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“A very good meal; but avoid the temptation to follow it with a brandy!”
Review of Ca L'Arpa Hotel

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Ca L'Arpa Hotel
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Banyoles
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 September 2013

We stayed here for just one night en route between the south of Spain and home; we chose the hotel mainly based on the reputation of its food and on the whole we were not disappointed. The friendly welcome and the modern, comfortable hotel accommodation plus its relative nearness to the autopista were a bonus.

We arrived in time for a late lunch and chose the 70 euro 'menú degustació' which promised 5 savoury courses and two sweet. In fact it began with three tiny offerings that were in addition to what we were expecting; a tiny cube of translucent jelly that was a bloody Mary cocktail, a bite-size piece of deeply savoury local blood-sausage wrapped in wafer-thin slices of cooked apple and drizzled with yellow olive oil and some overwhelmingly cloying fatty slices of pork (this latter definitely an acquired taste!)

The menu proper began with marinated-until-melting-soft tuna which came with soft-cooked carrot and tiny pearls of golden caviar and this was followed by a slippery dish of tender pieces of what we think was duck breast - and sweet onion. Next came a traditional serving of cannelloni which was filled with minced, roasted meat; slightly odd its appearance in a meal such as this, but it was good all the same. These starters were followed by a fish dish - a beautifully fresh piece of impeccably cooked cod - and a meat dish – rich and tender grilled beef topped with salt-sprinkled foie gras.

And so we came finally to the two desserts; an artistic fruity strawberry creation was followed by an ice-topped caramel-soaked cream-filled sponge confection. Both packed the required rounding-things-off punch.

The only downside to the meal was the outrageous price of my husband's mean-sized postprandial digestif; at ten euros for a mere sip of a very average brandy it was a definite rip-off.

PS Don't try and rely on Nokia maps to help you find your way round the one-way system; each time we were told to turn right or left we were met with a no entry sign.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Jenny D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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10 - 16 of 131 reviews

Reviewed 20 July 2013

Highly recommendend, but what a disappointment. Poor location, quasi fashionable interior and very common food. Quite disappointing for a presumed star quality restaurant, not even to mention the uninterested, unattentive staff. Any unpretentious local restaurant would do better.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Maarten V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2013

Three nights spent at this hotel were very comfortable. Rooms are stylish, well appointed and furnished. Unfortunately the satellite TV did not pick up any English language stations, and the Wi-Fi did work anywhere except the breakfast room.

Breakfast was ample and very tasty. The restaurant was excellent with very attentive and helpful service. Portion sizes were quite large.

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank lesaugust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 November 2012

The Ca L'Arpa is a very attractive, comfortably furnished and physically comfortable inn. Bathrooms are modern and very well appointed, with wonderful thick towels and very nice amenities. Beds are comfortable with good quality linens. Wifi did not work in my first floor room; I had to access it in the lobby near reception.
We reserved a table for dinner at Ca L'Arpa's noted Michelin-starred restaurant. I am not a "foodie" and in fact my palate is not at all adventurous. However, my travel companion can definitely be described as a "foodie" and we both looked forward to a sumptuous dinner at Ca L'Arpa's restaurant.
The earliest reservation offered was nine, and this was the time we reserved. We were the only patrons in the restaurant throughout dinner. The menu is only in Catalan, and we were completely unprepared for this--shame on us since we were in Catalonia. The chef's wife, who was our server, was kind enough to translate the menu for my male companion. (for me it was hard to keep up but the translation was focused on him.) I did not find any dishes on the menu that suited my admittedly bland tastes, so I asked for a simple green salad and perhaps some of the side vegetables offered with various dishes. I was told politely, but clearly, that this food is "special" and that I must order from the menu--no greens or vegetable side dishes would be made available. Perhaps fair enough--this chef has earned a Michelin star and we must respect this. Not a very customer-friendly stance, but OK.
My friend ordered a type of fish available only in Catalonia which was served with three types of onions. (as a side note, I cannot eat onions and I dislike seafood, so this for me was my nightmare dish!) My friend felt the dish was tasty and well prepared, but blandly presented.
We both ordered canalones, the only dish on the existing menu I thought I could eat. They also were tasty.
Service was attentive if perfunctory. Food was delivered without apparent concern for presentation. No amuse bouche was offered, and there was no sense that the chef and hostess were particularly concerned with the comfort of their guests. We ordered a garnacha wine which was perfectly acceptable. Desserts were good but not particularly memorable.
I found the dining experience uncomfortable and unsatisfying.
Breakfast the following morning was quite good, including a variety of small dishes (yogurt, juice, a sort of custard, toast) with one cup of coffee.

