Hopefully I whet your appetite enough about the food and wine in Costa Brava that you might actually be considering a trip to Catalunya. I have so many more stories to tell, about the restaurants and chefs, and the vineyards and winemakers who we met during our time in the Costa Brava, Spain. But, I wanted to get some of the practical stuff out of the way. There are many options of where to stay in Costa Brava, depending on your budget. Here are just a few.
Hotels in Costa Brava
There are plenty of hotels in Costa Brava, and we stayed at some lovely properties during our time in Catalunya. During our three day blogger trip with the tourism board, we stayed in three different properties, on three, unfortunately, very short stays. Each of them was a unique property, historic, and sometimes even operated by the fourth or fifth generation of the family.
Our favorite was Hotel Aiqua Blava, on the cliffs outside of Begur. We were so pleased with our view, our stay, and the breakfast that we asked Esther, the marketing manager, if we could return as soon as possible. She welcomed us back to Hotel Aiqua Blava with open arms the following week. We also had a chance to dine on a multi-course molecular gastronomy inspired Spanish dinner from Chef Lluis at their restaurant.
We also stayed at Hotel San Roc in Calella de Palafrugell, and Hotel Trias in Palamos. Both properties were great. We had a unique suite at Hotel San Roc, which had a wrap around balcony, giving us views on three sides of the hotel. We also had a humongous shower, from which I did not want to emerge.
Hotel Trias was unique in that it had a very nautical theme, which matches it’s locale at the Palamos harbor, the heart of the fishing industry in Costa Brava. We did not have a lot of time to enjoy the hotel, but I managed to squeeze in a post-dinner Vermouth poolside before bed, which was quite tasty.
In addition, I can recommend two other hotels in Costa Brava, solely based on the hotel restaurants. And, really, the food is the most important part, right? Particularly, in the gastronomy capital that is Costa Brava.
First, we enjoyed some lovely meals, and most importantly, the best gin and tonic in Catalunya, at Hotel Tamariu’s El Clot del Mussols. Tell Chef Marc that Amber and Eric sent you! The hotel is set on the main promenade in Tamariu and rooms have clear views over the Mediterranean.
And, any hotel that contains a Michelin Star restaurant must be good. Chef Quim Casellas and his sister, Maria, renovated their family’s historic Casamar Hotel in Llafranc. Although we haven’t stayed there, the hotel is decorated in a contemporary design matching their restaurant Casamar, where we did dine. A review of Chef Quim’s Casamar will be forthcoming, I promise.
Each of these properties is definitely on the luxury end of the spectrum, due not only to their service but also due to their water front locations. Other, less expensive hotels exist, generally more inland.
Luxury Villas in Costa Brava
As much as there are lovely hotels, particularly along the seaside, hotels are not as common in Costa Brava as they are in other seaside locales. This is particularly the case in Palamos, where our guide told us Hotel Trias was the only hotel in town. If you look beyond the hotels for seaside holidays, though, there are loads of options for unique places to stay in Costa Brava.
If your budget allows, or if you are traveling with a large family, or even better, a group of friends, try renting a luxury villa. You have your own kitchen, living area, and often times a pool with amazing views over the coast of Costa Brava.
We were able to test out a Charming Villas luxury villa in Cadaques for a day of wine tasting with Sherry Ott of Otts World and Dave and Deb from The Planet D. Richard, the owner of Charming Villas also brought in Laura Masramon, a well known sommelier in Emporda, and Chef Lee, a private chef in the area.
This is the great thing about having a full blown luxury villa in Costa Brava – the ability to bring in a chef, either for the entire time, or for a special lunch, like we did with Chef Lee. We enjoyed our lunch and wine tasting on the patio, overlooking the entire cove of Cadaques.
Another company whose luxury villa photos made me drool was Corredor Mato. We worked with them for our apartment rental in Tamariu, but they also have enormous luxury villas along the Catalunya coast, many of which are set out on cliff tops with views over the Mediterranean. We are already thinking about how to host the next With Husband In Tow corporate retreat at one of their villas.
