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If you are thinking of going to Barcelona this year, think twice before you make your final decision as there are so many beautiful places throughout. I’ve been to the beautiful city of Barcelona just once in the past and now I fancy something a little more rural and tranquil. This time, I have an opportunity to visit and explore the Catalunya region a little more. Amidst the vast lush green scenery, you will find Catalunya golf course in the countryside on the outskirts of Girona and you’re only about 15 minutes from Girona airport by car. The Costa Brava’s gorgeous beaches and medieval villages are about half an hour away and Barcelona is just under two hours’ drive south.
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When you think about travel, it opens many doors, allowing you the opportunity to treasure new places and discover numerous hidden gems which you may not have heard of before. Plan something a little different from your usual holiday and explore something new. I love that the fact that I get an opportunity to explore every time I go away and I am always eager to look for something unusual and previously unseen. As part of this trip, I have the chance to see Girona, the coastline of Costa Brava and PGA Catalunya and I assure you these places are unmissable.
After the long journey from Barcelona airport, my first excitement is the grand welcome into the hotel lobby with lots of warm, friendly handshakes and my first taste of the fresh local drinks and amenities. The lobby itself offers the most majestic view I’ve ever seen, completely rebuilt by star Catalan architect and interior designer Lázaro Rosa-Violan. It feels classy, eclectic and modern with a sense of contemporary grandeur but isn’t at all stuffy. In the lounge, retro chandeliers sit alongside tan leather sofas, orange rugs and white drapes. Corridors are carpeted with black velvety moquette and grandiose Grecian-style pottery urns which look as if they could be on loan from the British Museum.
The receptionist smiles politely and assures me that the room is cleaned and ready for me to check in. I am glad of the luggage trolley as I have brought a fair number of suitcases – even knowing I am only booked to stay for three nights, I am still carrying an excess of clothes to last me a month! Is that normal, right? Hotel Camiral has 145 rooms looking out onto some of the golf course and outdoor swimming pool. The rooms are elegantly furnished in beige and white neutrals with wooden floorboards and contemporary artwork on the walls. The bathrooms have hand-painted murals on the tiles and come with baths as well as rain showers. Feather mattress toppers and toiletries by The White Company add that extra dash of luxury.
I hear the swimming pool calling, so just enough time for a quick change into comfy swimming shorts, linen shirt, Grecian scandals and Panama hat – an outfit with a timeless look. The pool area itself looks perfectly symmetrical, especially the lines of the sun loungers, so unbelievably aesthetic. There’s a pool bar so, if you’re spending the whole day at the shady outdoor pool, you don’t have to look far for a delicious dining option. The Pool Bar menu features a tempting selection of international favourites – from fresh salads to juicy burgers, a variety of sandwiches, and traditional Catalan specialities from the hotel’s expert chefs. Their experienced barman will prepare fresh fruit cocktails and offer a selection of wines, chosen by the sommelier, to complement the cuisine. Waiter service is available at your sunbed, with a glass of your choice and magazine in hand to enhance the luxury poolside ambience.
If you’re not a big fan of chilling by the pool all day long, don’t worry. I am amazed by how many things to do Hotel Camiral has to offer. I have written down a few things to do and see whilst staying at this hotel – click here to see a full list. Although I won’t be going on a full itinerary with you in this article, at least you’ll be happy to know about their Gin and Tonic tasting experience. Please do tell me you like your gin and tonic! Lubrication to your education is provided by their resident gin expert. Be guided through the fascinating history of gin and learn why we love it so much and I have the honour of finding out which gin will be my new favourite, although Hendricks will always be my top pick! It’s quite important to curate your gin and tonic by adding exactly the right tonic and garnish to develop the right balance and flavour, otherwise, it can turn out quite bitter.
Now, after a piping hot afternoon, I feel well refreshed and I’ve cooled down perfectly after the gin & tonic tasting. It’s a good thing after all that I’ve brought a number of outfits with me as I am about to get changed yet again for a fine dining experience at 1477, where the restaurant has been named after a milestone date in the culinary history of Catalunya and showcases the finest offerings from local artisan food producers. Each dish is designed around one key ingredient – ultra-fresh langoustines, or succulent prime aged beef – and is presented with creative flair. There’s a new Executive Chef, Francisco Hernandez, at Hotel Camiral, Girona’s only five-star hotel located at PGA Catalunya Resort. Originally from Santiago, Chile, Chef Hernandez spent the past four years at The Savoy London, working his way up to Executive Sous Chef, and has held positions in many of the top five star hotels in London, including The Langham Hotel and The Connaught Hotel with Helene Darroze. Each of the inspiring dishes comes with a perfect wine pairing to bring out the best of this world-class cuisine.
There is also another restaurant nearby, with a more down to earth and relaxed vibe at LAVIDA Hotel, which opened only recently at PGA Catalunya Resort. Bella’s Restaurant is the perfect modern dining experience for breakfast & dinner. The Mediterranean-inspired menu boasts a mouth-watering array of freshly made rustic Italian pizzas, using their homegrown seasonal ingredients baked in-house daily on homemade ciabatta-style slow-proved dough! The choice is yours, so why not try both dining experiences if you are staying more than two nights?
A successful first day at Hotel Camiral, it’s time to return to the room. Are you ready for more adventures ahead? Stay tuned to read more article on here.
Hotel Camiral, a five-star hotel located within easy reach of Girona and the Costa Brava, and less than an hour from Barcelona, rates from £145 for a double room on a B&B basis.