Imagine saying “I do” in this unique medieval castle surrounded by earthy fields, small towns from the Middle Ages, and the salty wind of the Mediterranean. All of this is possible in Hotel Castell d’Empordà, a restored castle standing on the top of a hill crowning the beautiful landscape that is Costa Brava, the perfect match between antique and contemporary design.
TEXT: GERARD PLANA | PHOTOS: HOTEL CASTELL D’EMPORDÀ
“Every year, Albert Diks and his family used to spend their summer holidays driving along the sunny roads of el Baix Empordà,” explains Jesús Vázquez, director of the Hotel Castell d’Empordà. “Albert got fascinated by the castles and villages of the area, and dreamed of owning one of those in the future.” Indeed, many years later, Albert would make his dream come true.
The stunning Hotel Castell d’Empordà is a restored medieval castle, whose beauty even captivated the Spanish painter Salvador Dalí. After being abandoned for 80 years, the castle got illuminated again thanks to the creative sparks of Albert and his wife Margo. You can feel art and history in every corner of the hotel: the old stone walls, the classic furniture, the sculptures or even the interesting reproductions of the Waterloo battle or the assault to the castle; everything is set to let you travel through history inside this unique castle in the Baix Empordà.
The perfect spot for the “I do”
Many celebrities have chosen the Hotel Castell d’Empordà for their special occasions. And the castle has everything you wish for turning your special occasion into an everlasting memory. The centenary olive grove is dressed up for the celebration with white chairs under the olive foliage, which would stay in harmony with the soft smell of thyme and lavender plants of the surrounding gardens. “Besides, it’s possible to do the ceremony in the chapel attached to the castle, an unspoiled cosy building from the 17th century,” explains Jesús. That is the perfect place to say those two magic words. Afterwards, the party can continue while the sun sets behind the Pyrenees and the picturesque small villages of the area.
Leave your guests thinking ‘wow!’
Castell d’Empordà is a small medieval town that counts less than 50 inhabitants. It counts only one street of which the stone-made houses look out on the impressive castle at the top of the village. When you get there, olive trees and a fountain filled with waterlilies welcome your guests to this magnificent place. The hotel’s notorious meeting room Napoleón – a space for more than 100 people with direct access to the terrace – is an extraordinary spot for your events to take place and leave your guests thinking ‘wow!’, because what can be better than a distinguished business event at the terrace with jazzy music playing in the background and the exquisite environment of Castell d’Empordà to look out on?
Time travelling, food savouring
The hotel counts two amazing restaurants. Drac (dragon in Catalan) is the perfect place for tasting Mediterranean food with a pinch of haute cuisine added by chef Robin Blaauw. Like the rest of the castle, the restaurant is decorated with excellent taste, down to the finest detail.
Tres Margarit is the hotel’s other bar and restaurant. It got its name from one of the first owners of the castle, Pere Margarit, a noble lord from Girona who took part in Columbus’ expeditions. This bar on the terrace, adjoining the swimming pool, is the cosiest place to relax, with a stunning view of the Empordà plain, and is most certainly the best corner to have a drink in whilst watching the sunset in the evening.
Nonetheless, this historic fortress at the beautiful Costa Brava is a place in motion, as its owners make sure to add something new, different or even old with every season passing; the decoration gets updated seasonally so, whenever you return, you will stay in a brand-new castle again.
Around Hotel Castell d’Empordà
Hotel Castell d’Empordà is located in the heart of el Baix Empordà, not far from La Bisbal d’Empordà, where you can shop some unique handmade pottery pieces, and the charming medieval city of Girona. The castle lies right in the centre of the so-called Dalí triangle. Cadaqués (the hometown of painter Salvador Dalí), Púbol (the town where he built a castle for his muse, Gala) and Figueres (his birthplace) are all less than 40 minutes away. Don’t miss the incredibly stunning caves and small bays of Costa Brava, either. Just follow the rocky cliffs and peaceful pine trees from one stunning view to the next.