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Las Moradas del Unicornio
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Hotel Classic Begur
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El Mas del Silenci
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Cabanes als Arbres
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From boutique hotels to converted farmhouses and treetop cabins, Catalunya has plenty of options for a valentine’s weekend. Here’s our pick of the region’s most romantic weekend getaways.
1. LAS MORADAS DEL UNICORNIO. Púbol, Baix Empordà
This quirky boutique hotel is located in the Costa Brava village of Púbol, just across the road from the Gala-Dalí Castle, residence of the late artist and his muse. Inspired by the mythological creature, the unicorn, photographer Quim and his wife Olga converted the 11th-century house into a hotel in 2009, creating a sumptuous and peaceful haven. The house’s original features are complemented with sensual fabrics, luxurious décor and objects picked up on the couple’s world travels. The hotel has just four suites—all exquisitely decorated and each with its own special feel—from the cosy Unicornio Blanco with an open fireplace to curl up in front of, to the impressive Unicornio Dorado suite with a vaulted ceiling. Add in some excellent food, delightful hosts, and a Mediterranean walled garden, and this place just can’t fail. www.lasmoradasdelunicornio.com
Prices: Between €150 and €250 per night depending on the suite. Check their website for last-minute offers.
Nearby: Pop over the road to visit the Gala-Dalí Castle. Dalí and Gala bought the neglected castle in 1969 and restored it into a place of playful architecture and clever spaces, adorned with wall paintings, Baroque textiles and antiques.
2. CAN CAPONET. Llica d’Amunt, Vallès Oriental
This lovely eco-retreat doesn’t reopen until March 1st, but if you’re looking for some sustainable comfort close to Barcelona then it’s probably worth the wait. Maria and Biel have created a peaceful, back to nature experience, that is warm and inviting. You can choose between the refurbished masía with an open log fire and lots of cosy corners, or hide away in one of two little cabins in the gardens that look out onto an ecological swimming pool. Crisp white linens, exposed wooden beams and four poster beds create an atmosphere that’s fresh and natural. The cuisine is based on fresh, seasonal produce, much of which is grown in the garden. For a little extra indulgence, they also have a small spa and offer massages and alternative therapies. www.cancaponet.com
Prices: Double room with breakfast from €130 per night. The ‘Pack romántic’ costs €250 and includes one night’s accommodation for two people plus a romantic dinner, massage, sauna and spa.
Nearby: Can Caponet can organise horse riding excursions. There are also good trekking and cycling paths. A little further afield, visit the ancient spa town of Caldes de Montbui, where the remnants of its Roman baths, as well as more modern thermal spas, provide plenty to do.
3. CASA MIGDIA. Sant Jordi Desvalls, Gironés
This hippy-chic guest house is set in a former presbytery in the medieval village of Sant Jordi Desvalls, only 15 kilometres from Girona. With just five rooms, and a guaranteed warm welcome from French owners Sébastien and Mary, this is the place to leave your city worries behind. The colourful, idiosyncratic decor reflects the hosts’ travels and references Cuba, Paris and Marrakech. The result is a riot of colours that manages to be uplifting, yet calm and peaceful at the same time. The rooms vary in size, from the small but fun 218, perfect for couples on a budget, to the spacious Carmen. Sébastien was previously a restaurateur in Paris, and the food in the relaxed bistro is a testament to his culinary skills. After dinner you can settle down in the lounge by the open fire. If your romantic retreat involves taking the kids, then this is the place for you. The couple have four children and are very welcoming to families. www.casamigdia.com
Prices: From €85 for room 218, to €130 for Carmen.
Nearby: The hotel is in the middle of the Dalí Triangle, which includes the castle in Púbol, the Dalí Museum in Figueres and Dalí’s home in Port Lligat. Or, borrow bikes at the hotel and visit the nearby medieval villages.
