b-guided > Barcelona

Off Barcelona, Platja d’Aro

Aromar, a hotel by the sea

By B. Gallagher 12.07.18

Over the years the Costa Brava has been intensively developed, nowadays practically the entire coastline is lined with construction since the advent of the tourist revolution in the 1960s. There remain pockets however that still retain a certain charm, despite the tourism, one of them is without question Platja d’Aro (approx 1.5h drive north of Barcelona). The town increases in population during the summer months, from 19,000 to 5 times that but yet has a cosmopolitan and laid back ambience. The 2 km stretch of beach along its bay has a Paseo Maritimo that stretches the whole length and is lined with hotels dating from the 60s onwards, one of them is Aromar, a 4 stars hotel situated right at the foot of the beach. Recently the hotel changed ownership and is undergoing a complete reform, now almost complete. The original concrete frame building first built in the late 60s early 70s is very much of its time but the new design lends it a totally different character, one that will delight and surprise not only guests that may have spent their holidays in the past but new visitors.

Xavier Vilagran of Arquitectes XC and Cristina Lloret of Bow Design Studio are responsible for the architectural and interior design project respectively which could be described as spectacular! Minimalist without being dull, pristine without being cold, a sea side hotel where no matter where one looks the Mediterranean and its coastline is the main protagonist.

  • Hotel Aromar, Platja d'Aro
  • Hotel Aromar, Platja d'Aro

     

    Starting with the bedrooms which are almost all sea facing, determined by the original distribution of the hotel which although aligned perpendicular to the beach has a scallop shell balcony arrangement for the lateral rooms. The double beds occupy the centre of the rooms, free standing with a headboard of back lit onyx or pink marble with a void for a stool which makes them double as desks. The focus of the rooms however is the floor to ceiling glazing that overlooks with the Mediterranean with external balconies furnished using modern pieces. Internally thick wall to wall curtains ensure a darkened space if required.

  • Hotel Aromar, Platja d'Aro
  • Hotel Aromar, Platja d'Aro

     

    Visitors arriving by car or taxi will enter the hotel from the rear (the non beach side), the there is no vehicular access to the beach, once up the steps and through the revolving door suddenly the Mediterranean comes into view reflected by the columns clad in polished metal, white marble floors, white stretched membrane ceiling treatment and the un-interrupted views of the beach through the frameless glazing that contains the dining area and bar facing the terrace. The last phase of the refurbishment will involve the pool located at the rear, elevated a few steps from the ground level with its own terrace.

  • Hotel Aromar, Platja d'Aro
  • Hotel Aromar, Platja d'Aro

     

    Everything here is about the sea views, details are minimal, the furniture simply glass and steel reflecting the setting. Even the breakfast bar and servery are simple slivers with work surfaces that open to the views beyond. An architectural celebration of its environment, the Mediterranean.

  • Hotel Aromar, Platja d'Aro

    The hotel terrace beside the Platja d'Aro beach