Spain – On the culinary map – Girona / Spain.
By Jens Hoffmann
Girona is a quite place, but now it is on the world map because the Roca brothers restaurant “El Celler” is the world best restaurant. We travelled to lovely Girona, just next to Barcelona and declared the city because of it`s culture, architecture and food to one of our new favourites.
For El Celler, it all means things have moved up a gear in terms of media attention, demand for tables and indded pressure to perform.
The brothers are at pains to emphasis the importance of the the city and the catalan region as a whole in their success. It will bring in more foodie tourists, but for us it was more or less golf.
We checked in @ Meliá Golf Vichy Catalán, Girona.
The perfect hotel is just 100 meters away from the one of the best golf courses worldwide, the PGA Catalunya in Spain.
The Meliá hotel building was the fruit of beautiful work, the winner of the architectual contest was a design of a single curved building, located to the back of the land, descending from the pine woods and adjusting to the lie of the land. The building was designed by the architects Berta Barrio Uría, Sergi Godia i Fran, Ignacio López Alonso and Jon Montero Madariaga.
The objective: an imposing hotel, stunning, modern, integrated with its environment, in short, a unique hotel for the region. The hotel had to blend in perfectly with its surroundings: two magnificent golf courses. The architects made the building curve to reflect the passage of time and to provide different faces to visitors as they get nearer and nearer its doors.
The simple trick of pairing the windows and galleries made the hotel appear smaller, even though the façade facing the sun measure more than 150 metres, longer than a full-sized football pitch!
The lobby is the authentic heart of the building, occupying a part of each floor and connecting them in a single quadruple space looking outwards onto nature. Each floor has a viewing area of both the outdoor scenery and the indoor design. The stairs that rise up through the lobby area connect the interior journey with the exterior environment. The natural light penetrating corridors and diagonal openings also helps connect the inside of the building with its environment and was one of the obsessions of the architects throughout the building process.
The building uses the highest quality materials to achieve a traditional Mediterranean style at the height of modernity. The white and wavy building is a backdrop to the scenery, while the black stone at its base makes it appear to be floating on air. Strategically placed large wooden structures appeal to the touch, while ample glass windows allow maximum visibility of the countryside and golf course.
The materials stand out against a raw concrete canvas, highlighting the contrast with the superior quality building materials.
The hotel provides gardens measuring over 25,000 m2, just nice.
Back to Girona, the fastest way for a city to capture our heart is with architecture — and Girona’s unmistakable riverfront is just great, red and yellow buildings nicely pairing with the Catalan flags that adorn the region.
Girona, in short, is a place where we could easily settle down for a short time or even a long time.
It is bright and relaxed. While tourists will do just fine on their own, the city doesn’t make tourists the center of the universe.
At night, Girona lights up spectacularly, the city catches we recommend walking along the river at night.
We enjoyed our trip, me gusta Melia.