In Review

Hotel Camiral review: Girona's luxury launchpad

The only five-star hotel in Girona offers stylish rooms, excellent Catalan food and the best golf course in Spain

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While Barcelona is awash with luxury lodgings, its small but perfectly formed sister city of Girona offers a more exclusive selection. In fact, visitors looking for a five-star property have a choice of one: the Hotel Camiral. It's just as well it's a good one...

Why Girona?

The old town is a glorious medieval maze of narrow streets and stone buildings crowned by a hilltop cathedral that dates back to the 15th century. Explore the labyrinthine Jewish quarter, stroll along the city walls and take a break in the city's cafes and squares.

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The emerald waters of the Costa Brava are 20 miles to the east, or head the same distance north into the Pyrennees, an adventure playground for grown-ups.

Why the Hotel Camiral?

The Hotel Camiral is a design-led hotel that has at its heart an unusual multi-level atrium, with three floors linked by open, cantilevered staircases. Each area has its own character, derived from its collection of books, bottles, wooden drawers and other local artefacts, and all are connected by the mezzanine housing the lobby, which runs along its entire length. The lowest of the three levels leads out onto a dining terrace and beyond it a vast swimming pool lined with shimmering blue tiles.

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The pick of the rooms

Pride of place goes to the presidential suite, a 1,650-square-foot two-storey apartment with a pair of subtly furnished bedrooms, one with a four-poster bed and each with its own bathroom, a luxurious open-plan living and dining area, a generous terrace and floor-to-ceiling windows with views over the hotel's swimming pools, golf course and out to the Pyrenees on the horizon.

You can enjoy the same view from the more modestly proportioned (and priced) but equally stylish superior deluxe rooms. Situated at the back of the hotel, they all have their own private balconies - as well as contemporary yet comfortable furnishings including dark wooden floors and furniture. Soft rugs and cushions in shades of blue and burnt orange add a Mediterranean vibe.

Catalan cuisine

In the Hotel Camiral's flagship restaurant, 1477, head chef Ramon Simarro, a Barcelona boy, lays on a host of Catalan classics. The highlights include gambas de Palamos (prawn ceviche on a bed of creamy rice cooked in rich prawn stock), veal from Girona and roasted monkfish - all served in an elegant, airy dining room. The pool bar, out on the terrace, offers international snacks, including pizzas and a wagyu beef burger, as well as rich and rewarding patatas bravas, while inside, the classically decorated lounge bar serves up a more extensive selection of tapas, as well as seafood specialities and other light meals.

World-class golf

Less a hotel with a golf course than a golf course with a hotel, the Hotel Camiral plays host to the Stadium Course, a mainstay of the PGA European Circuit and recently voted the best course in Spain.

And if you don't want to leave…

… you don't have to. The Hotel Camiral sits alongside an exclusive development of villas, apartments and townhouses, a handful of which are still available for purchase. Or you can buy an empty plot and build your own dream home, as long as your blueprints meet the management's exacting architectural standards.

The Hotel Camiral has double rooms from €255 (£230). Ryanair and Jet2 fly to Girona from various airports from £34 return

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