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Costa Brava stay: hotel w. sea views and in or walkable to nice town?

Costa Brava stay: hotel w. sea views and in or walkable to nice town?

Old Aug 4th, 2009, 12:02 PM
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Costa Brava stay: hotel w. sea views and in or walkable to nice town?

After mulling over all the options on the Amalfi Coast and Puglia (thank you to responders in the Italy forum), I've switched directions for our October trip and decided on Barcelona / Costa Brava.
Now, I'm trying to find my holy grail hotel on the Costa Brava: something in or within walking distance of one of the nicer towns, with great sea views. I'm thinking 3 nights.

We like to walk to meals, and if we drive to another town, we want to avoid any white-knuckle drives that don't go well with the dark or a glass of wine or two.

El Far in Llafranc looks beautiful, but from what I've read in the forums it's not all that convenient to the actual town below.

I also gather that Hotel Aiguablava isn't walkable to the actual town of Begur.

Staying at Playa Sol or Rocamar in Cadaques is an option, but apparently not so good for exploring the rest of the coast. Correct?

One place that intrigues me is the Vintage Hotel, but it's hard to get a read on its location relative to the surrounding towns. The only info on it is a handful of reviews on tripadvisor.
Anyone know anything about this place?

Would love suggestions for any hotels that fit the above criteria.

Thanks in advance!
lbelgray is offline  
Old Aug 4th, 2009, 12:22 PM
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Correct to all of the above, regarding El Far, Aiguablava, Cadaqués. If your hotel choice doesn't have to be a beautiful luxury property, consider the Hotel Llafranc right at the beach.
Most Costa Brava area *deluxe* properties are either inland in small medieval towns or not easily walkable to the coastal towns.

Llafranca and its neighbor, Calella de Palafrugell do have a half dozen or so mid-range, family-run hotels that attract a loyal, repeat clientele. But they aren't in the same category as El Far at the lighthouse and Hotel Aiguablava or the Parador. Nothing really fancy, just good for families.

Alas the lovely Hotel Aiguaclara in my favorite town of Begur doesn't have sea views.

There's the sophisticated Hotel Trias in Palamós. The town isn't as appealing to me as Begur but it might fit your bill....

The Vintage Capsasal is in teeny, tiny Aiguafreda, which is really just a cove and diving center and doesn't have bars, cafes, shopping- just one other hotel/restaurant, the Sa Rascassa.
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Old Aug 4th, 2009, 01:08 PM
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My husband and I stayed in Cadaques for 3 nights in June, 2009, at the Llane Petit (www.llanepetit.com).
Cadaques is very quaint, no highrises and mainly europeans on holiday. You walk everywhere. According to my investigation it is the least "touristy" of the Costa Brava beaches. There is a ferry to the other beaches. The drive to the coast is over the mountains and is very steep and curvey in places. When you get to the beach the mountains seem to fall into the sea. It is just beautiful. The Rocamar is on the cliff above the Llane Petit and I believe does not have its own beach. Enjoy, we sure did Melanie
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Old Aug 4th, 2009, 06:26 PM
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Maribel, thank you for your quick reply! Such useful info.
Hotel Trias is exactly the kind of place I was looking for - but you're right, Palamos probably isn't. Looks pretty built up.
You'd think someone would open a hotel like that in one of the nicer beaches.

Hotel Llafranch looks OK, though not stellar. Tough choices, I guess something has to give.

Melanie, good to know you liked staying in Cadaques. I'd probably like staying there the most, but I don't know if it's worth giving up the freedom to road trip everywhere else.
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 11:01 AM
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Yes, Palamós just doesn't match the charm of the Aiguablava-Begur-Sa Tuna area, which is the most "sophisticated-ritzy" section of the Costa Brava. Everything from Palamós on down does have its high rise apartments because of the flatter ground. The steep pine covered hills in the Begur area don't allow for high rise development.

I'm afraid something has to give, as you say. All the above-mentioned properties have their slight disadvantages. El Far is a quicker drive down to a beach town, just down the hill, but Llafranc is very small and will be very quiet in Oct.

I do love the look of the Vintage Cap Sa Sal. But that tiny little cove location means you do need to drive up to Begur for shopping. We've lodged both at the Hotel Aiguablava and the Parador for 5 night stays.

That area is not only great for rest and relaxation but also for touring the restored medieval villages of the Baix Empordá, for doing the Dalí triangle, for the Iberian ruins of Ullastret and Greco-Roman settlement of Empùries and for walks galore.
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Old Aug 5th, 2009, 08:00 PM
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Thanks, Maribel. My husband is gunning for staying the whole time in Barcelona, not switching locations like we usually do. Since I can't find a hotel that's just right for us on the Costa Brava, I might agree and go for 10 days in Barcelona. Maybe make the CB a day trip.
I've been watching Batali's show "On The Road Again" and the restaurant San Pau looks amazing.

