By Regina Winkle-Bryan
What kind of hotel person are you? Are you a Marriott kind of guy/gal or would you prefer a B&B? I am a ’boutique hotel person’. If I can choose, I choose a hotel that is small (less than 20 rooms), historical, in a stunning setting, and family-run. I like the intimacy that usually goes along with the boutique hotel stay. You just can’t get that personal touch at the big chain hotels.
Mas Collet, however, has done a pretty good job of fusing boutique hotel and chain hotel. Part of the larger hotel group LHH, some of what this luxury boutique hotel offers is straight out of a box. Example: the breakfast….the most important meal of the day! In a posh hotel like Mas Collet one expects lavish breakfast offerings of ham, fruit plates, gourmet cheeses, espresso, muffins, cakes, omelets to order, freshly squeezed juices, and an ice sculpture in the center of it all (ok, maybe not).
Instead I was greeted in the morning by mini boxed Kelloggs and some limp looking fruit. What?! The view from the breakfast room may go on for miles across pines and mountains, but when the food is fair, one somehow feels uncomfortable and unbalanced. Food is very important to me, and in a place like Catalonia, bringing in locally delicious products should not be an issue.
Mas Collet excels in other areas of the hotel. It is as is they spent their budget on decoration, and then had nothing left to hire quality staff and buy proper breakfast foods. The rooms and suites at Mas Collet are enormous, beautiful, well-appointed, and fabulous in every way. Some have views, and each one follows the same elegant general plan, while at the same time being slightly different. My room looked out over the valley and had an ample deck where morning coffee could be had. Too bad someone had left the hose out on the patio, otherwise it was perfect. Priorat wine and a snack awaited me upon arrival which made me very happy. I just love snacks, who doesn’t?
The pool at Mas Collet is also top-notch. Large and private, it sits on a sort of ledge looking out onto the mountains. Mas Collet is nothing if not secluded and quiet. The setting really is quite superb. Want to get away from it all? Go here. And this is the problem I have with Mas Collet. How can it be so wonderful aesthetically, and then drop the ball in other areas? It’s a shame. If LHH would look into improving the Mas Collet breakfast and hiring competent help (or at least trained in hospitality) then Mas Collet would be a real winner combining the perfect Priorat setting, boutique intimacy, and elegant luxury. Despite the lame breakfast and spaced staff, I still recommend this hotel if you’re cellar hopping in Priorat and Montsant.
+34 977 26 24 55
Fax: +34 977 26 2174
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**I was a guest at Mas Collet. I think it’s clear the opinions above are my own.