Costa Brava Hideaway

near Girona, Catalonia, Spain Book from Book from £354 per night

Cuba meets Marrakech meets Paris in this hippy deluxe house (sleeps 6-14), set in a quiet medieval village near Girona
The riot of colour in this 5-roomed house in rural Catalonia is guaranteed to lift your spirits. Bright yellow throws cover the beds; doors are painted in turquoise, pillar-box red and apple green; pillows are cherry red, mustard yellow and deep purple. It’s the vibrant legacy of both the current owners Celine and Arnaud, and their predecessors Sebastien and Marie, who between them have travelled widely in Cuba, India, Morocco and Spain among other countries, and who bring a lovely, open-minded. multi-cultural vibe to the place.

Set in the quiet village of Sant Jordi Desvalls, the building is a former presbytery and has been modernised with style and verve. Outside there's a delightful garden with a chlorine-free pool, caged canaries and tumbling flowers; indoors, a relaxed bistro-style dining area and kitchen, and a soothing upstairs lounge stacked with French coffee-table books about interior design and food, plus daybeds and a turntable with vintage Beatles records. Come and spend a week cycling around medieval villages, stopping for picnics in flower-filled fields, having 2-hour siestas in the afternoon, spending the odd day at the seaside, reading books, playing cards and relaxing. It’s also perfect for families, and great value for money.


  • As a former family home, it has all you need for a fun holiday - including table football, a DVD library, and great cooking equipment
  • The 5 bedrooms are large - 2 of them can fit a family
  • It's excellent value for money
  • There's a lovely atmosphere; relaxing and upbeat at the same time, and you feel instantly at home
  • Only 30 minutes' drive from Girona, with its lovely buildings and riverside setting, and close to the stunning beaches of the Costa Brava


  • We have not visited since Celine and Arnaud took over in 2018, so there may be some changes to furnishings and facilities since this review was written
  • Rentals run from Saturday-Saturday; shorter stays are rarely permitted
  • Sant Jordi Desvalls is a small village: there is a grocery and a tapas bar, but the nearest good restaurants are in Colomers, 5-10 mins' drive away
  • The village’s church bell rings into the night
  • Mosquitoes may be a problem in the summer

Best time to go

The house is open all year. We’d recommend visiting in the spring or the early autumn, for wonderful weather, fields of flowers and fewer crowds. It can be very hot and very busy in this part of Spain in August.

Our top tips

Don’t try to do too much. This pad is all about slow-paced living, relaxing, taking siestas and enjoying life as it is. Live like a local and have a restful stay!

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
  • House Rental
  • 5
  • Self-catering (shop nearby)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • 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
  • Concierge Service
  • Snooker Table
  • Bicycles Available
  • Beach toys
  • Table football


There are 5 bedrooms, all upstairs, plus a downstairs lounge with daybeds, indoor and outdoor dining areas, and a leafy, private garden with pool. All bedrooms have their own bathroom - the house used to operate as a B&B - and it can sleep up to 14 if you use all the rollaway beds. My only complaints would be that the rooms aren’t terribly well lit for the evening, and the sound carries from the square outside, and the nocturnal church bell.

Carmen (sleeps 2-4) is the grandest room, with space for a whole family (a couple and up to 2 children) in a double and 2 single beds. Its huge bathroom has a shower and a wonderful claw-foot tub, and there's a large roof terrace with a hammock.

Paco (sleeps 2-4) is also generously sized, with a double bed, a child's bed and space for another rollaway bed. There's an original painted ceiling from the 18th century in its bathroom (which has shower and separate tub).

Frida (sleeps 2-3) is also lovely, with a double bed and space for a child's bed; there's a sweet small daybed made from wrought iron, and a Juliet balcony overlooking the gardens.

Kika (sleeps 2-3), where we slept, has a small smoking courtyard, a giant bathroom with a double shower and freestanding bath, plus a quirky toilet tucked away in the corner of the room. The double bed is covered with a cheery yellow and red sprigged Indian throw, there’s a rail for clothes, and shelves of French books.

Room 218 (sleeps 1-2) is the smallest by a long way (there's no space for an extra bed) - fine for cosy couples or singletons, with a colourful and fun vibe. It opens onto the lounge. The bathroom has a shower but no tub.

Features include:

  • Bathrobes
  • Cots Available
  • DVD player
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Hairdryer
  • Radio
  • Toiletries
  • TV
  • WiFi


If you rent the whole house, you can use the kitchen, which is well equipped and laid out (Sebastien, who fitted it, was a restaurateur in Paris). There's a grocery in the village, open 7 days a week, with a butchers section too. Nearby eateries include a simple bar across the road (Bocca) and plenty of small tapas bars, patisseries and restaurants in nearby towns such as Colomers (5-10 mins' drive), or La Bisbal d’Empordà (20 minutes' drive). We would also recommend Hostal Sa Rascassa near Begur for a dinner by the sea, and the wonderfully bohemian bistro at Hotel Aiguaclara in Begur itself (40 minutes' drive).

