El Serrat s/n, Molló, Girona
Molló was our final destination after a week of hiking in the Pyrenees and we were looking forward to unlacing the boots and relaxing. Rain had dogged us for the last couple of days of our week but with heart-squeezingly beautiful scenery, challenging walking and new gastronomic delights at every turn, it had failed to dampen our spirits. As we arrived into the picturesque little town after a five hour hike from Setcases, thunder rolled across the sky, threatening to once again soak us by way of a parting gift.
Hurrying down the high street we arrived, bedraggled, footsore and grubby, at the Hotel Calitxo in the village and dragged our sorry limbs upstairs to our room to find that most welcome of welcomes – a bottle of cava on ice. As we popped the cork, lightening split the sky and the rain began hammering against the window pane. Showered, warm, dry and exceedingly happy, we sat in the window and watched the storm as we sipped our cava.
A bottle of cava doesn’t cost much, but there are times when its presence is priceless.
Buzz Trips Opinion
A mountain lodge-style hotel that knows how to make its guests feel welcome, the Calitxo Hotel and Restaurant combines rustic charm with contemporary comfort and a superb restaurant. Situated a mere stone’s throw from the French/Spanish border in the pretty village of Molló in the Camprodon Valley, and at the crossroads to multiple hiking, biking and cross-country skiing trails into the splendour of the Pyrenees, this is the perfect hotel for anyone who enjoys a bit of luxury with their outdoor activities.
We had a standard double ‘comfort’ room with a double bed, a small sitting area in the bay window with a table and chairs and a good-sized en-suite with powerful shower, nice toiletries and oodles of hot water. Floors and ceilings are wood panelled; décor is coffee and cream and there’s no clutter which makes the floor space perfectly adequate. If you prefer to spread out over a larger surface area and would like a separate lounge area, opt for one of the 12 superior rooms.
Our room looked out over a rooftop to the hills and valleys we had spent the week traversing and the pretty garden with its tables and chairs where, on summer afternoons when the sky isn’t intent on spoiling such pleasures, you can enjoy tea and cakes.
Soft, comfy sofas around a roaring log fire in winter; a conservatory sitting room that looks and feels like you should be penning a murder mystery before cocktails at eight, and pretty gardens brimming with geraniums all lend the Calitxo an air of genteel relaxation. There’s a public, outdoor swimming pool immediately backing the hotel which would have been perfect had the rain stayed away. As it was, it made for some great people watching as a string of swimsuit-clad individuals raced for shelter when the storm broke.
Breakfast is a comprehensive selection of cereals, fruit, bread, cold meats and cheeses featuring classic Catalan fare such as pan amb tomaquet and a good selection of chorizos. But the restaurant really comes into its own in the evenings when the à la carte menu offers a mouth-watering choice of starters, mains and desserts, all of them lovingly prepared and creatively presented.
I opted for the melon soup with its minty freshness, creamy goat’s yoghurt and Iberico ham – a classic taste of summer with a Catalan twist. For main course I opted for a steak, something I very rarely order on a menu, but this was melt-in-the-mouth sirloin in a light, savoury mushroom sauce and served with fresh asparagus and Dauphinoise potatoes. By way of a ‘well done, me’ pat on the back for a hard week’s work, a sumptuous home made tirimasu put the final flourish on a top dinner. In gastronomic terms, the Calitxo Hotel and Restaurant is punching well above its weight and is deservedly a popular evening venue with locals.
Calitxo Hotel and Restaurant; +34 972 740 386; doubles with breakfast start from €75
Andrea (Andy) Montgomery is a freelance travel writer and co-owner of Buzz Trips and The Real Tenerife series of travel websites. Published in The Telegraph, The Independent, Wexas Traveller, Thomas Cook Travel Magazine, EasyJet Traveller Magazine, you can read her latest content on Google+