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La Bionda Hotel in Spain’s Costa Brava: A Romantic Reuse Project by Quintana Partners

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La Bionda Hotel in Spain’s Costa Brava: A Romantic Reuse Project by Quintana Partners

September 14, 2020

We leap to attention whenever Quintana Partners complete a project. Based in Barcelona and Menorca, Spain, interior designers Pol Castells and Benito Escat specialize in what they term “giving waste a second chance.” Translation: they like to begin with historic, often derelict structures and deftly renew them by exposing hidden layers—”the beauty behind all the paint”—and by introducing shored-up antiques. Sustainability guides their “reutilization mission”: see, for instance,  The All-Vintage Renovation and A Way With Old Kitchens.

In their latest hotel project, La Bionda Hotel in the Costa Brava beach town of Begur, they transformed a 17th-century private house (previously a family’s vacation place) into an eight-room parador that feels like a portal into another era. Working with owner Carla Lloveras, Pol and Benito built their design around the concept of a fictitious character, a 1930’s woman salon host who invited the most accomplished European women of her day to come stay.

Join us for a tour. The hotel is open to guests (and taking extra safety measures); for those of us not not going anywhere soon, every room is filled with design ideas worth trying out at home.

Photography by Montserrat Garriga, courtesy of Quintana Partners, unless noted.

La Bionda Hotel in Spains Costa Brava A Romantic Reuse Project by Quintana Partners The tiled entry opens to a signature Quintana Partners&#8\2\17; mix of textures and patinas: the terra cotta and stone ceilings are original but had been plastered over. The hotel debuted on May \15.
Above: The tiled entry opens to a signature Quintana Partners’ mix of textures and patinas: the terra-cotta and stone ceilings are original but had been plastered over. The hotel debuted on May 15.

In addition to preserving much of the original structure, Pol and Benito built sustainability into the design: the hotel’s website notes, “we generate most of our electrical energy through photovoltaic panels that use solar energy, and we generate cooling, heating, and hot water through an aerothermal system that uses energy from the outside air.” Photograph courtesy of La Bionda Hotel.

