The fall is my favorite time of year in the Costa Brava. The busy summer period is over and beach crowds disperse. This year we celebrated the arrival of the fall with a little staycation, just up the road from Girona, in the Bay of Roses Spain. We spent four nights at the lovely Hotel Terraza Roses Costa Brava and just fell in love. We are already planning our return to one of the best hotels in Roses Spain for next September. This is why.
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The Bay of Roses Spain
With all of our travel around the Costa Brava over the years, we never really explored Roses. It just seemed to be the Miami Beach of the Costa Brava. When we drove by to visit nearby Cadaques, or when exploring the local wineries, I just assumed it was built up with big hotels. Once we spent a few nights in Roses, though, we completely changed our tune.
The beach at the Bay of Roses is one of the best in the Costa Brava. The Costa Brava, or brave or wild coast, is often just that. Many of the beach areas are rocky outcrops, with stone or pebble beaches. These Costa Brava beaches are simply lovely. But, I’ve been known as the Goldilocks of the beaches. I like soft sand, with little rock or coral, and water I can easily swim in.
The Roses Spain beaches are soft sand, wide, clean, everything I want from a Spanish beach experience. Even better, the water in the fall was surprisingly warm, and even more surprisingly, crystal clear with a sandy bottom. When Eric stood in water up to his chin he could still see his feet.
There is also a promenade, which allows people to walk, run, or ride for miles all along the sandy beach. The Hotel Spa Terraza is in the center of the promenade and the Roses Spain map, with about three kilometers to walk north, and about three kilometers to walk south, making it a perfect places to explore the Bay of Roses.
Check out our Costa Brava Food Travel Guide for more tips on what to eat and do in the Costa Brava.
The Hotel Spa Terraza Roses Experience
I simply love hotels that embrace their history and the story of their surroundings. Hotel Terraza Roses is in the Emporda, so far north in Spain, it’s almost in France. The Empordà is an area named after Empúries, the original spot where the Greeks first touched down in Spain in 575 B.C. The gastronomy of the Empordà is characterized by its location between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean Sea, and the influences of the Tramuntana, a strong wind that blows in from the north. The Empordà has a history of being a seaside playground for decades, and Hotel Terraza is part of this history. The original hotel opened in 1935.
Although the four-star hotel is contemporary in nature, it’s still possible to feel this history. The moment I walked onto our sea view balcony I could also understand why Hotel Terraza Roses could be one of the best hotels in Roses Costa Brava. The moment I sat on my balcony all I wanted to do was put the phone down, close down the laptop and watch the waves crest the beach. History and relaxation all wrapped into one.
We spent our days in Roses alternating between wine tasting and wine shopping in the Emporda and relaxing on the hotel’s private beach. For the first time in a very long time, I felt like I actually relaxed. Mostly because I left my phone in the room. I never go anywhere without my phone. We swam in the crystal clear waters and napped on comfy beach chairs under the warm sun. It was perfect.
Book your stay in the Bay of Roses at Hotel Terraza Roses Costa Brava now
The Best Cocktails in Roses Costa Brava Spain
In addition to relaxing on the beach, each night we stayed at the Hotel Terraza Roses we visited their outdoor cocktail bar, Cocktail Terraza. When walking along the Costa Brava Roses promenade each evening we saw numerous cocktail bars or hotels that advertise cocktails. We never stopped at any of them. After we tried Franci’s cocktails at Cocktail Terraza, we were hooked.
Cocktail Terraza provides great music, outside, overlooking the Bay of Roses and fabulous cocktails. From Signature cocktails, which tell the story of the Emporda and the history of the Hotel Terraza Roses to classic cocktails like a properly made Old Fashioned and perfect gin and tonics. We enjoyed every cocktail Franci made for us, and we know our cocktails. She really made the experience at Hotel Terraza that much better, and more personalized.
The Hotel Terraza Spa Roses
The Hotel Terraza Spa also provided a little bit of relaxation. There is a rooftop pool with a view over the Bay of Roses and a series of water treatments. What I loved the most, though, was the ess Spa Terraza by Mònica Traviesa. Just like Franci at Cocktail Terraza offered signature cocktails based on the history of the hotel, Mònica offers signature spa treatments that tell the story of the Emporda.
We chose the Meditative Rose treatment, inspired by the Salvador Dalí painting. Dalí was a native of the area, there is a Dalí museum in Figueres, and you can visit Dali’s home in Cadaques. Mònica Traviesa incorporated the colors of the Dalí painting into a treatment involving clays the colors of the chakras. The massage treatment also included a Tibetan bowl, and rosemary oils and essence. When hiking in the Emporda you can find rosemary growing wild.
The entire experience was almost magical, with the true essence of the Emporda. I can’t imagine that any other hotel spa in Roses provides such a uniquely Emporda spa experience.
