In our previous tour of Spain, we stayed mostly in Paradors. These are very nice government-operated hotels that are usually in restored castles, palaces, convents, monasteries, and other historic buildings. They are of uniformly high standards, have English-speaking staff, and have high quality restaurants. I would not hesitate to recommend them.
This trip, however, we opted for more local-oriented lodging, often in Bed & Breakfast establishments. Most of these turned out to be very unique and greatly enhanced our overall experience.
On our first night in the Pyrenees, we stayed at the Residencia Sant Marc located a few miles south of the city of Puigcerda. Sant Marc is a 150-hectare horse stud farm that is also an elegant B&B. The grounds are expansive and there are several large common areas. Dinner was great and dessert was white chocolate soup! Need I say more?
Casa Guilla is on a 3,000 foot high rocky outcrop in the tiny hilltop village of Santa Engracia. This 6th century house is accurate to its time (but fully upgraded with ensuite facilities) and has a commanding view of the Tremp valley and surrounding hills. Breakfast and a delightful dinner are included with the price of a room. The British hosts will gladly transport you up the final hundred yards to the Casa if you prefer not to chance the gravel driveway.
Hospedaria de Roda is right on the multi-level central plaza of the tiny medieval hilltop village of Roda de Isabena. The Hospedaria is right next to the superb Romanesque cathedral at the heart of the village. The best restaurant in town is the Hospederia La Cathedral with excellent food in an elegant setting.
We, of course, stayed in many other fine places during our two-week ride through the Pyrenees, but these three were the most unique.
Thomas R. Powell
Last updated on 02/19/2012.