Tell us a bit about Hotel Casa Cacao and what inspired its opening…
Hotel Boutique Casa Cacao brings to reality my dream. I recognize that by assuming the management of the hotel, I will achieve a pending vocational goal. I have been related to the tourism industry through the educational activity for 20 years, and have been an accomplice of El Celler de Can Roca activity since its very beginnings, and within the hotel, I see the possibility to develop the hospitality philosophy of the Roca brothers. For many years, El Celler de Can Roca guests have been encouraging us to open a small hotel to extend the hospitality and approach to caring and serving of the restaurant… so this Casa Cacao will be like closing the circle. Our pursuit will be making our guests, whether they are customers of the restaurant or not, feel at home.
Can you describe the hotel’s design and concept and the influence behind its aesthetic?
Located in a historic listed building in Plaça Catalunya in Girona, the Hotel Boutique Casa Cacao from El Celler de Can Roca has 15 large, cozy, comfortable rooms and a splendid rooftop terrace with the most emblematic panoramic views Girona’s old town. With a modern and elegant design, the 15 rooms offer a large space where natural materials dominate, with plenty of thoughtful little touches that create an exceptional space to relax and feel at home.
The inspiration for the decoration has always been the period in which the building was built, but chocolate is very present in the theme of colors. The color palette of the rooms is based on the color of cocoa and chocolate, which are tones that invite to relax, in which the theme of feng shui has been taken into account. Every day our customers have in their bedside table a proposal of different chocolate with an explanation of their ingredients, proposals that come to us directly from the chocolate factory as a surprise factor for the customer. For example, if a customer spends five nights at the hotel, he will have the opportunity to try five different chocolates.
What makes the hotel so special in your opinion?
Perhaps the most innovative is that we have thought about breakfasts, which is the most important meal that is made up during the day and that in hotels it may not be taken into account, and most opt for the buffet option. This is when we realized that our breakfast had to be as important an experience as the hotel accommodation.
When the client goes up to La Terrassa (the rooftop), the waiter always gives him the explanation and serves him breakfast at the table, it is a gastronomic breakfast. The idea is to reflect, as much as possible, the festival menu of El Celler, but in this case with breakfast. Therefore, this breakfast always takes into account seasonal and local products, giving importance and visibility to small producers in the area, such as farmers, cattle ranchers and artisans.
Can you tell us about your favourite highlights of the hotel, including accommodation, facilities and amenities…
At the Hotel Casa Cacao, the furniture and the textiles of our spaces have been designed to measure and handcrafted, taking care of every last detail. Carpets, bedspreads, bedding, towels, crockery, amenities – all have been ordered from artisans, many of them local. We intend to have sustainability as a rule, that is why it is a zero-plastic hotel.
Tell us about Casa Cacao and its offerings?
Casa Cacao is the dream come true for Jordi Roca, who has been dreaming of running his own chocolate factory for many years, wishing to be able to make his own chocolate creations from very raw cocoa beans. Casa Cacao has a chocolate workshop, a chocolate shop and a chocolate factory.
The workshop has a visible side at street level that will show through two big and wide glass openings how chocolate is made from the cocoa beans and how it is later used for different elaborations.
The shop allows visitors to take away Casa Cacao chocolate creations, that now also can be purchased through the online store on a national and international level. All the goods are packaged using organic recycled materials from cocoa fibers.
In the chocolate factory, you can taste chocolate creations made with a high-quality cocoa, in the form of hot and cold drinks or solid preparations, and a carefully prepared pastry offering with the Roca seal.
COVID-19 has had a big impact on everyone’s lives, and is sure to effect the way travellers select their destination and accommodation. What steps has the hotel taken to ensure the utmost safety for guests?
As a new and small hotel, we have plenty of space to offer security guarantees for both our guests and our team. We are following a scrupulous cleaning protocol in each of the hotel spaces to ensure that both the rooms and common areas are properly disinfected. Our team wears a mask and have undergone extensive protocol training. All disinfection and cleaning products have a certificate, as well as the laundry service.
Above health and safety measures, what else do you think is the most important to guests when they book accommodation and how do you factor this into the Hotel Casa Cacao experience?
When guests stay in a hotel, they want to relax, disconnect and feel at home. For this reason, I think there are three things that cannot be overlooked in a hotel room: a good bed, silence at the time of rest and attention to detail. We have looked for excellent mattresses, have opted for a great quality in acoustic insulation and a warmly decorated interior that invites rest.
To round off the experience in the hotel, the gastronomic breakfast is served in La Terrassa (the rooftop) of the Hotel where you can enjoy one of the best views of the city of Girona, the Barri Vell.
What do you think will leave the biggest impression on guests who visit Hotel Casa Cacao?
I think that it is a sum of everything we offer in the hotel – the close and personalized treatment we give to each of our guests, the gastronomic breakfast that is not offered in the majority of hotels, and our spaces designed to encourage guests to relax, disconnect and feel at home. The location in the heart of the city with a spectacular view over the Barri Vell of Girona will also leave guests with a lasting memory. We do not need to give a map to customers, from La Terrassa we can show them the most emblematic monuments of the city.
Images © Josep Oliva, Meritxell Arjalaguer and Joan Pujol-Creus