Flying high above the Camino de Ronda coastal trail which connects the two blissful bays of the town, Cala Sa Conca and Sant Pol, the nautical flags proudly spell out ‘S’Agaró. Named by the Ensesa family after the Agaró stream that runs nearby, S’Agaró is an exclusive enclave on the coast of Costa Brava.
Sitting at the heart of S’Agaró – the Hostal de La Gavina is a grand landmark with an illustrious history that dates back to the birth of this top-class resort. This year the five-star luxe hotel celebrates its 90th anniversary. As the first in Spain to enter the prestigious, ‘Leading Hotels of the World Collection’ and the only one of its kind in Catalonia, the Hostal de la Gavina is truly regal. In the 60s, it was a hotspot for Hollywood stars such as Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra and Charlie Chaplin, famously known as ‘Hollywood by the sea’.
Today, they have preserved their essence, exceeding in excellence and continuing to be the hideaway for stars and royalty alike. In the hands of the fourth generation, the hotel remains a cultural site of national interest, as declared by the Catalonian government. The grounds are majestic, gardens reimagined and sea views mesmerising. Characterised by a unique artistic heritage, the Hostal de La Gavina reflects Spanish grandeur. The countless architectural beauties adopted by the visionary, Josep Ensesa i Gubert, include: ‘towers, terraces and low roof lines to create a colony for art lovers’.
The lobby has beautifully arranged showcases, ornamental plastering and statues. There is a imposing reading room, a breakfast room with 17th century Aubusson tapestries, and a terrace seating area that overlooks the Candlelight patio.
Located opposite the hotel’s outdoor pool is the Hostal de La Gavina Spa recently inaugurated by luxury Swiss brand Valmont. It offers a wide range of signature treatments, a sauna, indoor pool and Technogym. The Spa’s ambience is impeccable, and the massages are ethereal.
At the other end of the outdoor pool sits a chic boutique, stocked with summer essentials from high-end international brands, such as Max Mara. Through the garden, La Gavina Sports Club has two clay courts and two paddle tennis courts. For slower-paced activities, yoga classes are held in the garden, as well as other well-being activities.
Gloriously overlooking the gardens and sea, 74 rooms exude elegance, including 9 junior suites, 13 deluxe suites, and 1 awe-inspiring Louis XV style royal suite. The 11 superior sea view rooms are particularly charming, boasting unobstructed views of the Mediterranean and an abundance of natural light from the scenic terraces. The beds are made with soft, high-quality Egyptian linen, whilst the room interior reflects the opulence that runs throughout the hotel. Fine silk upholstery displays classic décor with heritage fabrics matching the bedding to the furniture.
The hotel has 3 restaurants, the romantic Candlelight, poolside Garbí and El Barco. Directed by the Michelin star chef, Romain Fornell, the Candlelight is an intimate restaurant with white walls, plush velvet seating and live piano performances. Lighting up the night with Victorian lampposts that surround the decorative water fountains, the terrace patio is especially romantic.
Putting a modern twist on his traditional creations, Fornell’s menu includes exquisitely presented dishes. He has orchestrated a refined tasting menu, showcasing the exemplary cuisine. Highlights include the delectable ‘Crispy egg with tuna belly and green olive juice’ and ‘Celery risotto with lobster emulsion, scampi, and crispy beetroot.’ To accompany your meal, the Can Sumoi Xarel.lo, made from a typical Catalan grape named Xarello, is the perfect Cava (sparkling wine) option. At the Garbí, enjoy the ‘Fideuá’, a delicious Catalan twist of a classic Spanish paella made with Vermicelli or opt for fresh grilled fish, a selection of roast meat from the Josper oven, rice dishes and summer salads.
Sitting on Sant Pol Bay, just a stone’s throw from the hotel is La Taverna del Mar, a beach restaurant also founded by the Ensesa family. Specialising in rice, exquisite seafood and fresh Mediterranean wild fish, La Taverna del Mar is a modern, chic restaurant offering front-row views of the sea. It has a stunning blue and white colour palette with nautical-themed décor and is open every day (during the peak periods of June to September and closes on Tuesdays for the rest of the season). An unforgettable dessert is the ‘original cheesecake with mango, passion fruit and shortbread’.
A short drive away from S’Agaró is the ancient city of four rivers, Girona. Experience the gastronomic philosophy of Catalonia with a culinary tour by Girona Food Tours, led by a local couple, Marc and Fiona. What better way to authentically experience Catalan life than by enjoying local delicacies?
Costa Brava is a delightful coastal destination showcasing some of the best views that the Mediterranean has to offer. Whether you’re after a honeymoon, anniversary or just a paradisal holiday, the Hostal de La Gavina is a perfect choice.
Hostal de La Gavina, Plaça Roserar s/n, 17248 S’Agaró (Costa Brava), Girona, España
Tel. +34 972 32 1100