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One of the most fascinating aspects of traveling in Europe is seeing the juxtaposition between the old and the new. On a recent trip to Spain’s Costa Brava, I experienced this at the Hostal Empuries.
Not only does the hotel have a long history itself, but it is directly next door to the ruins of Empuries, a seaside Greek settlement on the Iberian Peninsula and a major tourist attraction in the region. Despite its ties to the past, the property has been remodeled into a modern beauty, with an eye to the future as one of Europe’s first LEED Gold Certified hotels.
Located on a stunning beach with easy swimming access to the Mediterranean, the original hotel on the site was opened in the early 20th century to house the archaeologists working at the ruins. Some of the hotel’s 55 rooms are located in the “old” part of the hotel, which features renovated rooms with a more classic ambiance, while others are in one of the “new” modern buildings, with a sophisticated design and sustainable features. In either case, all of the rooms have been recently redone and many feature incredible ocean views.
The hotel also features two great restaurants. The Bistro de Mar is a casual eatery with buffet service, indoor/outdoor seating and amazing views. The Restaurante Portixol is the hotel’s fine-dining option. It features more of a classic European ambiance and serves local seafood dishes.
Guests looking to relax should try the very modern and sophisticated Spa at Hostal Empuries, which features a variety of treatments using local ingredients. Another option is to stroll around the hotel’s sustainable gardens or along the beach, just steps away from the lobby. Of course, the ruins of Empuries are not to be missed either.
Regardless of the activity, guests of the Hostal Empuries will feel like they are a part of local history — from ancient times to the 21st century — while still enjoying all the modern amenities that today’s sophisticated travelers expect.