listers have apparently been known to do.)
Each of the ten ‘Macia’ rooms in the original main building are Junior Suites. Depending whether you go for old-school charm or contemporary hip, you can choose between rooms done up in plush chintziness (think original terracotta stone floors, antiques, pale yellow walls and deep burgundies, all in keeping with the main building’s origins as an 18th-century farmhouse), or smart, contemporary decor (think rush matting, muted greys and beiges, dark wood and cool, understated chic). The rooms on the upper floors of the main building have the best views over the surrounding countryside. I fell in love with ‘Las Amapolas’ (all the rooms are individually named after different flowers and plants) which is one of the more traditional-style rooms and has a floor-to-ceiling, triple-arched picture window looking out across the Empordá to the village of Pals and out to the Mediterranean. If you prefer the more modern look, rooms like ‘Los Geranios’ look out over the pool. All the rooms have marble bathrooms with ‘his and hers’ wash basins, as well as a large selection of toiletries from the hotel spa. They also all have a free minibar and safe. There are also 22 ‘Garden Suites’ – essentially luxury private mini-villas - as well as eight ‘Orange Suites’ which are more or less the same except that you’ve also got your own private pool.
In the main building, the traditional feel is to the fore, with two cosy lounge areas with comfy, sink-in-and-you’ll-never-get-up-style sofas and a few classily chosen candles and objets, as well as open fires in the winter. There’s also a billiards table, and a smoking room (Spain’s no-smoking indoors ban doesn’t come into effect till 2011). If you're staying in the rooms on the first and second floors of the main building, there are also lounge areas on each floor with antiques and wonderful views out across the surrounding countryside. A decanter of port is thoughtfully left waiting for you to help you enjoy the views further.
Eating and drinking
The hotel has two restaurants – Mas de Torrent is for serious, formal dining with top notch Catalan and international cuisine and an emphasis on locally sourced products as well as many from the hotel’s own kitchen gardens. There’s also the more casual Pool Restaurant – a classily designed glass box overlooking the pool.
The luxury ‘Mas Spa’ includes an indoor heated pool, sauna and hammam, deluxe treatment rooms – all charcoal greys with rich red Oriental flourishes. There’s also a gym, outdoor pool and tennis courts and free WiFi throughout the hotel. The gym has wonderful views over the surrounding countryside so you can let nature rather than the TV entertain you while you’re on the treadmill. The hotel runs Pilates and ‘stretching’ classes twice a week. Golf courses are five minutes away, and they can also organise horse-riding, balloon rides or other sporting or cultural activities.
The philosophy here is that if you’re paying a premium for your rooms, the service should be equally top class, so they’ll go out of their way to arrange virtually anything you might want. There’s also a free ‘Kids’ Club’ available in the afternoons, valet parking and a small wine store (tucked away behind the restaurant), selling an extensive selection of top quality international wines.
Who stays there
International A-listers, high-flying business execs, families and couples.
- Business Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Pets Allowed
- Room Service
- Swimming Pool
- Business travellers
- Families with younger children
- Mature travellers
- Celebrity spotting
- Escaping the crowds
- Special occasions
Pros & Cons
- Top class luxury
- Takes itself a little bit seriously