Read more reviews of Hotel Terraza Roses – TripAdvisor
Top Things to do in Roses Spain
For me, I would want to spend my entire time in Roses on the beach, and Hotel Terraza is the perfect place to do that with its private beach club. You can also book all sorts of Terraza Experiences direct with them, including wine tastings, hiking, and water sports. Many of the Hotel Terraza Experiences include wine tastings in the area. I would definitely recommend this. Hotel Terraza can arrange Catalan wine tastings at some of our favorite DO Emporda wineries. Because we’ve been to all of the DO Emporda wineries, though, Hotel Terraza wanted us to try another of the Terraza Experiences, and an experience it was.
Hotel Terraza arranged for us to experience Windoor, an indoor skydiving experience. We are not adventurous travelers, so this definitely was out of our comfort zone. But it was so much fun. We put on our royal blue flying suits, strapped on some goggles, and jumped into an indoor wind tunnel. This definitely is not an experience for everyone, although I had to keep reminding myself that even small children do it. I am certainly glad I tried it.
The great thing about Terraza Experiences is that the hotel will arrange everything for you. With many activities in the area difficult to book online, this is a big bonus. No need to find a phone number or worry about speaking Catalan. Terraza takes care of everything!
There’s also a good amount of Roses Spain nightlife, including restaurants, bars, and clubs. Several nights a week Hotel Terraza also hosts live music near the pool. There is no shortage of things to do.
Restaurants – Roses Costa Brava
Hotel Terraza offers a few different dining options. Bim’s is their Mediterranean Bistro, which prepares local Catalan specialties like Catalan rice and suquet, a traditional fish stew. We enjoyed a three-course lunch poolside with local Emporda wines. It was a perfect afternoon meal al fresco. The three-course lunch menu is only €25, making it a very good value for quality cuisine in Roses.
Hotel Terraza’s La Cuina d’en Norat is the hotel’s fine-dining alternative. They serve dinner poolside, or in the dining room when the weather turns a bit. On Saturday night they prepare a gastronomic tasting menu, with Emporda wines, and jazz music. It was an enjoyable evening out in Roses, poolside. Other nights, the restaurant prepares more typical Catalan dishes. Both restaurants feature one of the most extensive DO Emporda wine lists in the Costa Brava.
If looking to explore outside of the hotel, there are loads of restaurants in Roses, Spain. Hundreds of them. Unfortunately, many of them are very touristy. It’s hard to decide when walking the promenade where to find traditional Catalan cuisine or great seafood. One of the best restaurants in Roses Spain is not far from the hotel. Rafa’s Roses serves up an entirely different experience from the dining at Hotel Terraza Roses. Rafa’s is a straight seafood restaurant: no frills, no menu, no website. Just simply grilled seafood fresh from the local fish market. There’s also a fun rotisseries chicken place called Pago Pago that’s worth a visit.
FAQs – Playa de Roses Costa Brava – Roses Turismo
The reception desk at Hotel Terraza Roses can provide loads of information on how to make the most of a holiday to Roses Catalunya. Here are some more travel tips on how to explore the Bay of Roses Spain.
- Where is Roses Spain? Roses, Catalonia, Spain, is the last of the large beach areas in the Costa Brava before arriving France. By car, it takes about an hour to drive from Girona to Roses and about 20 minutes from Figueres to Roses. The nearest airport to Roses Spain is the Girona Costa Brava airport. It also takes about an hour to drive from the Girona Airport to Roses. The distance from Barcelona to Roses is a bit longer, with the drive taking a little over two hours.
- What is the Roses weather like? The weather in Roses Spain is typical of the weather along most of the Costa Brava. It’s best to plan a trip to the Costa Brava around the weather. Roses Costa Brava is a prime tourist destination in July and August. Spring and Fall are better times to visit because the beach is near empty. The water is warmer in Fall than in Spring. During the winter, it can get cold and wet, but it can also be lovely to be near the beach in the winter. Hotel Terraza Roses is open year round.
- Where I can I find more information about how to visit Roses? The Office de Tourisme Roses is located at Av. de Rhode, 77, Roses, Girona, Spain. It’s only a 5-minute walk from Hotel Spa Terraza Roses and just across the street from the Roses beach.
- Does the Terraza Grup have other hotels near Roses Spain? Yes, the Terraza Grup offers various options for accommodation in Roses Spain and the surrounding region. Hotel 1935 Roses is a smaller, boutique hotel in Roses. Terraza also has apartments in Roses Spain and in nearby Figueres.
We were hosted by Hotel Terraza Roses, but, as always, all our views are our own. Rooms at Hotel Terraza start around €90 a night in the lower season. Room rates increase during the high season, in July and August. They also offer packages for wellness or gastronomy focused stays in Roses.
Pin It! Hotel Terraza Roses Costa Brava – The Bay of Roses Spain
Amber Hoffman, food and travel writer behind With Husband In Tow, is a recovering attorney and professional eater, with a passion for finding new food and drink destinations. She lives with her husband, Eric, in Girona, Catalonia, Spain. Together over the last 20 years, they have traveled to over 70 countries. Amber is the author of the Food Traveler’s Guide to Emilia Romagna.