The great thing about living somewhere new, is that there is so much yet to discover… especially when the internal sense of adventure is burning strong.

Now we live so close to an amazing beach, and with the beauty of the Spanish seaside landscape all around, it is easy to become complacent and not venture out on the weekends.  However this time, we decided to try something different and re-harness the spirit of exploration that brought us here in the first place.
A mere hour and 10 minutes north from Barcelona lies the Costa Brava; where the tranquil, turquoise waters lap at white, sandy-covered beaches, and the breath-taking views give way to picturesque hotels and quaint fishing villages.

One such hotel is the ‘Hotel Santa Marta‘in Lloret de Mar: a five star hotel situated on its own wooded, pine tree estate, with direct beach access to what I can only describe as an idyllic, picture-postcard setting.


As we arrived at this amazing destination, it was the beauty of the grounds that really took our breath away.  Set on top of a mountain-side, enveloped by pine trees and nature, the hotel blends effortlessly into its surroundings.  Its spectacular views, looking out onto the cove below and Mediterranean beyond, rekindled that desire for discovery and at once left us all feeling rejuvenated and relaxed.

Access down to the beach is an exciting treat in itself.  You can amble through the forest on the footpath which leads directly to the hotel. Or like us, call for the golf buggy to come and collect you with all your beach necessities. The kids adore the ride – to them it became the daily safari trek through the woods, constantly watching out for animals (and of course the Gruffalo, who also likes to take his vacation in five star hotel woodlands!)


The activities are endless for both you and your family.  They offer most water sports: tennis, snorkeling, boating (plus if like me you love the outdoors, then the hotel has a few cliff walks to explore.)

The Hotel Spa is another indulgent facility.  As a new addition to the hotel, it sits unobtrusively within the beautiful grounds, looking like a James Bond villain’s lair with all the latest gadgets and mod-cons. It boasts a gym; plunge pool; spa pool; sauna and steam room, with these elements being just a few of the premium services and treatments on offer.

However this extra love comes at a cost… €20 per day per person seemed like a steep price for something I initially felt should have been inclusive. However, grudgingly I paid the amount and soon forgot my annoyance as the views from the pool and the gym washed all my concerns away, and as I forgot all my troubles in the heavenly surroundings, I talking myself into thinking it was almost certainly the best €20 I had spent in a long time!


If like Jess and I, you find staying in some hotels with the entire family anything but relaxing at times, simply because staying in family rooms just aren’t big enough to sleep everyone comfortably (let alone to relax in or enjoy once the kids have gone down). The Hotel Santa Marta thankfully offers spacious rooms, with sea views and plenty of sleeping capacity for relatively reasonable prices. A family room with a sea view starts from €310 per night, which given my predilection for a bargain seems expensive – but trust me, it is worth every penny.

For those of you that need more full-on entertainment than traditional beach games to entertain the children – we stumbled across the Arbre Aventura Parc, which provides perfect energy-sapping activities ranging from bumper-car rides to tree-walking.

And if, like us, you enjoy venturing beyond the boundaries of the hotel, there are two great eateries just a short walk along the beach (both are just a stones throw from the hotel).  One offers delicious locally caught and freshly cooked sea food and the other is more tapas-style fast food.  But, because in Spain most restaurants do not open between 4pm and 8pm, eating with children can be problematic.  Our pragmatic solution has been to embrace long, lazy lunches that start late and finish at around 4pm.  (I have to be honest, getting used to the local eating patterns has been one of the more difficult side-effects of our Spanish escapade.)  However, on the positive side, once the kids have exhausted themselves in the sun, the trick is to head back to the hotel and order some light room service snacks for ‘supper’ giving you plenty of time once the little ones are asleep, to enjoy the evening, relaxing on the balcony watching the sun set over the stunning views.

Run 6

To reach this Garden of Eden your nearest place to fly to is Barcelona. From here you can then drive less than an hour and 20mins to this hidden gem of a hotel. If you are thinking of a long weekend break with or without the children then this is well worth a visit.

So pack your bags, hop on a flight and find yourself in heaven in no time at all.

We will be back there again, I am certain of that!

You May Also Like