I'm also dying to go to San Sebastian, but there's something to be said for staying in one location and really getting to know it without rushing around so much.

I've got such bad OGD (obsessive google disorder), I really need to make a decision and cut it out.
That is, once I decide on our Barcelona hotel.
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Old Aug 6th, 2009, 10:08 AM
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Have you looked at Calella de Palafrugell? I've not stayed in hotels there, but it might satisfy your craving for something that isn't all-Barcelona-all the time. (Disclaimer: Barcelona is one of the few European cities I can never wait to get out of fast enough. Ten days there would be close to hell for me.)


If you end up staying for 10 days in Barcelona, have information on the towns of Girona and Vic in your pocket in case you feel like I do about the place!
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Old Aug 6th, 2009, 11:00 AM
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Since your husband is gunning for a 10 day stay in Barcelona, you'll certainly have plenty of opportunities for day trips. One day could include the Costa Brava by bus.

If you're really motivated, the Sarfa bus trip up to my favorite Costa Brava "real town" (which would still have life to it in October), Begur, takes 2 hours. Calella de Palafrugell and Llafranc would be a short taxi ride away.
Or you could rent a car for the day to tour this pretty stretch of the coast.

Other possibilities for day trips, depending on your interests:

(via commuter train, line C3 or Osona bus)


roman Tarragona

Figueres for the Teatre Museu Dalí
(train or Sarfa bus)

the Cistercian monastery route -Poblet, Santes Creus, Valbona de les Monges
(by rental car)

Sitges, for the beach and more Modernisme
(commuter train, line C2 sud)

Montserrat for boys' choir performance at 1 or hiking
(by train/cable car or funicular combo)

Sant Sadurní d'Anoia (cava) or Vilafranca del Penedès (Torres) for winery touring
(by train or small group guided tour)

A cogwheel train trip up to the spectacular mountain basin Sanctuary of Vall de Nuria
a truly unforgettable ride amidst gorgeous scenery
(by 90 min. ride via Renfe train and "zipper" train from Barcelona-a full day's outing)

We just returned from a 5 day stay in the Priorat wine producing region, which actually covers two D.O.'s, the Priorat and Montsant. While Falset is now a 1 hr. 40 min. drive from Barcelona, it's really best to overnight, especially when wine touring/sampling is the focus of the trip.

Just a few ideas for outings from the city for a long stay.
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Old Aug 7th, 2009, 01:44 PM
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We are having the same issues... in Barcelona for 4 days and wanting to go to Costa Brava but want a place that isn't too isolated but not in 'high rise' city..

Loved reading the feedback from everyone... we are leaning towards Hotel Trias in Palamos...
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Old Aug 7th, 2009, 06:34 PM
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I am planning 4 days Costa Brava and 2 days Barcelona and had similar criteria to you but realized I couldn't quite get what I wanted. Reading a tiny bit I learn that the older towns are more inland and so it is hard to get the combo of seaside and quant old village with lots of shops and restaurants (like I enjoyed in Croatia). I also was totally about to book a trip to Cinque Terre and then made a quick turn and am now on plan to Spain in Sept.

I have decided to move around staying in town with no view in Begur - but the town walking life and then right on the beach in Cadaques. Maribel has some amazing links in a recent post to all sorts of rural properties that look wonderful - no walking to town but they have great restaurants that could likely satisfy for a night or two. I was tempted to reconfigure my trip after reading some recently. I personally would want some time out of the city so something seaside or inland sounds like a respite that could work into your trip.
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Old Jun 11th, 2010, 04:27 AM
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Just returned from two weeks on the Costa Brava, Spain....We discovered a hidden treasure... the Vintage Hotel, at Capsasal, which was the high light of our trip......toured Cadaques, Dali Museums, small beaches,....all delightful,.... The Vintage Hotel and Lounge (a short drive from the medieval village of Begur) is perched on the edge of the Mediterranean....gorgeous views & wonderful tapa restaurant. Hotel is owned by an American woman and her French husband....truly relaxing and highly recommend a stay there.
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Old Jun 11th, 2010, 05:13 AM
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marilyn: I am so glad to hear this as I have this hotel booked in Sept after a stay in Barcelona and "on the way" to a week in the Basque country. Did you find the restaurant expensive? this was a concern raised by some TA reviews. Also, did yo use the pool next door?
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