Every once in a while, I will introduce you to a property you may not have been aware of or perhaps even a destination you never heard of. For the majority of you out there – this may fall under both.
I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Judy Hurst of JDH Associates – representing Remarkable Places. Judy and I discussed the beauty of the La Gavina Resort (Hostal de La Gavina) – which is located in Costa Brava, Spain – a region situated in the northeastern part of the country.
Now kudos to you if you were familiar with one or both of those – but if you weren’t – kindly place your seat in an upright position, put your tray table up and read on to see just what you are missing!
Getting There: Costa Brava is located on the coast of Spain just North of Barcelona along the Mediterranean Sea. It is a unique destination that can be added to your Spain trip or done as a destination on its own. Many Americans have never heard of Costa Brava, but it is frequented by a lot of Europeans. The main city in the region is Girona and this is where both the airport and the train station are located. Since it is only an hour drive from Barcelona, should you be staying there you can hop a train to Girona which will get you there rather quickly. Or if you are making Costa Brava your first or your only destination – you can fly into Girona. In either case the hotel will make arrangements to pick you up once you arrive.
Property: La Gavina is situated on an entire peninsula in Costa Brava – right on the beach front. Among the flora and the fauna there is a walkway – the historic Ronda pathway – where you can walk around the entire peninsula and get sweeping seas views as well as views of the multimillion-dollar estates that surround it.
La Gavina – which opened in 1932 – is family owned and is now into the 4th generation of that family operating it. Throughout the years it was host to both international and American celebrities – and if you are a star gazer you will be thrilled to know that there are plenty of photos of the rich and famous throughout the resort.
The architecture is castle-like if you will – an old-world style with all the modern amenities you would expect and need. Bonus – if you are an antique fan the family collects them so you will spot them all over the property as well – and not behind glass either.
The rooms are classic European style – all decorated uniquely with different décor and coloration. The vast majority of the accommodations have views of the Mediterranean along with a terrace to sit on to enjoy those views. The resort also offers separate villas which feature two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a kitchen. The villas are a bit more separated from the property – meaning you will have more privacy – however you can still use all of the hotel amenities. Both myself and Judy agree – these would be great to buy out for a destination wedding, vow renewals, corporate retreats and more. And since it is such a large property there are plenty of grounds to hold events on – which they do – and they are amazing.
There are numerous restaurants for you to choose from – both casual and fine-dining as well as both indoors and outside. Among them is the Michelin starred Candlelight restaurant offering a top-notch culinary experience where you can dine inside or al fresco which is outside – and highly recommended as it is candle lit with stunning views and superb food. Also outside is breakfast in a fabulous location looking over the Mediterranean. (Note: It was a buffet breakfast but will be changed post COVID – yet still offering fabulous morning fare!)
The property also has two swimming pools – one grand one outdoors and a smaller indoor pool with a second story sun deck, tennis courts, its own private beach, a spa, and two PGA golf courses!
Activities: Well – as we touched on above – there is plenty to do right on property! There are water activities both on the resort’s beach as well as other nearby beaches. There are the clay tennis courts to hit a few balls around on. There is golfing on one of their two golf courses. And then there is their magnificent spa featuring Valmont products. Of course, I would be happy to arrange any spa treatments you would like prior to traveling – or perhaps you would like me to hook you up with a personal trainer or yoga classes instead?
Off property, the sky’s the limit! You can hike, walk, cycle – it’s a fabulous destination for active travelers and features breathtaking vistas and – even if you aren’t that active – it gives you an excuse to walk off all that fine wine and food you’ll be partaking in. There are also plenty of museums around including the Salvador Dali Museum – for you to learn about the history of the area and have that living classroom experience.
You can also participate in one or more of the various day trips from the resort. There is one to Girona where the Jewish history is fascinating or you could stay cool at the Aqua Brava Water Park or visit the Sant Ferran Castle – the largest bastioned fortress in Europe – just to name a few!
Gastronomy: Spain is known for its great food and wine but the food and wine in Costa Brava is extraordinary and world famous! They have over 400 wine growers in the area guaranteeing lots of opportunities for wine tastings and you are certain to find a vino you like. But as Judy stated – the wineries there do not operate like say a Napa winery would. You need to make arrangements before hand to gain admittance and do wine tastings – and I will be more than happy to do that for you pre-travel. In addition to all that wine there are 16 affordable priced Michelin starred restaurants in the area so the gastronomy gods will certainly be smiling down on you if you are a foodie! (On another note there are 200 starred restaurants in the entire country of Spain.)
And we must make mention of Massana Restaurant – a very low-key restaurant in Girona. It was here that Judy had a 15-course lunch – yes 15 courses! – with eight different wine pairings! And those courses weren’t just tastings or samples – each course had three or more components to it! The best part of this extraordinary meal was at the time it was only $99.00 per person and just $45.00 per person for eight glasses of wine. Now neither she nor I cannot guarantee those are still the prices – but that gives you an idea of how affordable it is!
Type of Traveler: La Gavina is very family friendly, In fact they have a kids club that starts from ages five or six and up which typically runs during the daytime – however if you want to dine out without the children the resort can get you a babysitter or nanny to take care of them while you are gone. Also good for couples, destination weddings, business gatherings and pretty much anyone else who likes to eat and drink wine – all with an amazing backdrop!
Miscellaneous: Although the average stay at La Gavina is just two or three nights – you can
Certainly stay longer as there is plenty to do in and around Costa Brava to keep you busy. In fact you can make the resort your “home base” and then do day trips originating from there to other areas. It really is a lovely area filled with Medieval towns and walled villages and very similar in feel to the south of France due to its proximity to the that area.
Updated COVID-19 Information: As of this writing if you fly to Spain from other countries, it is mandatory to fill out the Health Control Form (FCS) associated with your trip to present it at the Health Control of the airport of arrival in Spain. DO NOT TRAVEL if you have recent-onset COVID-19 compatible symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath), have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days, or have had close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last two weeks. DURING YOUR STAY IN SPAIN, follow at all times the recommendations against COVID-19 indicated by the health authorities.
For more details on the fabulous La Gavina Resort and Costa Brava, their price points and more – contact your Travel Guru! Oh, and if you need a payment plan to fund your travel adventure – we got those too!