Mas de Torrent Hotel & Spa | Luxury Hotels in Costa Brava, L'Emporda, Spain | Member of The Aficionados

Nuanced Recluse

Planted Gardens Vineyards | Mas de Torrent Hotel & Spa | Luxury Hotels in Costa Brava, L'Emporda, Spain | Member of The Aficionados

Intro

Wrapped in acres of farming lands, vineyards, medieval hamlets and the beautiful Mediterranean coastline of Costa Brava, luxury hotel Mas de Torrent is wonderfully anchored into the painterly landscapes of native Salvador Dalí by an aged 18th century Catalonian finca, a honeyed stone beacon that affords views across to the Illes Medes and the Pyrenees. Located in Spain's off-radar enclave of Ampurdán/ L'Empordà, close to Girona, about an hour's drive north of Barcelona, this is a corner of north-eastern Spain famed as a destination of relaxation, fantastic light, nature, the arts and world-renowned restaurants.  

Radiating from the original farmhouse, potted lemon trees, mature olives, tall pines, herbs, vegetable plots and lavenders colourate the hotel's Mediterranean gardens that flaunt the estate's sloping architecture of white low-rise suite pavilions, the spa, pool, terraces and famed restaurant hotspot by chef Ramón Freixa.

Interior designer Pilar García-Nieto has completely remodelled the hotel Mas De Torrent with her authentic signatory soft elegance of subtle, crafted luxury. Fostering a sustainable approach, design, heritage, and her passion for handed-down crafts populate the aged estate's lime-washed walls, Catalan vaulted ceilings and exposed beams. Ceramics from La Bisbal, private artworks from legendary artist Josep Maria Sert, bespoke furnishings, treasured family heirloom pieces, terracotta flooring, reed carpets, decorative crafts and polished timbers root the concept into its rural Ampurdán setting - enhancing its simple artistic pleasure.

This soigne stylistic mood continues into the contemporary hotel suites and private pool villas, decked in subtle earthy tones inspired by Ampurdán's geology and coastline. Polished concrete, heavy white linens, oversized sofas, and warm woods accent the room detail - juxtaposed to the rural traditions and wonderfully contrasting to the sensory intensity of the outdoor landscapes. It is a tranquil luxury.  

Nearby Girona is famed for its restaurant and dining culture, and at the Mas de Torrent, acclaimed Chef Ramón Freixa fuses the cuisine of Catalonia with an innovative hand foraging the flavours of the land and sea. Dining at the hotel is a relaxed affair with panoramic windows, lots of private nooks and, of course, al fresco during the warm summer evenings. 

An authentic, refreshingly modern and intimately warm country retreat enhanced by its extensive wellness and spa aspect, nuanced design and philosophy of rural heritage and modern escapism, Mas de Torrent is no ordinary hotel of luxury. On the contrary, it is a rarity and beams with unpretentious, casual ease, capturing the very beauty of its setting, lost between the Pyrenees mountains and Costa Brava in Catalonia's heartlands of L'Empordà – and like the Hamptons are for New Yorkers, this bolthole is the secret destination of the good-life insiders from nearby Barcelona and neighbouring France.

Nearby, Girona is famed for its restaurant and dining culture, and at the Mas de Torrent, acclaimed Chef Ramón Freixa fuses the cuisine of Catalonia with an innovative hand

Suites

Luxury Private Pool Villa | Mas de Torrent Hotel & Spa | Luxury Hotels in Costa Brava, L'Emporda, Spain | Member of The Aficionados

There are 39 suites and villas at Mas de Torrent, ten of which are in the old central farmhouse itself, cue high arched whitewashed ceilings, gleaming polished terracotta floor, exposed stone walls, antique beds and a whitewashed décor.

The Mediterranean-styled low-rise pavilions are set within the landscaped gardens, which host modern suites and villas of understated luxury – perfect for those who enjoy spoiling extras like gardens, private pools, and floor-to-ceiling sliding doors and a 'Californian chill' colour palette. The intentionally simplistic design heightens the senses to the outdoor intensity – the interior vibe is modern; however, clever interventions of handcrafted furniture, linen curtains, reed-grass matting and a palette of mottled greens, taupe, pale strawberry and matt black accessories allow luxury to feel suitably relaxed. Whether you choose the old Masia, a garden suite and pool or a standalone pod, each has a high level of detail from high-thread-count sheets, ecological mattresses, rain showers and natural toiletries by Serena.

