Being a city girl through and through, when I think of a weekend destination I imagine bustling streets, shopping and bars with people spilling out on to the pavement. Barcelona, you might say, would be the ideal. So it might seem odd to catch a flight to that culture capital, then head directly away from it into the rolling green Catalonian hills.
But as my shopaholic sister and I drove towards our hotel, past the ancient peaks of the Montseny Massif mountains and through the manicured grounds of the PGA Catalunya Resort, it was the serenity that we immediately fell in love with.
We were spending a long weekend at the five-star Hotel Camiral – the PGA resort’s showpiece accommodation – a slick, stylish and modern establishment, achingly hip, with a heavenly pool.
From the moment we walked through the smart lobby, with the scent of flowers hanging in the air, the scene for a fashionable stay was instantly set.
The arty interior has been thoughtfully designed, from the grand windows perfectly framing that vast and inviting pool to the array of eye-catching sculptures and artworks.
The rooms also have the wow factor: elegantly decorated (we were in a superior deluxe) with a bed so impressive and inviting.
But it was the little luxuries I really adored: the fancy Elemis products in our bathroom, the gorgeous chairs in our living area and the pillow menu for those who like to personalise their bedding preferences.
“When can we move in?” my sister asked as we sipped cava and ate serrano ham on our private balcony overlooking the resort’s huge PGA tour golf course with the magnificent Pyrenees in the background.
Ah yes, golf.
The resort is famous for its two world-class, 18-hole courses.
But you certainly don’t need to be a golfer to enjoy staying here. Whether you want to relax, explore or feast like a king, the classy Hotel Camiral has activities and foodie treats to suit all tastes.
You can explore the incredible surrounding countryside by bike or horseback, put your tennis skills to the test, or spend an afternoon lounging by the pool.
The clubhouse provides casual cuisine perfect for breaking your exercise (or lounging) routine.
Spa seekers will rejoice at spending a relaxing morning in the wellness centre.
You can even get into the golfing spirit without hitting the course by trying the signature Quiro Golf massage, which uses golf balls to improve circulation and reduce joint pain.
Food discovery was high on the agenda for us.
A tasty hot spot at the hotel if you’re looking to enjoy cuisine with a Catalan influence is 1477 Restaurant.
The prime beef was mouthwatering and the mushroom rice so delicious we ordered a second helping.
And if the pull of city life is just too much for you (guilty), it’s a short ride to the charming city of Girona.
With more than 2,000 years of history, this picturesque town really has so much to offer: sightseeing, a spot of shopping and, of course, a sunny lunch, Spanish style.
To taste the local flavours while taking in the surroundings, book the Girona Food Tour. Just don’t eat breakfast beforehand because you’ll be full of tasty tapas, jamón and cava before the day is out.
Game Of Thrones fans will also be transported to King’s Landing and Braavos (Girona was used as a set during filming), as they are guided through the old cobbled streets during the tour.
Do make sure you cross over into the new town by the Eiffel Bridge – it’s a pretty place to stop to take a picture or two.
And I’ll let you into another of Girona’s best-kept secrets – a xuixo (pronounced shoo-shoo), a famous Catalonian pastry that’s like a deep-fried doughnut filled with a custardy cream, is delicious.
We may have piled on a few extra pounds over our weekend getaway but it was well worth it.
Published at Mon, 09 Mar 2020 00:19:00 +0000