Hotel Mas Lazuli

near Cadaques, Catalonia, Spain Book from

Reviewed by Maia Tarrant
Stunningly restored 11th-century monastery amid olive groves and vineyards, with a hip yet relaxed vibe and exquisite food
Set in Catalonia’s scenic northeastern corner, just outside the tiny village of Pau and close to a ruggedly beautiful stretch of the Costa Brava, this chic yet unpretentious 17-room retreat is a great place to unwind à deux. It’s flooded with natural light and decorated in calming shades of white and taupe, with modern art and a hint of rusticity. Gorgeous views stretch over palm trees towards the mountains, and vibrant bougainvillea dots the courtyards and terraces. Everywhere you turn, the omnipresent scent of lavender creates a serene country feel.

Take the mountain bikes for a spin through the surrounding vineyards to quaint coastal villages, or explore the beaches, museums and nature reserves nearby. Not that you need to venture out: there’s an infinity pool for lazing, a small spa in a converted wine cellar for heavenly massages, and a panoramic terrace where you can sip the produce of the hotel’s own vines. As for the food in the intimate candlelit restaurant, it’s quite possibly the best we’ve ever had.

Highs

  • The tranquil, oh-so-romantic ambiance
  • Stylish rooms and suites, many with huge bathtubs and terraces gazing out over the olive trees
  • Divine Catalan cuisine: we still dream about that parmentier and poached egg with truffle emulsion...
  • Great service from young, friendly and attentive staff
  • A short drive from the Bay of Rosas (one of Catalonia's best beaches), the Cap de Creus Natural Park, and Dalí's haunts in Figueres and Cadaqués

Lows

  • It's best to have a car to get here and get around, although transfers can be arranged
  • It fills up quickly, so book well in advance
  • Not ideal for kids (very quiet, with no twin rooms), though suites have sofabeds and there’s a 2-bedroom apartment
  • There’s a small road nearby, but we didn’t notice any noise
  • Many rooms have open-plan bathrooms (not for everyone), though toilets are enclosed

Best time to go

Catalonia is lovely from early spring to late autumn. May and September are ideal, with warm sunshine, clear beaches and quiet roads. July and August are much busier, and you’ll need to book far ahead.

Our top tips

Drive the curvy road to boho-glam Cadaqués, a whitewashed village of narrow, hilly streets that was made famous by Dalí, who lived in nearby Port Lligat. It’s a great spot for a relaxed seaside lunch.

Great for...

Beach
Foodie
Honeymoon
Spa
  • = Recommended
  • = Best in region
  • = World favourite
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 17
  • Restaurant & bar (open daily)
  • All ages welcome
  • Closed: 10 Jan 2016 - 17 Mar 2016...
  • Outdoor Pool
  • Spa
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
Room: Great Room

Rooms

Bright and breezy with a subtle rustic charm, the 17 rooms and suites are furnished to the highest standard of style and comfort. Shades of white and off-white are offset by signature blue accents, unpolished wooden floors and white-painted wooden ceilings. Clever lighting creates a warm and cosy ambiance, while highlighting the striking collection of local art. Bathrooms are equally airy, with mosaic-tiled floors, sleek sinks, rain showers (plus freestanding double-ended tubs in all but Double and Great Rooms), and fabulous rice-milk and cherry toiletries by Rituals.

Many rooms have terraces or balconies with stunning views. Our favourite was the spacious Superior Room, which looks out over the olive groves to the mountains beyond; Junior Suites and Suites have sitting areas. If you really want to spoil yourself then plump for the swish Lazuli Suite, which comes with a Jacuzzi tub and a view of the Bay of Rosas. And if you’re staying with kids or another couple, there’s an apartment with 2 ensuite double bedrooms and a living area with a fireplace.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee maker in Junior Suites and above
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Sound system in Junior Suites and above
  • Terrace
  • Toiletries
  • Tv
  • WiFi
  • Wifi internet

Eating

You're in for a treat at Mas Lazuli’s restaurant. It has an airy, contemporary vibe - light wooden furniture, bold art, low-hanging lights - and extends onto a panoramic terrace with cushioned benches and views across the olive groves. In the evening, the whole place takes on a magical ambiance, with glowing lanterns and the illuminated pool as a backdrop.

In our view the lunch and dinner menus are Michelin-star quality, with rich flavours and fresh, organic produce (much of it sourced from the hotel’s own vegetable garden). We devoured a chestnut-cream soup with duck liver and sugared pecan nuts, a prawn ravioli, parmentier and poached egg with truffle emulsion, and a millefeuille with quince of Banyuls. All were exquisite and paired with delicious wines from the hotel’s own vines. We also loved our hearty breakfast of local charcuterie and cheeses alongside the usual suspects.

Light tapas dishes and cocktails are available from the pool bar, and there are plenty of fantastic restaurants in the area if you fancy eating out - just ask staff for recommendations.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Children meals
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Organic produce
  • Restaurant
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Sip cocktails by the pool as you take in the far-reaching views, then treat yourself to a massage in the spa
  • Borrow a mountain bike to explore the olive groves, orchards and vineyards surrounding the hotel
  • Head to the Bay of Rosas (5km to the south and said to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the region) or visit the sandy beach and pretty harbour at Llançà (the same distance to the north)
  • Go for a 5km hike along the breath-taking coastal path between Llançà and El Port de la Selva
  • Take in the rugged coastline, wildflowers and rich birdlife of the Cap de Creus and Aiguamolls Natural Parks, both within a short drive
  • Visit the fascinating Dalí Museum in Figueres (don’t miss the jewellery collection), as well as the artist’s house near Cadaqués and the castle he bought for his wife in Púbol

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Cycling
  • Fishing
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Sailing
  • Snorkelling
  • Swimming
  • Wine tasting

Kids

This is very much a grown-up hotel, though children of all ages are welcome. Baby cots can be provided free of charge in some rooms, and the Suites and Lazuli Suite have double sofabeds to sleep an additional 2 guests. There’s also an apartment with 2 ensuite double bedrooms. Note there are no twin rooms.

Best for:

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

Family friendly accommodation:

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available

Babysitting:

Available upon request.

Families Should Know:

The hotel pool is not fenced or supervised.

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

9/
Rooms
9/
Food
9/
Service
9/
Value
9/
Overall

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