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Editor'S Choice - 2020

A hotel with soul to disappear in the Pyrenees

In Mas El Mir, nature rules and we ... obey

In the Mas El Mir hotel the hammocks are also for autumn. © Mas El Mir

Imagine: you wake up at the time you feel like it. The mobile does not ring, nor does the alarm clock. Only the distant clucking of a rooster that has forgotten to get up early today is heard. You try to get out of bed but it's not easy, natural linen sheets and down cushions seem to catch you until, finally, you get to put on the bathrobe and approach the window where the morning light sneaks in.

Wherever you look, you only find that autumnal postcard with which you had dreamed all this time in the office: reddish, golden and brown forests, valleys drawn by meadows where cattle graze and green hills that extend as far as the eye can see.

You realize that you are lost in a forest in the Pyrenees of Girona and that everything is calm, peaceful. You have put yourself in the hands of nature to forget everything (at least for a few days) and to come to this place, to Mas El Mir. But how have we ended up here?

Mas El Mir occupies an old farmhouse from the 14th century. © Mas El Mir

LOST IN PYRENEES

Mas El Mir is an old 14th-century Catalan farmhouse converted into an intimate rural hotel lost among the forests of the Ripollés region, at the gateway to the Pyrenees.

Five rooms, an environment to compete with that of Smiles and tears, rigorous disconnection and a lot of soul. Yes soul, since in this way we have all been told about this charming accommodation: a 'hotel with soul'. And what better way to get out of doubt with an autumnal getaway.

The Mir is located just six kilometers from Ripoll, capital of the region, on top of a hill that is accessed by driving on the C26 road and taking a winding road. We finally see the farmhouse, with its robust stone structure (1,500 m2) ocher color, surrounded by a four-hectare estate where several sheep and a nice borrico are roaming at ease.

Upon entering you feel that you have already disappeared, without clichés. If you had something to do, you have already forgotten it. You have forgotten work, worries and the rest of the world: that is the gift. Let's see if the 'hotel with soul' is going to be true.

In the central courtyard, with mountain views, you will find a small pool with sun beds and area chill out and in the entrance porch a bed arranged with pillows, candles and wild plants that invites you to lie down, relax and leave the Instagram for another time, which here does not count.

Mas El Mir is decorated with reclaimed antique furniture. © Mas El Mir

Eva Arbonés, the owner, welcomes us and shows us all the rooms of this farmhouse in great condition. We haven't heard a noise yet, only Eva's voice, which tells us that He was looking for a place with these characteristics for nine years To open your coveted rural hotel.

Finally, last fall he found El Mir and got down to work. “In March I started remodeling, always respecting the original structure of the farmhouse, and in three weeks I was already opening the doors of the hotel. It was very fast, ”explains Eva.

The hotel is An ode to rustic minimalism. From their stables, decorated with beautiful still lifes with baskets, candles and candlesticks; its stone porch, where the different products of the neighboring gardens are stored; the common rooms, the spaces chill out or the rooms, which deserve a separate chapter.

On his trips, Eva has been buying furniture and antiques for years to create today a collection of interior design taken care of in the smallest detail. “I love that people feel here at home, that they relax and disconnect,” Eva confesses, “it really didn't cost me anything to decorate El Mir. Almost all the furniture you see was in my house. I just moved and I placed everything. ”

Espernellac room at the Mas El Mir hotel, Girona. © Mas El Mir

THE VALUE OF SIMPLE THINGS

How could it be otherwise, the rooms (between € 125 and € 145) have names of native plants of the Ripollés: Espigol, Espernellac, Civada, L'Hisop and Milfulles; their beds, natural linen sheets and down cushions; its bathrooms, marble piles and vintage taps and its walls and ceilings, the same wood with which they were restored decades ago to preserve their rural aesthetics.

In short: the forest cabin you always dreamed of but with amenities organic and wifi. "For me, the essence of the farmhouse is that austerity, value simple things, life in the countryside: disconnection. It's like living in another era, ”explains Eva. In addition to the five rooms, the hotel has a private home, La Casita, As Eva calls this single-family apartment with two rooms, living room, kitchen and own garden.

Lie down to read in the cozy lounge in front of the fireplace now that the cold is coming; prepare a gintonic on your own in the old kitchen or look for the best corner chill out to take a nap The goal is to do nothing, just enjoy. Nature is the only one that rules here and we simply obey.

Each of El Mir's bathrooms is personalized with antique details. © Mas El Mir

AT DAWN ... OR A LITTLE LATER

In the morning, the smell of freshly brewed coffee and cake indicates that it is already breakfast time, which usually lasts until one o'clock in the afternoon, without hurry. If the rooms needed a separate chapter the breakfasts too.

In Mas El Mir everything is seasonal and close. Fresh milk and yogurts from Las Llosas, cheeses and sausages from Ripoll, pastries and bakery from the villages of the Vilardell Valley, vegetables and fruits from an organic garden of La Garrocha and homemade eggs. All arranged in the dining room in an extensive magazine assortment where you will almost always find yourself some cake or candy made by themselves.

The dinners are set with a closed menu according to, in Eva's words: “what you find in the market that same day.” Of course, he clarifies, “one day meat and the other fish. We must vary”. Here everything is done with care and care And then you realize. If you have any kind of food allergy, be calm, this is your place; and if you have a pet, too, but with a supplement of 15 euros.

Breakfast, artisanal and local, is served until one o'clock in El Mir. © Mas El Mir

EXPLORING THE RIPOLLÉS

If at some point you are stressed between so much peace and harmony, the natural environment surrounding Mas El Mir is ready to be explored.

In Ripoll the cyclists will find the Iron and Coal route, a bicycle itinerary that runs along the old route of the train track to Ogassa (14 km). In Ripoll, a visit to the Romanesque monastery of Santa María, built in the 9th century, is the highlight of its spectacular portal and its interior cloister.

Somewhat further north, trekking enthusiasts can take the cogwheel train from Ribas del Freser to the Sanctuary of Núria and rush to conquer the tops of nearly three thousand meters surrounding the iconic valley on the border with France. The route to Puigmal (2,913 meters) or Pic del Segre (2,843 meters) are the most popular.

Those who want to take it more calmly can walk the path of gorgs (pools) following the course of the Vilardell River, between waterfalls and riverside forests, walk to the hermitage of the Remedy or to the ruins of the church of Santa María del Catllar, near Mas El Mir. Like everything here, the key is to get carried away.

The Núria valley is perfect for trekking. © Getty Images

Rustic details at the entrance of Mas El Mir's kitchen. © Mas El Mir

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