Foodie

Gourmet Dining in Catalonia | Mas de Torrent Hotel & Spa | Luxury Hotels in Costa Brava, L'Emporda, Spain | Member of The Aficionados

With open-fronted floor-to-ceiling sliding windows, the bright restaurant scene of full-length linen decked tables is complemented by curated artworks, antiques and angular chandeliers, camouflaged by dried flowers and indigenous grasses - lending a subtle cue from the countryside. Under the gastronomic hand of renowned chef Ramón Freixa, who has a two-Michelin star restaurant at Hotel Unico in Madrid, dining at Mas de Torrent is an innovative delight where dishes challenge your taste perception, form and flavour. Playing with traditional Catalan ingredients, expect squid, prawn, Iberian pork and razor clams to grace the tasting menu, presented beautifully like works of art, often paired with creative contrast.

If the tasting menu isn't your thing, pick and mix from the al carte enjoying Spanish faves – humble dishes that have been creatively rethought - like patatas bravas, croquettes, thinly sliced Iberian ham and cod fritters.

An extensive wine card ensures that the enthusiast and the connoisseur find a bottle to match, including an impressive selection of local wine. There's also an imaginative bar/open wine room – perfect for the dinner apéro.

Spa

The notable spa and wellness aspect of Mas de Torrent is under the creative direction of Carlota Guardans, whose insider knowledge of wellbeing and health, botanical relaxation and rejuvenation are skillfully deployed across the plethora of treatments and courses available. The pastoral scene of nature all around you at Mas de Torrent belies the rather impressive and professional spa facilities housed in their own wooden-clad building, the MasSpa. With more than 600 square metres to play with, spa devotees can enjoy a hydrotherapy circuit, light-filled heated indoor pool area, cold-water pool, hammam, sauna, Technogym and meditation room. Outside is a tennis and paddle tennis court, a rarity in these parts. If massages are your thing, succumb to a deep tissue treatment using Natura Bissé cosmetics.

Location

Mas de Torrent is just over an hour's drive from hub Barcelona, close to Girona, the border with France and the beautiful Catalan Costa Brava coastline of L'Empordà/Ampurdán. Arrive here by plane to Girona or Barcelona or drive in from the south of France on a road trip.

On the coast, find beautiful pockets of sand and the turquoise Med, plus pretty villages such as Cadaques, which Picasso, Miro and Duchamp loved to paint; inland historic, medieval villages such as Madremanya, Monells, Torrent, Peratallada, Ullastret, Palau-Sator, Púbol and Pals are cocoons of history, wrapped in castle walls, cobbled streets and churches.

Discover the area on foot as Catalonians have done for years, including the Camí de Ronda, 43 kilometres of Costa Brava coastline, with rugged undulations and pretty coves. Another favourite option is to explore by boat taking in the Medes Islands or fishing villages such as Llafranch, Calella, Tamariu or Cadaqués. 

This is also Dali's land – in his birthplace, Figueres, discover the not easily forgotten Teatre-Museu Dalí, where you can immerse yourself in his whimsical world and close to the hotel is his spectacularly artistic Castell de Púbol Gala Dalí – Salvador Dalí's love castle dedicated to his beloved wife.

Owner

Pau Guardans is a pioneering hotelier with several landmark hotels under his stylish realm, hallmarked by his sleight of touch in creating places of relaxed elegance and an air of rich authenticity.  “I like to travel, observe and share the things I love” explains Pau. Mas de Torrent is one of his latest triumphs in the corner of Spain he has admired since childhood.

“The Empordá area is a very special landscape. The Greeks already discovered its magic; a landscape between the Pyrenees and the sea with large fertile plains due to the fact that the fields are below the sea level and the rivers that flow down from the Pyrenees have a hard time reaching the sea. This makes and defines a region that has always had a rich agriculture (and therefore very special gastronomy!) and that in the Middle Ages was full of small walled villages that still keep their charm today. That's why my dream has always been to have the best hotel in the area and sometimes dreams come true. Today we are proud of our contribution to making this region one of the most special in Europe.” 

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