“The 16th and 21st centuries collide in these dazzling architect-designed apartments in central Girona (sleeping 2-10)”
The house is split into 2 apartments, El Jardi ('The Garden'), which is downstairs and sleeps 2-4, and El Badiu ('The Veranda'), which is a duplex sleeping 2-6. You can also book both together, sleeping a maximum of 10, which would be wonderful for a family celebration or special weekend in Girona.
Throughout, the design is stunning: modern, minimalist, stylish. All fittings are top of the range and work harmoniously with the brickwork walls, ancient features and pale stone.
El Jardi is a good option for 2 couples or a small family, sleeping up to 4 in 2 double/twin bedrooms, though there's only 1 bathroom (with a shower). The kitchen/diner is spacious, and leads onto a lovely living area with a long couch and shelves of books and CDs. A sliding door can hide the kitchen while you’re relaxing. You also get access to the private garden with its shaded dining area and small rainwater-fed plunge pool.
El Badiu has 1 large master suite (plus an ensuite bathroom with a tub and shower), and 2 big single rooms with space for a rollaway bed in each and little shower ensuites. It’s ideal for a family with 2-4 children and has plenty of play space, a roof terrace, a dining area with a lounge, and a large family kitchen. The living room has a large fireplace and the terrace has views over the Jewish Quarter. From the third step you also have a partial view of the cathedral.
The apartments have state-of-the-art kitchens, which are perfect for cooking up sensational meals using local goodies. In El Jardi you get a kitchen/diner and there's an outside oak table for relaxed alfresco eating in the garden. There's a hob, oven, fridge and dishwasher, and the kitchen can be hidden behind a fold-out screen when not being used.
Upstairs in El Badiu, there's a far larger family kitchen with all mod cons plus a dining table with wheels so you can trundle it outside to the roof terrace, which is equipped with a BBQ.
Full basic ingredients are provided for cooking and cleaning, and there are supermarkets, bakeries and grocery stores within easy walking distance. And if you can't be bothered to cook, you don’t have to walk far to find somewhere to eat: the Jewish Quarter has plenty of small cafés and bakeries and across the bridge in the newer part of Girona, street cafés spill into the pavement. Montse can also arrange a shopping service, welcome hamper and meal deliveries or a chef; just ask.
As well as what's mentioned in our top tip, there is a 3-Michelin-starred restaurant in Sant Pol de Mar (Santa Pau, 57km), and 12 other Michelin-starred restaurants within an hour’s drive. For something more affordable, ask Montse for recommendations - her husband is a chef in one of Girona’s finest kitchens. There are booklets about local restaurants in the apartments, and Montse can arrange a private chef service for a Catalan tasting menu.
Alemanys 5 is not your typical family apartment by any means, but if you’re a super-slick clan with children who can handle the stairs here, it would work really well. The owners have kids and El Badiu's single rooms were designed with them in mind. If you hired the whole house, it would work well as a retreat for 2 families together, or an extended family; it sleeps 10 adults + 2 babies.
El Badiu has 2 single rooms with their own bathrooms, which would work well for older children
Babysitting can be arranged via the housekeeper for an extra charge
A baby monitor should work throughout the house and in the garden; check your model as the thick stone walls in some areas might be a problem
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
The stairs and the pool are a potential hazard for younger children; watch them carefully