La Bionda Hotel in Spains Costa Brava A Romantic Reuse Project by Quintana Partners Just add red lacquer: the front desk was created from two flea market pieces renewed with glossy paint and key slots added by a local carpenter. The surfaces here range from newly laid herringbone brick (handmade in Spain) to freshly plastered walls and a ceiling preserved in its excavated state. The chairs are \1960s French: the Mouette design from Baumann.
Above: Just add red lacquer: the front desk was created from two flea market pieces renewed with glossy paint and key slots added by a local carpenter. The surfaces here range from newly laid herringbone brick (handmade in Spain) to freshly plastered walls and a ceiling preserved in its excavated state. The chairs are 1960s French: the Mouette design from Baumann.
La Bionda Hotel in Spains Costa Brava A Romantic Reuse Project by Quintana Partners &#8\2\20;Wes Anderson&#8\2\17;s Grand Budapest Hotel was an inspiration for a lot of the design details,&#8\2\2\1; says Pol—such as the lobby&#8\2\17;s locally made Chesterfield sofa (in a velvet from Güell Lamadrid, fireproofed per local regulations) and Lobby Boy hat. Note the Fornasetti tray hung as art. The fringed lampshade is the first of many.
Above: “Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel was an inspiration for a lot of the design details,” says Pol—such as the lobby’s locally made Chesterfield sofa (in a velvet from Güell Lamadrid, fireproofed per local regulations) and Lobby Boy hat. Note the Fornasetti tray hung as art. The fringed lampshade is the first of many.
La Bionda Hotel in Spains Costa Brava A Romantic Reuse Project by Quintana Partners In the bar/winter breakfast area, the designers paired a rattan table found in a Barcelona antiques shop with a light made from a Vietnamese rice picker. The vintage tapestry is by Jean Picart Le Doux.
Above: In the bar/winter breakfast area, the designers paired a rattan table found in a Barcelona antiques shop with a light made from a Vietnamese rice picker. The vintage tapestry is by Jean Picart Le Doux.
La Bionda Hotel in Spains Costa Brava A Romantic Reuse Project by Quintana Partners Most of the year, breakfast is served on the roof at a communal farmhouse table and outside on the terrace. The restaurant is for guests only, but on occasion special dinners and events are held here.
Above: Most of the year, breakfast is served on the roof at a communal farmhouse table and outside on the terrace. The restaurant is for guests only, but on occasion special dinners and events are held here.
La Bionda Hotel in Spains Costa Brava A Romantic Reuse Project by Quintana Partners Three patterns of brick tile lead to the guest quarters. &#8\2\20;Terra cotta is very common in the area,&#8\2\2\1; says Pol, &#8\2\20;it&#8\2\17;s heavy and delicate to install, and used in traditional ways. We used these familiar materials in different shapes and formats to create an intricate mix.&#8\2\2\1;
Above: Three patterns of brick tile lead to the guest quarters. “Terra-cotta is very common in the area,” says Pol, “it’s heavy and delicate to install, and used in traditional ways. We used these familiar materials in different shapes and formats to create an intricate mix.”
La Bionda Hotel in Spains Costa Brava A Romantic Reuse Project by Quintana Partners A bedside vanity with the original ceiling and tiled floor in one of the eight rooms. None are alike, and each is named for an interesting early \20th century woman from history—this one is Victor.
Above: A bedside vanity with the original ceiling and tiled floor in one of the eight rooms. None are alike, and each is named for an interesting early-20th century woman from history—this one is Victor.
La Bionda Hotel in Spains Costa Brava A Romantic Reuse Project by Quintana Partners A wicker pendant light and Spanish encaustic tile in another of the bedrooms. Each has striped curtains in a different colorway.
Above: A wicker pendant light and Spanish encaustic tile in another of the bedrooms. Each has striped curtains in a different colorway.
La Bionda Hotel in Spains Costa Brava A Romantic Reuse Project by Quintana Partners A wood paneled bathroom with sliding glass doors and a nautical bulkhead light. The bathroom toiletries (from Grown Alchemist)—and also the cleaning products used throughout—are organic and biodegradable.
Above: A wood-paneled bathroom with sliding glass doors and a nautical bulkhead light. The bathroom toiletries (from Grown Alchemist)—and also the cleaning products used throughout—are organic and biodegradable.
La Bionda Hotel in Spains Costa Brava A Romantic Reuse Project by Quintana Partners Under an atmospheric raw ceiling, a fanciful headboard flanked by fringed lamps.
Above: Under an atmospheric raw ceiling, a fanciful headboard flanked by fringed lamps.
La Bionda Hotel in Spains Costa Brava A Romantic Reuse Project by Quintana Partners The Charlotte has a stone ceiling and rattan closet stocked with a mini fridge, electric kettle, and beach basket, umbrella, and towels. The Marshall speaker is for listening to your own music and La Bionda&#8\2\17;s playlists.
Above: The Charlotte has a stone ceiling and rattan closet stocked with a mini fridge, electric kettle, and beach basket, umbrella, and towels. The Marshall speaker is for listening to your own music and La Bionda’s playlists.
La Bionda Hotel in Spains Costa Brava A Romantic Reuse Project by Quintana Partners In the Valentina suite, twin sinks flank the door to a private patio.
Above: In the Valentina suite, twin sinks flank the door to a private patio.
La Bionda Hotel in Spains Costa Brava A Romantic Reuse Project by Quintana Partners A copper tub in the Valentina suite. The historic portrait, Pol says, is emblematic of the whole design: &#8\2\20;the idea was to pay tribute to the women who made our society but have never been recognized.&#8\2\2\1;
Above: A copper tub in the Valentina suite. The historic portrait, Pol says, is emblematic of the whole design: “the idea was to pay tribute to the women who made our society but have never been recognized.”
La Bionda Hotel in Spains Costa Brava A Romantic Reuse Project by Quintana Partners La Bionda&#8\2\17;s illustrated map shows its location in the center of Begur, and proximity to several beaches.
Above: La Bionda’s illustrated map shows its location in the center of Begur, and proximity to several beaches.

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