Ctra. de Camprodon a Setcases, Vall de Camprodon; Llanars, Girona
There are a couple of wonderful sights to behold at the end of a long day’s walking. One is a big, icy glass of lager. The other is somewhere comfortable and welcoming in which to completely chill out.
After a 21km walk from Ribes de Freser to Llanars, the Hotel Grèvol hit exactly the right spot on both accounts. Situated on the edge of the tiny village of Llanars, the Hotel Grèvol exudes the warm, cosy chalet appeal of an Alpine hotel. In winter, with a snowy icing, it must look exquisite. In summer, surrounded by forest covered hills and beautifully landscaped gardens, it was just what our weary bodies needed.
Located a couple of kilometres from ultra picturesque Camprodon in nature’s garden – aka Vall de Camprodon – the Hotel Grèvol is in a killer of a location. Quiet and tranquil without being stuffy, it felt relaxing and welcoming from the second we staggered through its doors to be met with a smiling receptionist and directions to a bar which looked like the sort of place we’d like to get to know really well. Everywhere is immaculate with loads of space; from the rooms to the bar area to the gardens where we sank our first beer. A bonus is the food which is a sophisticated cut above the tasty but traditional fare often found in the Pyrenees. For people like us who love hiking and dining, the Hotel Grèvol was perfect.
The big rooms have all the allure of a cosy, log cabin but with all the essential mod cons – hairdryer, wifi, LCD television, minibar and bathrobes with slippers. There’s loads of space to dump the muddy/dusty clothes in favour of the hotel’s bathrobes without making the room look cluttered. My favourite part was the private wooden balcony overlooking the gardens and the Vall de Camprodon. A post-walk beer with my feet up on it tasted about as good as it gets.
Having a spa & wellness centre ticks off just about all you need to pamper the body after a day walking, or skiing, in the Pyrenees. The heated indoor swimming pool, jacuzzi, sauna, steam bath etc. all sounded perfect for recharging… except our agenda was such that we didn’t have the time to take advantage.
The attractive bar and lounge areas were very easy places to relax in… probably another reason we didn’t make it to the spa.
Breakfast is in the bar area, with distracting views of the surrounding valley, and consists of fresh meat, cheeses, croissants, cereals and a choice of freshly cooked dishes.
Best of all was the cuisine at dinner. The food might have its roots in traditional Catalan dishes but it’s traditional with fancy knobs on and all the more delicious for it. We wolfed down gazpacho of strawberries, melon and mussels in a saffron sauce (summer in a glass); chilled cream potato with mushroom breadsticks; foie with jam sauce; octopus salad with saffron potatoes; anchovy and date salad; marinaded salmon with salmon roe; lamb with thyme and rosemary potatoes; meatballs with squid and artichokes; duck in pear sauce; venison in a red wine sauce; chocolate tiles with eucalyptus ice cream; chocolate in toffee sauce and coconut cake with passion fruit.
That list should tell you all you need to know about the food at the Hotel Grèvol.
There is also a games room with pool table, video games and table football for more competitive guests.
We spent two nights at the Hotel Grévol before moving on. They were two perfect nights in every way. It was simply a massive hit with us.
Hotel Grèvol; Ctra. de Camprodon a Setcases, Vall de Camprodon; Llanars; tel: +34 972 741 013; double rooms with breakfast cost from around €93 per night.
Jack is co-owner, writer and photographer for BuzzTrips and the Real Tenerife series of travel websites as well as a contributor to online travel sites and travel magazines. Follow Jack on Google+