Apartments Cap Sa Sal

Near Begur, Catalonia, Spain Book from Book from £211 per night

Once frequented by Hollywood's elite, this secluded Costa Brava getaway has 6 stylish apartments (sleeps 2-6), a sublime 7-bedroom villa, and boasts cinematic sea views
It’s impossible to talk about Cap Sa Sal without first delving into its illustrious past. Carved into a cliff in a quiet corner of the Costa Brava, the original crescent-shaped building was a glamorous hotel built in the 50s and frequented by Hollywood heartthrobs during the summers of the 60s - Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and Princess Grace all holidayed here. It’s also one of few boutique hotels with a claim to British espionage fame: the 1969 spy spoof Some Girls Do was filmed here.

Framed by swaying palm trees and craggy mountains, Cap Sa Sal now spreads across 3 separate buildings, all facing the shimmering Mediterranean Sea. The original structure has been converted into apartments, most of them privately owned, though happily 6 of the flagships (featured here) are available as stunning holiday rentals. Spacious and design-led, they exude creative flair; each is completely different, all but one work for families. Down among the pines, there's also a secluded villa for up to 14 (see below), and a modern adults-only hotel (see our separate review). While much has changed since Cap Sa Sal’s Hollywood heyday, some things have not: the secluded location backed by a forest of sloping pines continues to attract guests in search of tranquillity and nature-rich landscapes. Yet it's just a 5-minute drive to the medieval hilltop town of Begur, where the cobblestoned streets are lined with eateries and overlooked by a fairytale castle.

Highs

  • Breathtaking sea views from all accommodation and the stunning pool, which is ingeniously set into the rocks
  • An excellent on-site restaurant, with Mediterranean-inspired food
  • Super-chic decor, especially in penthouse Privado, romantic Apartment 210, and the private villa, which has its own pool
  • Electric bikes to hire; perfect for exploring the beautiful Costa Brava
  • The communal areas of the original hotel are time capsules from the 50s and wonderfully atmospheric; there's a grand piano in one, and a secret tunnel to the beach!

Lows

  • Note that a security deposit will be held against your card on arrival
  • No supermarket within walking distance; the nearest is a 5-minute drive away (you'll need a car here)
  • The open-plan kitchens are lovely, but could do with a few basic ingredients and more cooking utensils
  • The beach is rocky though great for diving off and swimming/snorkelling

Best time to go

If it's total tranquility you’re after, come outside the peak summer season (July/August). May, early June and September are perfect times to visit; it’s still warm enough to swim in the sea, and if you’re lucky, you might have the beach all to yourself on weekdays.

Our top tips

We loved exploring the building's vast, warren-like structure and discovering clues to its Hollywood past. On the basement floor you’ll see vintage posters where the in-house beauty salon used to be, and a black-and-white photo collection of a young Rock Hudson and celebrity friends enjoying time at Cap Sa Sal. There’s also an old library on the ground floor which remains unchanged.

Great for...

Beach
Family
Honeymoon
  • Boutique Rentals
  • 7 apartments for 2-6, and a villa for 14
  • Self catering (restaurant on-site)
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 27 Dec 2018 - 27 Jan 2019
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Daily Maid Service
  • Towels & Bedlinen
Room:

Rooms

It’s a quirky set-up at Cap Sa Sal. Today, the original 1950s building is a mix of hotel-owned apartments and private residences. The old foyer is a testament to the past – with hanging tapestries under its circular ceiling – and a great contrast to the ultra-modern apartments that spread across 3 floors. Each apartment has been completely remodelled, and features a mix of contemporary art, vintage pieces and recycled furniture (much of it gleaned from the hotel’s old restaurant), as well as clever use of lighting and tons of space.

It’s hard to believe that Apartment 210 was once the hotel’s nursery. Now it’s all sleek lines and stylish finds - enormously romantic for 2. We loved the vertical wood-panelled walls and hall-like bathroom with a sexy black-tiled shower. Crema, for 2 + a child, is ultra-modern, with wood panelling and designer chairs. Twingo and Rose each sleep 4 in 2 bedrooms (good for families/friends); the former is Scandi chic, the latter white-washed and minimalist, with rose-coloured velvet sofas. Apartment 88 has 3 bedrooms, cheerful red and white decor, and a great terrace built into the rocks.