Apartments in Costa Brava
Although we were able to stick our toe into the life of a luxury villa in Costa Brava with Charming Villas, most of our time was spent in apartments throughout the region. Renting an apartment was a great way to explore Catalunya especially during a long term stay in Costa Brava.
We stayed in a cozy two bedroom apartment in Tamariu beach, with a large balcony overlooking the main promenade. We stayed in a water front apartment in L’Estartit, which was so “water front” that the view made me feel like we were on a cruise ship, minus the sea sickness. We also stayed in a large apartment complex on a golf course outside of the medieval town of Pals.
Apartment rentals are very common forms of accommodations in Costa Brava because they are more plentiful than hotels, add a little bit more comfort, and strike a good value. Prices vary between the off season (spring and fall) and high season (July and August), but rentals can start at 60 Euros a night, offering a much better deal than a hotel, with extra space, and often times, a washing machine. This is key for long term travelers.
Casa Rural in Costa Brava
Another option for places to stay in Costa Brava are the agriturismo style accommodations, the farmhouses that are sprinkled through the Emporda region. In Catalunya, these are known as a casa rural, and the best we one we found was Mas del Joncar, in Sant Pere Pescador.
The owners, Manuel and Anna, were entirely welcoming, offering advice on nearby restaurants, and which wineries we should tour in Emporda. They had a plentiful buffet breakfast, a patio, and a pool. Our room was pleasant, with a high ceiling (making Eric feel a little less like a giant), and exposed stone walls, which made it feel more farmhouse like.
Two things, though, stood out about Mas del Joncar. There was a living room, shared between the four upstairs rooms, allowing us some space to work, or at one point to open a bottle of wine along with some bread and cheese. I always love having extra space so we are not spending all of our time sitting and working on a bed.
The other surprise: dinner. We had no idea that they cooked dinner in their home kitchen for guests. We started noticing other guests eating at night and we were not sure how to do it, did we need to order in advance? How much was it? Finally, our last night, after exhausting the dining options in town, at least the restaurants that were open during the off season, we decided to try Manuel’s home cooking.
We were very impressed, and walked away stuffed, after three courses. The dessert course included a decadent blueberry cheesecake. With water, bread, and a bottle of very good Mas Llunes Emporda wine, dinner was 13 Euros per person, a great deal. Best part, at the end of the night, we just needed to walk upstairs to bed.
How to Book at Stay in Costa Brava
During our six week stay in Costa Brava, we tested out a bunch of different options for accommodations at a bunch of different price points. Here is a list of each of the places we stayed, or the companies we worked with, along with their pricing.
Hotel Aiqua Blava in Begur, with stunning sea view rooms starting at 150 Euros. It’s possible to book rooms with breakfast included, half board, or full board.
Hotel San Roc in Callela de Palafrugell, with rooms starting at 150 Euros, many of which also have sea views.
Hotel Trias in Palamos, with rooms starting at 120 Euros. Don’t forget to try the vermouth.
Hotel Tamariu on Tamariu beach, with rooms starting at 110 Euros, and order a Gin Mare gin and tonic.
Hotel Casamar in Llafranc, with rooms starting at 110 Euros, with the Michelin Star Restaurant downstairs.
Charming Villas, with luxury villas in Costa Brava, starting around 3,000 Euros a week. Richard can help arrange a chef or wine tasting at the villa.
Corredor Mato in Tamariu, with apartments starting around 325 Euros a week, and luxury houses and villa rentals in Costa Brava ranging from 1000 to 3000 Euros a week. Ask for Stephane.
Torrent API in L’Estartit and Pals, with apartments starting around 60 Euros a night in the off season, and 140 Euros in the peak season. Ask for Esther.
Mas del Joncar, the casa rural, has rooms starting at 90 Euros, including breakfast.
No matter where you stay in Costa Brava, I can guarantee you will be welcomed with open arms.
We were supported by Costa Brava Tourism during our time in Catalunya, but my views are, as always, my own. Some of these properties hosted us directly as well. Some of the links above are to Agoda listings where, if you book, I get a smidgen of a referral fee. Seriously, it’s a smidgen.
Amber is a recovering attorney, yoga teacher, writer, social media consultant, and eater, traveling With Husband In Tow