Oct 012012

On the Mediterranean Sea

I’ve always had a particular vision about what a beach holiday on the Mediterranean Sea would be like. My stay in Roses, Spain along the beautiful Costa Brava in Catalonia was just as I’d imagined — except that it was much too short.

Roses Beach

A Room With a View

Promenade and beach in Roses, Spain

The view from my balcony at the Hotel & Spa Terraza in Roses overlooked palm trees gently blowing on a breezy day, wide expanses of sandy beach and boats sailing on Roses Bay.

View of Mediterranean from Hotel Terraza

Day or night, I was captivated by the scenery and thrilled about having a Mediterranean getaway.

Roses at Night


Hotel & Spa Terraza is a family owned and operated hotel opened in 1935 by Honorat Gotanegra. Today, General Manager Miquel Gotanegra and his three siblings, the founder’s grandchildren, own and run the business. It was a pleasure to talk to Miquel about his family, the hotel & related businesses, and what he calls the “Roses Experience”. He spoke earnestly about the hotel’s philosophy of excellent customer service and appreciation of hotel staff. He is deservedly proud of the hotel’s success as evidenced by the 65% of bookings that are return guests, among them a guest that has been coming back for 49 years!

Hotel Terraza

So much can be told about a hotel by the level of customer service of the reception staff. Judit, Xavier and others were welcoming and helpful from the first inquiry I made about booking a room to my check-out.

Judit at Hotel Terraza

The breakfast buffet was excellent with a wide selection of hot & cold dishes, pastries and fruit with a Catalan touch. It was nice to start the day with the friendly smile of the breakfast room server who greeted guests in several different languages. What a treat to enjoy breakfast outside by the pool with the blue waters of the Mediterranean in view.

Breakfast Buffet at Hotel Terraza

We had dinner one night at Bim’s Bistrot Mediterrani in the hotel where the service was exceptional. I enjoyed a juicy T-Bone Steak while vegetarian Mr. TWS opted for a seafood dish that he liked very much. For dessert we agreed on a Catalonian pudding that was delicious. We stopped back the next evening for dessert and had a piece of chocolate cake that I liked even more, but it was eaten before I thought to take a photo.

Catalonian Pudding

Spa at Hotel Terraza

I was completely pampered with a hydrating spa treatment, including massage and some time in a soothing jacuzzi. The spa is adjacent to the rooftop garden with a lounging area, pool, jacuzzi, and splendid views of the promenade & beach.

Historic Site

Another view from the opposite site of the hotel’s rooftop is of the Ciutadella de Roses, directly across the street. These Roman ruins also contain remains of the Greek town of Rhode, founded in 776 BC. Throughout history, Roses was a critical port in the sea trade and was fortified by walls since it was also subject to enemy advances and occupations. A museum was opened here in 2004 and is definitely on my agenda for a future trip to Roses.

Ciutadella of Roses

Ciutadella of Roses

The Cap de Creus

A highlight of my Mediterranean beach holiday was a private boat ride up the coast to Cadaqués. In the photo below, Miquel Gotanegra is at the wheel. The weather in Roses Bay allows for 330 days a year of optimal sailing conditions and Miquel enjoys being out on the water whenever possible. As a lifelong resident of the area, he was greeted by many of the boaters and fishermen we passed leaving the bay.

Miquel Gotanegra

It was an exciting ride as the day was quite windy and waters a bit rough, but I hung on while admiring the rugged beauty of the Costa Brava and Cap de Creus, the easternmost point of the Iberian Peninsula.

Cathy Sweeney on boat

The Cap de Creus peninsula is a natural park remarkable for its steep cliffs, unusual rock formations and hidden coves and caves. Fans of surrealist artist Salvador Dali may see why he was so deeply influenced by the dramatic rocks and landscapes found in this part of Costa Brava.

rock formation

cave in cliff on Cap de Creus

There are many hiking trails and recreational activities for all levels throughout the park, but for rock climbers taking on the steep cliffs, there are challenges and dangers as well. Indeed, while passing the Cadaqués lighthouse, we saw a rescue crew that had responded to a climbing accident.

Cadeques Lighthouse

Cadaqués is a picturesque town on a hill that is well-known for its connection to Dali who had a home in nearby Portlligat from 1930 to 1982. Although we didn’t have time to visit Dali’s Portlligat House and Museum, I did visit the Dali Museum in Figueres on another day and will be posting about that soon.


A Happy Traveler

With a spacious and comfortable room, great food, nice amenities, a balcony with a million dollar view, and a private boat tour on the Mediterranean Sea, I was quite the happy traveler in Roses. Do I hope to return to Roses and the Costa Brava? Do I want to go back soon? Would I like to stay at Hotel Terraza?

Cathy Sweeney in Roses, Spain

Happy Traveler at Hotel Terraza

Si! Si! Si!