Hotel check-in and check-out were somewhat arduous. The owners do not seem comfortable with their computer systems. Overall, there was an awkwardness about the place. I wonder if this couple even likes what they are doing.

In fairness I must say that all was made more difficult by our inability to communicate in the language of the country we visited. I do believe the onus is on us to take responsiblity for that communication. However, we visited many hotels/inns during our stay in Catalonia and Ca L'Arpa was by far the most difficult.

Room Tip: My friend and I both had first floor rooms. His wifi worked, mine did not. Mine was at the front o...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank sp94122
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 October 2012 via mobile

The best first. Good location, nice rooms and a dignified chef - you would not guess his Michelin Star.
BUT: maybe it was off season, maybe we booked last minute, maybe they did not like us. Whatever it was we felt displaced from the Moment we entered the door. As written in an earlier review 'someone looked after the reception', hardly spoke english. We reserved a table that evening. Eventough we were they only guests and his sous chef artived at eight he would not serve us until nine. Not even asked for a drink. Nothing, but he was around. I tried to ask him for a wine recomondation to get a bittle to maje the time pass faster until nine. The answer was i should wait his wife. Food aas - at least - excellent. However,His wife was nice but disapperead before the dessert with no notice. Never been treated with less hospitality, friendliness and passion in comparable place. Disappointing...

  • Stayed: October 2012
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1  Thank Synom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 May 2012

Having spent a few days in Barcelona, we were looking for a base from which to tour the area around Girona and Figueres. Banyoles appeared to fit the bill and Ca L'Arpa looked the best bet on paper for a place to stay for four nights.
We turned up early evening hot and tired after a couple of hours on the beach on the way up from Barcelona. Hotel was difficult to find as we negotiated our way around the one way system, despite having printed out a detailed street map before leaving home. On street parking close (ish) by is possible, but you do need to feed the meter and move the car before 11.00 a.m.
We were greeted by someone' minding the shop' in the owner's absence whose lack of knowledge was unfortunately compounded by her lack of English and ours of Spanish. The first floor room at the rear of the property was certainly boutique style, clean and bright, but this paled into insignificance when we discovered first that there was no hot water, then no wifi and lastly only spanish tv channels available on the expensive bang & olufsen tv.
All of these could have been overcome and forgiven if the basic rules of decent customer service had been observed. After 3 or 4 trips back to reception ( no lighting on the staircase) and a two hour wait until the owner showed up, the hot water was restored. It was explained that the wifi worked in the reception area, but not on the first floor. This despite the hotel being advertised as having wifi throughout.
There was no information in the room about services like how to use the tv or the phone. Breakfast the next morning was served without any menu or explanation, so one did not know that a series of courses would be served up. The food was ok, although my companion was not offered an alternative to the centrepiece omelette, which she does not eat.
The centre square of Banyoles has been restored and offers bars frequented by the locals, but we could only find two restaurants, one completely empty on a Saturday evening and a pizza and pasta place. The rest of the town did not seem to have much to offer, despite the proximity of the lake and so we decided to cut our losses after the one night and move on. A decision which did not seem to come as a surprise to the owner. All in all a less than satisfactory and frankly disappointing experience - especially given the previous reviews.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank greyburn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2012

My wife and I and my adult daughter stayed at Ca L'Arpa in March of 2012 and thoroughly enjoyed our stay. The owners are a welcoming and very accommodating couple who genuinely try to make your experience enjoyable We joined them for dinner and had an exceptional meal with very attentive service. The town of Banyoles is a nice place to vista with old world charm woven through its fabric, all within a very short walk. The relaxing town square full of children playing makes for a wonderful setting to sit by and enjoy a beverage and tapas. It is helpful if you understand and speak a little spanish but everyone is nice and willing to work with you. Some reviews mention the parking difficulties. I had trouble understanding how the parking meters work and received a ticket, but after explaining things to the local police office they dismissed the violation notice. Parking anywhere where the lines are painted blue requires paying the meter during certain time windows. Parking where the lines are white have no charges. I ended up parking on street in the lined areas about two blocks behind the hotel and all was fine, avoiding paying for the parking garage they recommended.

Room Tip: We slept with three adults in one room which was bait cramped with a day bed in the rom, but it work...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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Thank WantingToRetire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ca L'Arpa Hotel

Address: Passeig Industria, 5, 17820, Banyoles, Spain
Region: Spain > Catalonia > Province of Girona > Banyoles
Amenities:
Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Hotels in Banyoles
Price Range: £97 - £111 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Ca L'Arpa Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 8
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