“Secluded restaurant-with-rooms in a killer location under pine trees, just steps from a stunning cove”
Set above the restaurant, the 5 rooms are simply styled, clean and comfortable, and all the same: on the small side, with twin beds that can be pushed together to form doubles, small bathrooms with huge showerheads (no baths), and views out to the thickly forested hillside. Floors are oak; furniture is artfully distressed.
In terms of mod cons, apart from a bottle of shower gel, a small TV, a heater, a fan and a hairdryer, there aren't any. You do get a raffia basket containing cherry-red beach towels though, and if you want a kettle, just ask. But this isn't the kind of hotel where you'll spend much time in your room - you'll be out walking the coastline, swimming in the warm sea, investigating medieval villages or shopping in Begur's chi-chi boutiques.
In front of the rooms there's a sweet shared terrace with a table and 2 chairs for each room. At one end there's a sightseeing area with sea views, and you can hear the waves at all times - they're just 40m away. There are some drawbacks to being above the restaurant: in the evening, noise carries, and if you want to go to bed early you may be disturbed by night owls carrying on drinking downstairs, particularly in the summer. Room 5 is closest to the kitchen and can be a little noisier than the other rooms. That said, we slept very well here.
Sa Rascassa is a restaurant first and a hotel second, serving breakfast to guests plus lunches and dinners to all. The menu is wide-ranging, with Catalan specialities, seafood, pasta and hamburgers (don't let that put you off - we'd wager they're among the best hamburgers you'll ever taste!). There's also a small but well-chosen wine list.
One speciality of Catalan food is 'surf and turf', so on our first visit we chose the lobster and chicken, served in a large clay pot; it was sweet and juicy, wonderfully messy, and accompanied by cockles and a thick, fruity sauce. For dessert we had homemade ice creams - yoghurt and orange boules with caramelised orange peel, and a refreshing lemon and mint. On our return in 2013, we tucked into a seared tuna steak, perfectly grilled bass and a mound of delicious rock mussels.
Both meals were fantastic experiences - the combination of delicious food, skilful service and a relaxed atmosphere (Oscar normally potters between tables, introducing himself and advising on wine) makes the restaurant worth a trip even if you're not staying here. There's live flamenco on Wednesday nights, and in summer the beach bar serves simple tapas and sandwiches until around 7pm.
For those who don't want to eat here every night, there are plenty of other restaurants nearby, from the bistro at Hotel Aiguaclara in Begur (3km away) to cocktails and tapas at Hotel Vintage, a short walk along the cliff. Or take one of the hotel's torches and walk 15 minutes along the cliff path to Sa Tuna, where you'll find 4 restaurants; Oscar will advise which to go for.
Breakfast is simple but just what you need after an indulgent dinner the evening before: coffee and fresh croissants served at your table, with a buffet of fruit, yoghurts, cereals and cold cuts waiting inside.