Stretching from the Pyrenees mountains to the azure waters of the Mediterranean, Catalonia is a province with much to offer travellers, especially those looking for an enchanting rural escape. From old farm houses converted into boutique hotels and fabulous villas given new life as luxury retreats, here are some of the most charming places to stay in Catalonia.
A design-forward boutique hotel, the Mas Lazuli Hotel is situated on a 12 hectare estate surrounded by olive groves and located not far from the French border. The rooms are stylish and functional, a far cry from the sometimes stifling rustic air of certain rural retreats. The hotel has its own restaurant, lead by Catalan chef Jordi Dalmau, who trained under some of the region’s finest Michelin-star chefs. If you’re in the mood for some pampering, there’s also a spa area where you can book a private jacuzzi session or sauna as well as massages and facial treatments.
A luxury boutique hotel located in the heart of the Catalan countryside, not far from the Pyrenees mountains, the Hotel Vella Farga is the perfect place for an indulgent countryside escape. The bedrooms are lavishly adorned with chandelier lighting, thick velvet curtains and a mixture of old and new furniture. The in-house restaurant has a gastronomic offering of locally inspired dishes served in the elegant dining room. The hotel is located just a short drive from the nearby mountains which offer stunning hikes in summer and skiing in the winter.
This family-run four star boutique hotel is housed within a 17th century countryside house, or masia, which was acquired by the Roca Barbé family some twenty years ago. The ethos here is one of natural simplicity, seeking a harmony with the environment and each other through use of environmentally friendly, locally sourced products and materials. Each of the 14 bedrooms offers a blend of the old and the new, with old stone walls contrasting with crisp white linens and cozy linen armchairs.
This small countryside hotel has caught the eye of glossy magazines such as Elle, MarieClaire and Woman thanks to its stylish design and romantic atmosphere. Owners Dominique and Ino used their experience as interior designer and stylist respectively to create a space where guests could feel at harmony with nature, both inside and outside the house. Reclaimed wood tables are adorned with carefully selected designer lamps and tasteful trinkets which lend a certain authenticity to the rooms.
This elegant casa rural, or rural house, has an air of English country home to it thanks to its Laura Ashley style floral curtains and old oak floorboards. Owners Jordi and Juan Carlos hand-picked antique furniture and original artwork to furnish their house, which counts five bedrooms, each with their own recently refurbished bathroom with walk-in shower and offering plump bathrobes and extra large towels. L’Hort de Sant Cebrià is located in the sleepy town of Torroella de Fluvià, just 3km (1.86 miles) from the sea making this a perfect place for a romantic weekend spent exploring the Costa Brava and the Catalan countryside.
Tucked away in the foothills of a natural park, Hotel Mas Mariassa is a modern boutique hotel priding itself on its gourmet restaurant as much as its superb setting. The terraced garden is dappled with olive trees and Mediterranean shrubs which provide intimacy for the outdoor pool area and large decked terrace. The hotel restaurant serves carefully prepared dishes featuring locally sourced ingredients such as fresh fish from the nearby port of Ametlla de Mar or vegetables from the region.
Named after the hill upon which it perches, the Montjuic Bed and Breakfast offers stunning vistas of the ancient city of Girona. This family-run bed and breakfast has five bedrooms which all offer views either of the garden or the city. The bathrooms are all provided with a range of eco-friendly and organic toiletries, which come in handy when you want to freshen up after an afternoon enjoying the sun by the outdoor pool.