Checking In: Alabriga Hotel & Home Suites, Costa Brava, Spain

Fashion meets design at this five-star resort in Sant Feliu, Costa Brava, a short drive from Girona airport

WHERE: The design-forward hotel Alabriga Hotel & Home Suites is located in the chic coastal enclave of Sant Paul, a mere 30 minutes drive from Girona airport. I flew with Ryanair, and the hotel can also be accessed from Barcelona. Built in 2017, the hotel overlooks the bay and is designed in a wave pattern complete with spacious sea-facing balconied suites. Ferraris populate the carpark – this part of the coast is apparently a favourite spot for Barcelona footballers to visit for a weekend break.

WHAT: Inside the décor is in jewel tones with Baccarat installations, Carrera marble, Donghia textiles and revolving exhibitions of artworks complemented with a medi-spa. No expense has been spared in the design and rooms are accessed with fingerprint recognition, which adds a James Bond thrill (initially) as do the 24-hour butlers.  Intriguing modern art pieces populate the communal areas – and apparently the marble tiles can be bought if you want that sort of take home gift.

 

There are five suite options – Deluxe, Premium, Grand Club, Penthouse and Presidential Penthouse. I stayed in a Grand Club and arriving late at night, got lost in the spacious layout. Beds were comfortable and the bathroom stocked with luxurious amenities. There was a kitchen with Nespresso, though the spacious balcony was what I most enjoyed. Surveying the other properties from this vantage point, it’s clearly a rarefied corner of the Costa Brava, with Sa Agaro a ten minute promenade from the hotel. But who walks here – when there are Azimut 58 Flybridge yachts to charter?

HOW ABOUT: Dropping anchor in Cap Roig or Cadaques and ordering lunch from Sa Marinada is one of the experiences offered by the hotel. Most guests on my visit had booked a gastronomic getaway to savour the hotel’s Michelin-starred Terra restaurant overseen by Mallorcan chef Abraham Artigas. He certainly lived up to expectations but my palate favoured the menu at the more informal Sea Club. Complete with infinity pool, this spot has a lively social scene by day and by night.

WHAT ELSE: If on a weekend break and in need of some respite, the spa is your first port of call. Part of the hotel’s “high touch high tech” philosophy, there are four treatment rooms named “breath”, “feel”, “touch” and “dream” each with their own special ambiance. There is also a steam room and sauna, gym and self-contained pool area. I had a mini facial which was expertly administered.

 

Should you want a day trip from the hotel, Celler Brugarol is a Pritzker prizewinning design by RCR Architects. The winery is buried beneath a roof of recycled steel with angled walls give the feeling of entering a burial chamber with slots in the roof. At ground level, the extensive farm-cum-finca also makes its own olive oil and natural soap, has a small but stunning restaurant and offers a variety of rooms. Its terrace is the ideal spot for surveying the scene and savouring one of winemaker Josep Trallero’s excellent cavas.

WHAT TO PACK: Prepare for land, sea and shore. Weather was variable when I travelled in May. Take sun hats, kaftans and Castaner espadrilles to blend in with the locals by the pool. Otherwise loose clothing is a must to counteract the long meals and local foodie temptations. Did anyone mention Palamos prawns?

www.hotelalabriga.com

Penny McCormick

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