I wanted to move in. Give up life in Barcelona, the cinemas, concerts, shopping and bustle, pack up the car and move to Sant Lorenc de la Muga. I could live happily in this little Catalan village, I told myself, I could live peacefully in the Torre Laurentii Suite.
Perfection is impossible, but B&B Torre Laurentii comes darn close. The gardens are the centerpiece to this boutique hotel, set in a 17th century stone home. There is the lawn, with its iron gazebo, covered in roses come late spring and summer. There is also a sunken patio-garden area, with a cool fountain and twinkle lights, the ideal place for a glass of rose on a humid summer night. A couple floors up, potted plants break up a vast terrace, where still more climbing roses in soft yellows hang in natural swags between columns.
The daughter of a former florist, I appreciate plants and flowers and was amazed by the grounds at Torre Laurentii, which are the handiwork of Stephan, the husband half of the wife-and-husband team running the hotel. Though Stephan had never been a gardener in his native Miami, Florida, in Sant Lorenc de la Muga his green-thumb shines. I think he’s found his calling!
The seven rooms at Torre Laurentii are decorated in an antique-meets-new style which is cozy and plush. Most rooms look out onto a communal patio, each with its own sitting area. On a lazy afternoon this patio is the perfect spot to read or daydream. One room is removed from the rest with its own private terrace and those looking for a romantic escape should ask for it.
While Stephan takes care of the garden and reception his wife Cristina looks after the kitchen. The restaurant at Torre Laurentii is not extravagant, but the food is fresh, local and tasty. I admired the way the couple combined culinary traditions from the United States and Catalunya (Cristina is Catalan). For instance, at breakfast there was pa amb tomàquet and Spanish ham, but there were also banana bread muffins, which reminded me of home! Unlike other hotels which sometimes over charge at their restaurants, Torre Laurentii is fairly priced.
Of course, you could always have dinner in any of the village’s other restaurants around the town square. Tiny, Sant Lorenc de la Muga has a population of 80 in the winter and 500 in the summer months. Located at the tail-end of a road that dead-ends into the Pyrenees, there’s not much traffic going by Sant Lorenc de la Muga, which makes it even more idyllic. Beside the village the Muga River moves softly, offering up swimming holes in the summer.
Getting to Torre Laurentii is a two-hour car drive from Barcelona, which is the only catch. Once at Torre Laurentii, use it as your base to explore the castles, countryside, vineyards, museums, hiking trials and beaches of Girona and the Costa Brava. This is one of Spain’s prettiest regions. For stays of three days or more, Stephan and Cristina offer a discount, so make a long-weekend out of it.
Post and photos by Regina Winkle-Bryan. See more of her thoughts on Spain at The Spain Scoop.com!