C. Església, s/n
The Buzz Trips View
The location, nestled in the Espot Valley, is a stunner – ‘oh, there’s another jaw-dropping view… and another… and another’. Protective dramatic hills, green and grassy in summer, snow white in winter; an impatient river hurrying through the town without pause; hotels with ski chalet type sloping roofs that lend the scene an Alpine aspect. This is THE base for people like us who relish exploring rural paradises like the Catalonian Pyrenees before returning to a sanctuary that is cosy, comfortable and contemporary but with a rustic heart. We love a bit of comfort after giving the body a decent workout and the family-run Hotel Roca Blanca delivers the goods in style.
The hotel has 16 rooms, just enough to make the Roca Blanca feel homely without being claustrophobic. The décor is simple but stylish and with character. Bedrooms are good sized with beds so comfortable they’d induce a coma-like state even if guests haven’t been walking in the hills all day. Each has flat screen TVs and windows with superb views (let’s face it any window in Espot is going to have excellent vistas). The bathroom is particularly chic – the owners’ philosophy being that it’s important to have somewhere special to relax after an over active day; amen to that. There’s no wifi in the rooms but it is available in the communal lounge.
Like Kylie Minogue, the Roca Blanca is small but perfectly formed. There’s a sauna and fitness centre and the communal lounge and outside terrace are the sort of paces where it’s comfortable to lounge with a drink telling tales of unforgettable experiences in the Pyrenees.
The breakfast buffet is one of the best I’ve had in a hotel of this size. There’s a quality selection of local cheeses, meats, patés, pastries and all sorts of things that you just have to try… even though you’ve already eaten too much (a day’s hard walking provides a good excuse to over indulge).
Nothing is too much trouble for owners and staff who make you feel like one of the family. It is almost the perfect rural hotel.
Rooms cost from €70 for 2 people (breakfast included). Check here for rates and offers.
Activities in Espot
Espot is a good base for people looking for an active holiday in a beautiful location. It’s ideal for exploring the Aigüestortes I Estany de Sant Maurici National Park which is a natural wonder. In summer months, apart from top hiking, there’s kayaking, horse riding, 4WD and various other outdoor activities. In winter, the reason for the seriously sloping roofs become clear as it’s a snow clad winter wonderland which attracts skiers, snow mobiles and anyone who likes having fun in the white stuff.
Recommended Restaurant in Espot – La Llupia (Casa Roya)
La Llupia restaurant is only a few minutes walk from the Hotel Roca Blanca and offers a belly-busting selection of local and very heart fare. A good value way to try a selection of local goodies is to opt for the 3 course option for €16. I wolfed a gluttonous selection of dreamy and creamy local cheeses, an ‘mmmm’ plate of Serrano ham and wafer thin chorizos, savoury mushroom risotto, pig’s trotters (all the rage in London and New York) and finished off with a crema catalana (like a Spanish version of crème brulee); all of which left me fat and happy. Just as well there are plenty of activities in the area to work off the sort of meals dished up in La Llupia.
I soaked up the scenery at Hote Roca Blanca as a guest of the Catalunya Tourist Board.