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.
A Room With a View
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.
Day or night, I was captivated by the scenery and thrilled about having a Mediterranean getaway.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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