Accommodations and amenities during my stay in Roses were generously provided by Hotel and Spa Terraza, but the opinions about my experience are totally my own — as always.

For more information:
Hotel & Spa Terraza

Visit Costa Brava

How to get to Roses

  44 Responses to “Roses on the Mediterranean”

  1. Looks very cozy indeed. And what a room with a view indeed!!!!!

  2. Looks like you had a wonderful time there. Good service at a hotel sure makes the stay a lot more enjoyable. Nice photos too.

  3. They really have you spoiled:)

  4. I must say that the sunshien and lifestyle suits you. You’re looking gorgeous on those photos!

    When I’m in that area I always seem to get “trapped” in Barcelona. I really must learn to venture further. It’s beautiful.

    Oh, and I should explain that I always look through photos first & then go back & read text – so I saw the photo of the spa/massage place & thought, “Well the beds don’t look so good!” Happy to realize my mistake :=)

    • Well, I must say that you have made my day! Thank you, Linda. Funny about the spa pic! Comfortable for a massage… for a good night’s sleep — probably not.

  5. You look great and I am sold on the hotel! Thanks for sharing you go places I never will, but sure enjoy the opportunity to see these places through your eyes and experience. Thanks for sharing such beautiful pictures.

    • Thanks, Debbie! Who says you’ll never go? Make a reservation right now and tell the people at Hotel Terraza that I sent you! 🙂

  6. Looks lovely, Cathy, glad you are enjoying Europe 🙂

    • You know, I’ve never not enjoyed Europe! Not that everything is always perfect, but I always feel like I’ve had a special experience.

  7. What a wonderful, pampering stay. Looks like you had a lot of diverse activities going on. I love breakfast outside on holiday especially when you know its too cold to be doing that at home.

  8. The water was so cold, was not it?

    • The hubby actually went in the water, I just walked along the beach. 🙂 But there were a lot of people out there swimming.

  9. Beautiful! Those views are gorgeous and Ioved reading about all the pampering you got in and out of the hotel. I wouldn’t mind waking up to that view everyday during vacation. Even the buffet makes you feel like you’re outside. You sold me on staying at such a wonderful hotel with great hospitality. Glad to see you had a wonderful stay.

    • I loved that mural behind the buffet. It really had the intended effect of making you feel the outside as well as having a hint of the Salvador Dali influence in the area.

  10. Spectacular views from your balcony and rooftop. Wow, Roman ruins just across the street…I would have been in heaven. The food looked scrumptious as well! You certainly did enjoy your time in Costa Brava…on my bucket list for sure.

    • I wish I’d had more time to explore the ruins at the Citadel. As it was, I couldn’t break away from the food, drink, views and pampering. 🙂

  11. Great that you got to see Spain, Cathy. Make it a bit closer next time and we’ll buy you a beer 🙂

  12. What an amazing getaway!! This place looks so relaxing

  13. The photos look amazing, especially as I am wrapped up in a jacket and scarf! Great looking holiday.

    • Oh, sounds chilly Adela. I had very nice weather there which helped to make it a great stay. Of course, the best weather was on the day we had to leave!

  14. Seems like you’re having an amazing time in Spain! London anytime soon? We can’t compete with the Spanish weather though… 😀

  15. What a great looking place. This will go on our ‘futures list’ for Spain!

  16. Wow, a 65% return rate is a serious win for a hotel – they must be doing something right 😀 Looks like you had a great time after TBEX – hope you managed to get some time to unwind and relax!

    • I can attest to the fact that they are doing a lot right at the hotel! Relaxed a bit, but would like to have about another week to really wind down. 🙂

  17. Looks great Cathy…and so do you! The Med life suits you! 🙂

  18. You know, that’s exactly the same vision I have when I think about a Mediterranean vacation. We must all subconsciously be thinking of the Hotel Terraza. I’m guessing their return guest percentage is going to take a hit when we all go visit for the first time.

  19. Catalonia is certainly a destination I have in mind, so it’s great to have your recommendation here, Cathy. And it was obviously exhilarating from the look on your face in those photos!

  20. Most definitely my kind of hotel! Great stuff:)

  21. […] Cathy (Traveling with Sweeney) stays at Roses on the Mediterranean. […]

  22. Its a very nice area of Spain we particularly like Empuriabrava just down the coast a little. Fond memories brought back from this post about day trips to Roses.
    We must visit this area again soon 🙂

  23. Great photos. Looks like a lovely place to visit.

  24. Costa Brava has so many hidden secrets! Thanks for sharing yet another with us! I can’t wait to get back to that region one day 😉

  25. […] On the Mediterranean with Hotel Spa Terraza Owner, Miquel Gotanegra […]

  26. […] Catalonia, thank you for Salvador Dali, sumptuous flavors, “rauxa i seny” designs and Mediterranean beaches. […]

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