4. HOTEL CLASSIC BEGUR. Begur, Baix Empordà
What could be more romantic than a wintery walk on a deserted beach? Located in the pedestrian area of the lovely hilltop town of Begur, this family hotel has just six rooms on the first two floors of a ‘Casa Indiana’ (the term given to houses built by locals who returned to Catalunya after making their fortunes in South America in the second half of the 19th century). Built in 1857 and restored in 2010, the hotel has preserved the original frescoes, vaulted ceilings and stone walls. Each bedroom is decorated differently, from the elegant high-ceilings and original frescoes of room 1857, to the romantic 1907 with exposed stone walls. After exploring the rugged coastline, unwind in the intimate spa area, which has a small heated pool, hot tub, therapeutic shower and heated massage tables. The hotel offers special Valentine’s weekend packages. www.hotelclassicbegur.com
Prices: From €85 per room per night for bed and breakfast.
Nearby: There is plenty to explore, from the medieval castle overlooking the town, to its winding streets and numerous colonial-style houses. Visit the seven beaches and coves on the headland of Begur by wandering along the picturesque coastal path, known as the Camí de Ronda.
5. EL MAS DEL SILENCI. Sant Pere de Castanyadell, Osona
The name of this old farmhouse says it all. El Mas del Silenci is about getting away from the city noise and getting back in touch with the sound of silence. This family-run guest house is set in the Les Gulleries nature reserve, an area of hills and valleys, oak and beech woods and winding rivers. With few other guests to disturb your retreat—there are just six rooms—this is old-fashioned romance at its best: luxurious décor, four-poster beds, pretty white bed linen and mountain views to gaze at. The house has a lovely rustic feel and offers an open fire and several cosy corners where you can cuddle up for the evening. For some extra privacy, you can stay in the suite, which has its own sitting room. Or if you’re lucky enough to get some winter sun, relax in a hammock in the beautiful gardens. The restaurant serves Catalan cuisine with a gourmet touch, and fine local wines. www.massilenci.com
Prices: Half board from €81 per person. Full board from €102 per person.
Nearby: Its location makes this the ideal base for some long winter walks in the woodlands around the house. There are also some picturesque walks by the nearby Pantano de Sau reservoir.
6. CABANES ALS ARBRES. Sant Hilari Sacalm, Selva
Cabanes Als Arbres is an idyllic hideaway in the Sant Hilari Sacalm forest. It offers couples a luxury retreat with eco-friendly, peaceful accommodation, where they can enjoy the joys of nature close-up. The treehouses have no electricity, running water or phone coverage, making them the ideal location for a distraction-free romantic break. There are 10 treehouse cabañas to choose from, each with a different colour scheme and unique rustic style, but every one as cosy as the last. A series of romantic essentials are also available if you want to surprise your other half, from a bottle of cava to chocolates and flowers on arrival, or a massage kit. When you venture back down to the ground, you can use the facilities at the nearby Masia Vileta, a 14th-century Catalan guesthouse, which is equipped with a restaurant, bar, lounge with WiFi, showers, swimming pool and garden. www.cabanesalsarbres.com
Prices: From €110 euros per night/per treehouse.
Nearby: Rent a bike from reception and explore the winding country lanes. Alternatively, play Tarzan and Jane at the Parque de la Selva de l’Aventura, which offers lots of adrenaline-filled obstacle courses and tree-swinging activities. The nearby Font Vella Spa Hotel offers a wide range of natural treatments and therapeutic remedies.
7. FINCA CAL TÒFOL. Barri Rovellats, La Bleda
Unwind at the Finca Cal Tòfol hotel in the tranquility of the Catalan countryside just a short train-ride from Barcelona. Cal Tòfol’s spacious suites, each equipped with a private indoor jacuzzi, create an atmosphere of romance and relaxation, but you can relax outside, too, against the facade of the hotel’s traditional white-washed exterior. Or enjoy an intimate dining experience in one of the hotel’s private dining rooms or take part in one of their unique activities, like horseback riding lessons or horse-back yoga. caltofol.com
Prices: From €90 to €185 euros per person, including taxes.
Nearby: Visit the famous cellars of the world’s biggest cava producer, Codorníu. Founded in 1551 by the Codorníu family, the cellars are housed in a fabulous modernista building designed by renowned Catalán architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch in the early 20th century. The building,an architectural tribute to Cava, was declared a National Historical-Artistic Heritage site in 1976. Visit the winery for just €9, or take an intensive cava-tasting course for €46.