“It didn’t take my wife and me long to choose the new Barcelona Villa trip from Trek Travel’s array of adventures. We loved the idea of unpacking our suitcases and staying in one place for a week. As Priscilla said when we first discussed signing up for this trip, “You had me at private chef!”
The trip turned out even better than we expected. Almiral de la Font was spacious and luxurious. A portion of the original stone manor house dates to the 16th century and a subsequent addition served for many years as a church. As an architect, I appreciated the contemporary renovation that preserved the history and character of the house yet provided every modern amenity, including robust wifi. I liked relaxing in the appropriately named Moroccan “chill-out” lounge best.
It was an outdoor room covered with lush grape vines and bougainvillea and furnished with casual furniture and dozens of pillows.
Because we had the place to ourselves, we really bonded with our fellow travelers. It seemed like a week-long house party at the home of a favorite (and wealthy) relative. It was wonderful to tumble down to breakfast each morning at our leisure or to come home from a day of riding and relax in the hot tub with a drink from the open bar. Everything was included. I don’t think I touched my wallet all week.
We were also fortunate that trip planner and guide Penny Gatward lives in the nearby resort town of Sitges. She knows the region well and planned a variety of routes leading from the house each day to a featured destination. One day it was a tour, wine tasting and tapas at an outstanding local winery. Another day we rode past a medieval castle to enjoy a classic Catalan lunch at a surprisingly elegant country restaurant. And a third day we celebrated some legendary climbing in the Garraf National Park on a high terrace overlooking the Mediterranean. There was enough terrain to challenge even the most avid riders in our group, but those desiring a mellower experience found that, too.
We found our way to Sitges one evening to take a walking tour and sample authentic pinchos at a tapas bar favored by locals. But the best meals were the custom dinners at the villa prepared by Gillian and Connie, our private chefs. One night we all pitched in to help prepare a sumptuous paella with fresh local seafood. And for our final night they used the outdoor kitchen to grill a variety of meats and seasonal vegetables for a festive dinner on the terrace.
This is a trip that we could definitely take again. It would be wonderful to return to “our” private villa again someday!”
Written by Trek Travel guest Bob Joy