“Remodelled medieval castle with contemporary flair, a divine roof terrace, stunning pool and great central Catalonian location”
The 38 bedrooms are furnished in a spare, contemporary style. Everything is orientated around the view, from the colours decorating the corridors to the careful positioning of bathtubs, and most rooms have deep window seats or a balcony.
There are several different categories. Tower Rooms are the smallest, set in the old tower with stunning views and shower bathrooms. Castle Rooms are in the old part of the main building, with exposed stone walls, vaulted ceilings and bathtubs tucked behind intricate screens. Garden Rooms are split amongst 2 modern buildings in the garden; they have little balconies for sunset. The larger Garden Suites are here, too, and I particularly liked these - sensational views and a bathroom with a glamorous marble tub-for-2 right next to a picture window, so you can bathe and gaze at the same time. But if you can afford to really splurge, the Pere Margarit Suite is amazing, named after the medieval owner of the castle and set in the old building. It's enormous and gorgeously romantic, with a Victorian bathtub and stain-glass windows.
All rooms have antique furniture but are decorated in a modern style, thanks to the inspiration of the owners who have travelled the world and brought back eclectic touches like Moroccan Berber rugs and Chinese vases to decorate.
The hotel serves breakfast, lunch and dinner in its restaurant and on the roof terrace, with views for miles. Expect food as impressive as the setting - the chef comes from a 3-starred restaurant in Holland, and with Spanish delights like Ibérico ham and Galician beef, not to mention local farmers' produce at his disposal, he doesn't disappoint.
The menu includes simple tapas (barbecued crayfish, hummus, seafood croquettes), elaborate starters (7 types of tomatoes, risotto, tuna sashimi New-York style) and hefty mains (lamb, barbecued Iberian pork, turbot). There isn’t much in the way of vegetarian fare beyond a few token dishes.
The restaurant is dark and glamorous, with an open fire and black chandeliers hanging over large wooden tables. The decoration is as quirky as in the rest of the castle: painted wooden statues of Jesus sit on little shelves, and a wrought-iron bull's head hangs from the ancient brickwork wall.
Breakfast is a buffet and the food is typically organic: pastries and breads, cold meats, cheeses, seasonal fruits, juices and yoghurts. Eggs are available, cooked to order; just ask.
There are some great eateries nearby, too. Margo recommends Pasticceria Sans in La Bisbal d'Empordà (1km) for a coffee and pastries; the tapas bar La Cova in La Bisbal gets a thumbs-up from locals, and in Girona you can eat at the famous 3-starred restaurant El Celler de Can Roca (30km, book well in advance).
Children of all ages are welcome. There are limited facilities for them (a baby cot and highchair are complimentary if needed, extra beds are extra cost) because the owners don't want to turn the castle into a 'family hotel', but we think the right children would love the pool and gardens, not to mention the castle setting and historical re-enactments using lead figurines. It's close enough to the beach and outdoor activities like walking and cycling to suit children of most ages.
Babies (0-1 years), Children (4-12 years)
The Garden Rooms can fit 1 rollaway bed for a child; the Garden Suites can fit 2 children on a double sofabed, which might or might not work, depending on your kids. There is a supplement for extra guests
Babysitting is available with advance request.
The property is on top of a hill and there are some steep drops; there are also a lot of steps and an unguarded pool, so we'd say it's better not to bring toddlers.