Wednesday 26 August 2009

Torre Laurentii Hotel, Placa Paula Armet, Sant Llorenc de la Muga, Catalonia

A very stylish boutique hotel housed in an venerable villa built into the ancient stone walls of a medieval village, Torre Laurentii is meticulously run by an American of Cuban extraction and his Catalan wife. With just seven rooms, the hotel has plenty of communal areas, including two lounges and a very wide stone terrace, with big comfortable wicker armchairs, overlooking a well-tended, enclosed garden. Throughout the sympathetically-restored building, original features are mixed tastefully with modern additions and amenities. On the second floor, the grand suite has its own private terrace commanding views across the village and the surrounding wooded hills.

Imposing antique furniture
Directly below the grand suite is the very large junior suite, which has a substantial lounge complete with imposing antique furniture and two arched alcoves each with their own chandelier and ornate double bed. There is also a small flat screen television with its own DVD player, a small minibar and a high-tech safe tucked away in the handsome wardrobe. If you have a laptop, you can also get on the Internet via the hotel's ethernet connection. The suite's floor is red brick and the walls yellow and white, partly making up for the lack of daylight. There are no windows, but two doors in the lounge open onto a very small balcony, overlooking the car park. Still, the suite has its own spacious porch and a large bathroom with a fine arched stone ceiling, a substantial sink and jacuzzi bath. On top of the reasonable room rates, there is a charge of just 20 euros per head per night for children.

Deliciously sweet
Breakfast, served in the pleasant courtyard next to the restaurant, is a bit special. It consists of freshly-squeezed orange juice, fat and warm croissants, a selection of gourmet jams, cold meats and cheeses, plus a bottle of fruit juice, some crispy toast and a small, but deliciously sweet, pastry. The only slight disappointment is the lackluster coffee. All in all, Torre Laurentii is a fine establishment, fairly priced. 8/10