Please don't tell anyone 'unsuitable', but there is rather a exquisite hotel on the Costa Brava - the Sa Calma Hotel in Begur. This is strictly confidential and the only people privy to this information should be ones you can vouch for personally, because we don't want it ruined by those you wouldn't rub shoulders with on a good day and come away unscathed emotionally/physically/psychologically.
Just click on the link and you'll see what I mean.
We hadn't intended going there, my TWDB and I. When he suggested going to Spain for a few days, I looked up 4-star Begur hotels on the internet and found El Convent just outside town. It seemed like a haven of peace and tranquillity, set in an old convent and beautifully converted with taste and restraint.
However, after the last time I made a reservation via the internet when we went to Banyuls and the hotel turned out to be a crappy medical spa, this time I just noted the address. Good thing too, because when we got there, all they had was a tiny cupboard-type room with a view of a wall 1 metre away just below the road, and all for 200€. Not quite what we were hoping for... It was all a bit austere too, I felt they hadn't got the décor balanced between restraint and luxury. It just missed.
Disappointed, we took the car and tried a couple of other hotels. At one, the 4* Sa Punta just down the road, we were greeted rudely by a receptionist who told us we couldn't see a room because she was busy, and to come back later. Shocked, we went to look at the pool. It was surrounded by the restaurant which was heaving with people and this just confirmed our desire not to stay there under any circumstances. Who wants to try and relax in a goldfish bowl?
So we went back to Begur to see if there were any alternatives we hadn't tried at the tourist office. There was one - the Sa Calma Hotel. We were a bit dubious because it didn't have a pool and as it had only been open a short time the tourist office couldn't tell us much about it. However, it was only a short walk away so we decided to give it a go.
Our first impression was very favourable. Set in the middle of the medieval quarter, it stood out as a building of note with its walls of haphazardly plonked bits of stone and occasional brickwork. Set into the exterior were little fresques showing different local activities and crafts. It was pretty hot outside so we rang the bell and stepped into a haven of cool peace. The polished terracotta tiles and pale creamy walls gave an elegant feel, while the 'lobby' looks more like the drawing room in a stylish townhouse with its library set along one wall, facing sofas, large chess and backgammon boards in a corner, huge bowls of flowers and various sculptures. There were funny things to see everywhere you looked including a miniature tailor's dummy dressed in purple and a glass-bead necklace.
We were warmly welcomed without English or much French, taken to see a room and, finding it totally acceptable, left to take possession. We cooled off in the jacuzzi on the roof terrace, sipping beer and admiring the castle on the hill. Breakfast next day was a copious Spanish affair of coppa, saucisson, cheeses, bread, baguette rubbed with tomato and olive oil, toast, jam, croissants, and freshly squeezed orange juice. We decided to stay another day, and moved to a room with it's own terrace which faced the castle and was easily large enough for two sunbeds, a table and two chairs. As it got the shade after lunch, I sat and read and dozed during siesta time.
We left having spent two marvellous days, in peace and quiet and beautiful surroundings, totally refreshed.