Hotel Barcarola, a hotel of history, friendship and family happiness
It was summer, 1962. On their way to Spain with a Mercedes and the little boat went with them. Gerrit and Toos van der Valk, on holiday together. Enjoyment, that was their goal, with no specific town or village in mind.
However, the customs officer at the French/Spanish border gave them more interpretation and direction when asked. s'Agaro, that was the most beautiful bay of the Costa Brava according to him....
A few hours later, their boat was in the beautiful bay. The customs officer had told them nothing too much! The beach was pristine and dazzling, the location magnificent among the rugged but wide rocks.
After a wonderful day of sailing, a small restaurant just 50 metres from the sea caught our eye. Chairs were pushed in, the local menu explained by a very friendly lady. And the prawns, they really had to be tasted, the speciality of the region and the chef!
The prawns de Palamos were delicious, Gerrit continued to enjoy them and ordered two more portions to the curiosity of the chef who came over for a chat. Vincent was his name and he and his wife Maria owned the little restaurant.
In the days that followed, Gerrit and Toos came again and again to enjoy the delicious prawns, a friendship with Vincent and Maria was born.
Restaurante y Snack Barcarola already had a long history, Vincent enthused. First as a snack bar, later as a small restaurant. The friendship between the two couples grew over the years and culminated in a wonderful collaboration when Vincent and Maria expressed their desire to build a couple of hotel rooms on top of the restaurant.
Gerrit and Toos were enthusiastic, entered into the collaboration, which after the first hotel rooms on top of the restaurant, also led to a larger hotel building on the adjacent property behind the restaurant. Vincent and Maria, some 20 years older than Gerrit and Toos, moved to the village down the road, San Feliu de Guixols. Having no children of their own to whom they could hand over Hostal Barcarola, Gerrit and Toos were asked if they wanted to take over the whole thing. With their hearts set on s'Agaró, this was of course both a great honour and they didn't want anything else!
It became 2 buildings with about 60 (tiny) rooms. 10 years after Gerrit and Toos' first visit, the hotel opened, a wonderful event.
In the summer of 1973, Gerrit and Toos received "high visitors" at what had become Hotel Barcarola. Rinus Michels - with whom Gerrit had been good friends for several years by then - introduced Johan Cruyff to FC Barcelona that year.
And on Gerrit's advice and invitation, they came to enjoy the delicious prawns de Palamos at Hotel Barcarola. Gerrit, Toos, Rinus, Will, Johan ánd Danny enjoyed those days wonderfully and visited many more times.
Gerrit and Toos's family and other relatives also like to come to Hotel Barcarola frequently. Whole summers are spent on the beach and around the beautiful bay of s'Agaro, where the family has since bought a flat.
From the mid-1990s, the bay of s'Agaro is developed considerably and several new hotels spring up. Hotel Barcarola also moves with the times and Gerrit carries out a large-scale new construction of the hotel. The hotel rooms become larger, the entire restaurant building is renovated and a lovely swimming pool is constructed.
In the year 2000, the new Hotel Barcarola is festively opened by Gerrit van der Valk and Rinus Michiels together.
Ever since first meeting Vincent and Maria, Hotel Barcarola remains one of the most favourite spots for the Van der Valk family itself. Every year, members of the family spend a lot of time here for their own holidays and special anniversaries, such as Toos van der Valk's 90th birthday. Always combined, of course, with the inspiration to improve the facilities and services for the many guests that Hotel Barcarola, the restaurant and the flats may welcome every year.
Hotel Barcarola, a wonderful history of friendship and sharing happiness.