Everyone wants to know how to save money these days, we look for sales, groupons, budget travel, and countries with great exchange rates.
But for those of you with a wad of cash burning a hole in your pocket that you just have to get rid of, then I’ve got the vacation for you.
Forget budget travel, and let’s talk about luxury travel in one of my favorite places in the world, Costa Brava Spain. I recently spent a week traveling having my own luxury Costa Brava Holidays with a special someone. He sure picked the right trip to accompany me on as we we got to live the Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous for a week in Costa Brava staying in luxury hotels, sipping gin and tonics, throwing dinner parties at our villa, and exploring sights. Here’s how you can go about spending money for an exquisite experience in Costa Brava Spain.
Sleep in Luxury
Costa Brava is a beautiful mix of little coastal towns and rustic countryside. It’s hard to choose where you should go spend your time and money, so why not do both!
Costa Brava Villas
Head to the coast and stay in the white-washed coastal town of Cadaques. It’s tucked away over a winding mountain pass that deposits you in a scenic little town near the home of Salvador Dali. There are no big luxury hotels here, instead there is something better, luxury villa rental. If you want to live the lux life, then rent Can Puig in Cadaques. This 4 bedroom home is hard to find through the winding back streets of Cadaques, but it’s worth the hunt. Once an old fisherman’s house the current owners restored and enlarged it providing a level of ‘lived-in’ comfort like no other in the town. The front of the house is pretty typical, but when you walk in through the large living room and through the back patio doors you see the real luxury – a terraced garden and patio with a view of the town. You can easily walk 3 minutes into town to sample restaurants and bars or you can head to the grocery store and stock the beautiful kitchen and do your own cooking. We stayed there for 4 days and all I wanted to do was sit on the terrace, sip wine, do absolutely nothing – a decadent life. If I only could have gotten him to peel me grapes and feed them to me….ahhh…a girl has to dream.
The villa rents for $7,700 to $10,000 a week and is great for a large family/friend gatherings.
Costa Brava Hotels
Be pampered in the middle of the countryside at Mas de Torrent, an old 18th century farmhouse turned into a unique luxury Costa Brava Hotel. Preserving the exterior façade they were able to keep the old farm feel, but insert luxury inside. The hotel reception used to be the stables and the bar was the old kitchen! There are suites in the old farmhouse structure as well as 20 modern suites with private terraces in the gardens near the crystal blue pool. Complimentary room beverages (alcohol included), a beautiful pool, and bikes are available for anyone to use and visit the nearby towns. And if you want to amp up the luxury, then check out the masSPA. However I was pretty happy sipping gin and tonics on the terrace enjoying the countryside view with my man. The beauty of staying at a luxury hotel is that you get amazing service. Mas de Torrent had a team of people there to shower attention on your every need at any hour.
A standard (it’s anything but standard!) room will run you $500 a night to start with and sometimes requires a 2 night stay.
Eat in Luxury
Sure, you could go eat at simple little cafes, but why do that when you have money to spend?
El Celler de Can Roca
Money buys the best of everything – so why not eat at the best restaurant in the world, El Celler de Can Roca. After all, if you are going to spend money like it grows on trees, then you might as well go to the best. You’ll need to plan ahead for this opportunity to be treated to a gastronomical night you’ll never forget – reservations are taken months in advance. I was lucky enough to eat no less than 17 courses with 15 wine pairings for a lunch reservation. Three brothers (the Chefs) with different focus have found the perfect recipe to blow your culinary mind and pocketbook. The restaurant is run like a machine pumping out a mix of seemingly artistic creations and science experiments to its eager customers.
Prices range from $200 to $300 for tasting menus and wine pairings
Mas de Torrent Restaurant
Looking for a way to spend money on your companion? Then how about a romantic outdoor feast on the moonlight terrace at Mas de Torrent Restaurant. Using nature and the landscape for inspiration, the menu represents a combination of local, seasonal dishes from sea and countryside. The food was delicious, beautifully displayed, and hearty. And don’t forget you can spend more cash by getting something special from their well-stocked wine cellar.
The seasonal tasting menu will cost $86 per person plus wine/drinks – and worth every penny.
Hire a Private Chef
Want the ultimate luxury – how about having a personal chef cook for you? Chef Lee Pennington will work with you to make it a night/party you won’t forget! You won’t even have to lift a finger, he’ll do it all for you at your villa. We worked together with him on a menu and he did all the shopping, brought it to our kitchen, and we sat and sipped wine while he cooked a Catalan feast. Our luxury dinner party in Can Puig villa complete with seasonal ingredients, cured duck, seafood and meat paella, and local dessert – oh and he’ll even bring wine if you’d like!
Chef Lee can work with your budget, but his average rates are $45 to $55 per person depending on the party size.
Hire a Personal Sommelier
And why stop at private Chef, how about a Personal Sommelier who comes to your home or restaurants, bars, hotels, apartments, cellars, and outdoor spaces. Laura Masramon knows the Emporda wine region and will lead you through a series of sensory exercises and then introduce you to the history of the Emporda wines. Laura entertained us with stories about the wineries, how they started, how the names were created, and the tales about the local winemakers. She also helped us pair the meats and cheeses we had bought at the market with the various wines she brought. Contact her directly to get pricing.
Now when you go out to your money tree and pick a fresh, new batch of bills, you know where you can spend it and have a fabulous time – head to Costa Brava and start spending!
How to Recreate this trip:
Villa Rental: Charming Villas
Suggested Place to stay in Barcelona when you fly in:
Hotel Banys Orientals – beautiful renovated building in the Born neighborhood!
I was a guest of these establishments during my luxury week in Costa Brava, however all opinions are my own.