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Written on: 07/08/2014 by 185Kirkpatrick (1 review written)

The first thing to know about Comarquinal is that it is not a hotel. It can be hard to find the first time. The Internet service is spotty. Getting your luggage to your room can be challenging because there are no paved roads --- and lots of grass --- leading to the property. And English speakers in the region can be scarce, so brush up on your Spanish.

None of that should prevent a stay at what is, for me and my wife, one of the finest places we've stayed anywhere in the world.

What makes this a great place? It's far enough from Barcelona so crowds aren't an issue, yet it's close enough to do day trips if you like (you can even drive 20 minutes to the nearby town of Vilafranca del Penedes, take a quick train ride into Barcelona, and avoid the big city traffic). It's in the heart of the Penedes wine region, so wine lovers have a choice of, literally, hundreds of visit possibilities. It's also near several castles and the famed religious site Montserrat (we didn't get to either ... Next time).

The resort itself is very relaxing, with a pristine pool, professionally landscaped grounds, and an assortment of animals (pig, chickens, horses, rabbits, dogs and more) that give the place a farm-like feel. And the very gracious Juan Carlos, the resort's owner, makes sure your stay is a perfect as it can be.

Comarquinal is just a few kilometers off the C-15 highway, off the St. Joan Mediodina exit. Luckily, the signs clearly mark the property, which is nestled at the end of a long, winding road that, in places, can barely fit one car. Watch for dogs; there are a few from other properties that like to chase cars.

We spent our two days touring three wineries, and Juan Carlos, arranged for tours at two of the three --- to Jean Leon and Pere Ventura (my wife and I did stumbled on the Torres tour on our way to visit a castle. We choose the wine over the history). Every tour we had took between 90 minutes and two hours, so plan accordingly. Given the distances between some of the wineries, you won't able to do more than three in a day --- figure one in the morning, break for lunch, and one or two in the afternoon, depending on operating hours. Also, be sure to make reservations ahead of time, or ask Juan Carlos for help.

We we're tired and jet lagged our first day, so Juan Carlos and his daughter, Carlotta, made us dinner (an extra fee of 29.50 euros per person applied). Everything --- from the salad, to the grilled vegetables, to the baked cod, to the fruit salad dessert, and the bottle of white wine --- was restaurant quality. It was exactly what we needed. Our room rate also included a very hearty breakfast (coffee, eggs, cereals, fruit, breads were available). We had all of our meals in a gorgeous garden area.

We stayed two nights at Comarquinal, and then headed to Barcelona for a day. That was a mistake, In retrospect, I would have stayed a third night in the country, touring more of its natural beauty, and enjoying a place that makes its guests feel at home.

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