What makes Hostal Spa Empuries special:
Everything about this place is special. The location is right on the beach promenade, in a quiet area with a beautiful bay. There are lovely, immaculate gardens all around the hotel with bright green grass and flowers, fruits and vegetables in all colors of the rainbow. The restaurant is excellent and boasts plenty of local produce, some of it grown on premise in the hotel’s own gardens. My room was one of their “Spa” rooms in a one storey annex building in the garden, a pure relaxation oasis, with one of the biggest bath tubs I’ve seen in a hotel and a little terrace with a view of the garden and the sea. Hostal Empuries is a place to relax, to just be in the moment and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
I was impressed by how eco-friendly the hotel is. It has received various eco certifications for its architecture and energy efficiency (it’s the first hotel in Europe to be awarded a LEED gold certification), and is very committed to running its operations in a sustainable way. The hotel very much blends into its surroundings, uses the resources and the space around it in a very natural and harmonious way.
One of the lounge areas of the hotel, with views of the Mediterranean Sea
The gigantic bath tub in my room
What to eat:
Seafood! Hostal Spa Empuries is in L’Escala, which is world famous for its anchovies. And before you say ‘I hate anchovies’, let me assure you I thought I hated anchovies too, but the people of L’Escala are very proud of their seafood and managed to convince me otherwise. At the hotel, try the seafood rice, cooked in squid ink and topped with a few of the famous anchovies. Let them recommend a wine to go with your dinner, the sommelier is great and their wine selection highlights local wines, some of them even organic and made exclusively for this hotel.
And don’t miss breakfast, their buffet includes home made marmalades and plenty of embutidos (cured meats).
Black seafood rice, topped with the obligatory anchovies
Banana-chocolate dessert. Anything chocolate works for me.
What to do around the hotel:
I don’t know why you would want to leave. But if you do, leave the hotel on the sea side and walk left towards the Empuries ruins, an old archaeological site just a few hundred meters away from the hotel. It’s the remnants of an abandoned ancient town founded by the Greeks over 2500 years ago. Walk past the ruins and you’ll get to a tiny old village above the sea with a couple of restaurants and cafés where you can enjoy an afternoon coffee on one of the terraces.
In the center of L’Escala, there’s an anchovies museum if you’re curious about the history of this little place. You could also try calling one of the anchovies factories directly and asking for a tour, but be warned: these are active factories handling a whole lot of fish, and smell accordingly. If you’re squeamish, the museum may be a better choice for you.
I absolutely, truly loved Hostal Spa Empuries. If you’re looking to “get away from it all” for a few days, this place is it. I was only there for one night and I was devastated to leave. Pretty sure I’ll be back some day. Hopefully for a much longer stay than last time.
Wish I had this view every day: The bay in front of Hostal Spa Empuries
I enjoyed my time in L’Escala and a complementary stay at Hostal Spa Empuries during a blogger trip sponsored by Costa Brava Tourism. Opinions are 100% my own though, and I truly enjoyed the activities and places I’m recommending to you!