But the pick of the bunch is Privado (sleeping 6). Measuring an impressive 360m2, this 3-bedroom penthouse has panoramic sea views, a gorgeous mosaic floor and the ceiling is made from the wooden hulls of a boat (it’s seriously cool).

The Villa Resort is a standalone villa with 7 lovely bedrooms (5 of which can be twinned) and a private pool. Its decor is super-stylish and modern: clusters of hanging rose fairy lights, stable-style doors, a wall of neon shelves.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Central heating
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hairdryer
  • Hob or stove
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pool/beach towels
  • Safe box
  • Toaster
  • TV
  • Washing machine
  • WiFi

Eating

With open-plan kitchens, designer living spaces and stunning sea views, you’ll want to self-cater quite a bit (note, no basic ingredients are provided, so you'll need to buy everything, including salt, pepper, washing-up liquid etc). But if you're feeling lazy, head to Cap Sa Sal's glass-encased restaurant surrounded by pine trees, overlooking the silvery sea.

Lunchtime and evening menus revolve around freshly caught fish (tuna tataki, octopus and kimchi, for example) and Mediterranean-influenced meat dishes (steak tartare and duck magret cannelloni). Outside, fairy lights are strewn across the ocean-facing terrace; it’s a romantic setting for an evening meal.

For a change of scene, Sa Tuna's restaurants are a 20-minute walk away, along the shoreline, and Begur is a 5-minute drive. Here you’ll find a good choice of eateries, ranging from renovated farmhouses to modern cafes and ice cream parlours. Everywhere we tried was very family friendly.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Fridge
  • Full kitchen
  • Hob or stove
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Restaurant
  • Toaster
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Swim in perfect blue waters: dive in from the rocks of Cap Sa Sal's beach; Cala D’Aiguafreda is a pretty inlet a quick walk from the apartments, and Platja Sa Tuna is the next beach up the coast (20 mins' walk)
  • Explore the Costa Brava's idyllic landscapes by electric bike (you can hire them at the hotel reception). A choice of suggested routes will take you through paddy fields, into charming seaside villages, or along the foothills of the Pyrenees
  • Try DO Empordá wines on a tasting tour at Celler Can Sais or Cellar Mas Oller, both set in picturesque countryside
  • Take a full- or half-day boat excursion around the Costa Brava; its hidden coves are perfect for swimming
  • Enjoy a bird’s eye view of Cap Sa Sal’s stunning surroundings on a hot-air balloon jaunt; ask at reception
  • They can also help you ride horses along white-sand beaches, through wooded forests or up into the mountains
  • Sample artisan cider at Mooma; this local cider house offers a tasting and breakfast package!

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Sailing
  • Shopping / markets
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Well being

Kids

With open-plan kitchens and tons of space, Cap Sa Sal’s five larger apartments are brilliant for families (though possibly not boisterous young ones, who might knock over designer lampshades). There aren't any special in-house activities for children, but older kids will enjoy the pool, diving off the rocks, boat excursions, beach trips and bike rides.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Crema sleeps 2 + a child (master bedroom, small single bedroom; 2 shower bathrooms). Rosa sleeps 4 + 1 baby (master bedroom, second twin bedroom; 2 shower bathrooms). Twingo sleeps 5 + 1 baby (master bedroom, second twin bedroom, space for an extra bed and baby cot; 3 shower bathrooms, 2 of which have tubs, too). Apartment 88 sleeps up to 6 + 1 baby (master bedroom, second bedroom with 2 sets of bunkbeds; 2 bathrooms). Privado sleeps 6 + 1 baby (1 kingsize bedroom + 2 double/twin bedrooms, ensuite shower bathrooms, plus an additional shower bathroom). The Villa Resort house sleeps up to 14 + 1 baby (2 queensize bedrooms, 5 double/twin bedrooms with ensuite shower bathrooms), and has its own pool.

Baby equipment:

  • Baby cots
  • High chairs

Remember  baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking

Kids Activities on site:

  • A pool

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Boat trips
  • Bike rides
  • Beaches
  • Hot-air balloon rides
  • Begur's castle

Families Should Know:

The pool is unfenced

Distances:

  • Airport: 1 hour's drive (Girona)
  • Hospital: 5-minute drive (Begur)
  • Shops: 5-minute drive (Begur)
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
8/10
Food
8/10
Service
10/10
Value
9/10
Overall

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Rates for Apartments Cap Sa Sal