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Merce Barcelo Batllori is the hands-on owner of the Niu de Sol, a rural hotel and El Cau de Palau, rural tourism accommodation and the on-site restaurant, Ca la Rita. We stayed at the hotel section of her establishment.

From the moment I submitted my initial inquiry until we left, Merce answered all our questions; provided much appreciated information; and offered friendly, professional, timely service.

The room was large and done in a subtle green colour. (Each room is named after a fruit and coloured appropriately). Ours was the pear room. One wall was of field-stone. Our bed was comfortable and king sized. There was an individual climate control unit. There was also a kettle with a selection of teas and instant coffee in the room.

The bathroom was totally modern with a shower and large sink. There was a towel warmer.

There was large balcony with a table and two chairs with shuttered wooden doors that kept unwanted noise out. Although the town is so quiet we slept with the door ajar.

There was a new wide screen plasma cable TV. The building is also wired for WI-FI for people who bring their laptops for in-room use. Others have access to a computer in the common room.

The room cost included breakfast. It was substantial. In buffet style, there were fresh fruits, boxed cereals, jamon serrano, locally-made cured sausages, cheeses, fresh bread, jams made by Merce's mother, freshly brewed coffee and juices. Merce even prepared bacon and eggs, and crepes during our stay.

If one wishes, one can also, at additional cost, have dinner at the hotel. There is traditional Catalan family fare and more continental options. One need only advise Merce if you are eating in or not in the morning. There is also a half board option if one wishes.

Secure parking is available at an extra cost. However, we found the municipal lot nearby to be safe and had spots always available.

Although the rooms and food are exceptional, they pale in comparison with Merce's concern for her guests. She is fluent in at least five languages and makes everyone comfortable. She offers expert advice on sights in the area. She takes a real interest in her guests and has an inquiring mind about guests' home countries.

The hotel is situated in Palau Saverdera. It is a town of under 1000 people about 10 kms inland from Roses. For walkers and cyclists it is an ideal base. Trails abound. It is so quiet that the loudest sound one night was me popping the top on a beer can! Cadaques, the Garrotxa, Figueres, Girona, the French frontier, and many of the small villages and coves of the northern Costa Brava are in easy driving range.

We have stayed in Paradors throughout Spain and Merce's service puts theirs to shame. The room is comparable in comfort and convenience to the best rooms we've stayed in.

An exceptional find and exceptional value.

Contact information:
website: https://www.hotelruralpalau.com/en/
telephone: +34 671 600 303 / +34 972 982 549
address: Carrer Nou, 34, 17495 Palau-saverdera, Girona, Spain

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