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Organic produce
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu


  • The house is in the middle of the Dalí Triangle. Don't miss the castle of Dalí’s wife, Gala, in Púbol just 20 minutes’ drive away, and the crazy Dalí Museum in Figueres. At Port Lligat you can visit the house where Dalí lived

  • Drive over to the seaside for the day, and borrow some of the hotel’s beach toys if you need. Begur and Pals are both 30 minutes away by car

  • Spend the day in Girona (19km away), shopping in the Jewish Quarter, walking over the city’s bridges, and wandering round the cathedral. Lots of great restaurants, too

  • Back at the house, take a dip in the swimming pool, relax in the lounge, put a record on the turntable, read some interiors books, chill in the hot tub in the garden, wander round the village, have a long siesta, and enjoy a glass of wine in the shade

  • Go canoeing down the nearby river. It’s 5 minutes away and is great when the beach is too crowded. There's great snorkelling and diving in this region too; just ask Sébastien

  • Take a train from the village station to Barcelona for the day - it’s just over an hour away and Sébastien can arrange tickets to the football

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Kayaking
  • Museums / galleries
  • Scuba diving
  • Shopping / markets
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming


This is a lovely house for a large family or two families, full of corners of wonder and items to delight children, in a small village where other children play football in the street. There are some sweet vintage tables and chairs around the place for children.

Best for:

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

Family friendly accommodation:

Most rooms can sleep one or more kids. Carmen fits up to 2 adults, 2 children on extra beds and 1 baby in a cot, and it has a hammock and outdoor terrace, giving you a bit of extra room. Kika can fit 2 adults, 1 child and 1 baby, Frida and Paco can each fit 1 additional bed or a baby cot, while 218 can only fit a baby cot.


In the summer months, Mary and Sébastien may be able to book a nanny or babysitter

Baby listening:

A baby monitor would work from bedrooms to the dining room downstairs so you could eat while they sleep upstairs

Baby equipment:

  • Cots
  • Highchairs
  • Toys

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

Kids Activities on site:

  • The hotel has baskets of beach toys, badminton racquets, footballs and a ukulele
  • The garden has a swimming pool and a cage of canaries
  • The bar area has table football and a small snooker table

Kids Activities nearby:

  • You can borrow bikes and helmets plus child bike seats for days out roaming the nearby villages
  • Head to the crazy Dalí museum in Figueres
  • Take a trip to the beach, just half an hour away, and borrow beach toys and towels from the hotel

Families Should Know:

There is a village shop open all week, and long hours, which sells food and other essentials, plus has a chemist and butcher's section


  • Airport: 30 minutes (Girona), 1 hour (Barcelona)
  • Doctor: 15 minutes
  • Hospital: 30 minutes
Kid Friendly:


The house is in the village of Sant Jordi Desvalls, around 15km east of Girona and an hour north of Barcelona in northeast Spain.

By Air
Girona is the closest airport, around 30 minutes' drive via a very easy route. Barcelona is within easy reach too, around an hour from the hotel along toll roads. Both are regularly served by budget airlines from across Europe; Barcelona is also served by many international flights. Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving these airports.

From the Airport
The hotel does not offer transfers but in any case we'd recommend hiring a car to explore the region, hit the coast or visit the Dalí Triangle. A holiday here is doable without a car though if you take the train from Barcelona (see below) and choose to relax in the area with occasional bike rides for exploration.

By Car
For car hire see our car rental recommendations. The short, pleasant drive from Girona airport takes you through lovely rural countryside and it is easy to find the hotel - note, however, that driving in the village itself is a little fraught as the roads are very narrow. There is a car park in the village (free).

By Train
There is a small train station in the village itself and it takes around 1 hour 10 minutes to reach it from Barcelona.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through

More on getting to Catalonia and getting around


  • Girona 15.0 km GRO
  • Barcelona El Prat 140.0 km BCN


  • Beach 20.0 km
  • Shops 0.1 km
  • Restaurant 0.1 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 2 independent reviews from i-escape guests


We had a wonderful stay, the house is beautiful and unique. Maria and Sebastian were so helpful- if you're looking for a home from home with style and character, then this is the place to stay.

The village is small but has everything you would need: butcher, great local shop a chemists and a little bar, which we didn't really use as the house is so amazing that we didn't want to leave it. Everyone in the village was friendly.
We drove into Girona and wandered around which was great and Sebastian restaurant was a great treat. The rooms are amazing hot water on tap and the decor and bathrooms were so amazing. The house has such a personal touch, everything in it was so interesting Maria design of the house is amazing.
It's used to be a B and B and the layout still has that feel which I loved, the teenagers could have done with a lounge area downstairs where the internet worked better that was the only fault for them but it didn't bother me.
All in all this is a truly magical wonderful place and I would definitely recommend it to friends and we will be returning next year. Thank you Maria and Sebastian for such a wonderful holiday.


A pleasant stay at the charming house.


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