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Casa Sans – Hotel Diana

A hotel with history

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A journey back to our origin

The house where Hotel Diana is today is known as Casa Sans, the name of its original owner Joan Sans, or Casa Falguera, the name of its architect, Antoni de Falguera i Sivilla, a Modernist architect who was a protégé of the famous Josep Puig i Cadafalch. Falguera designed emblematic buildings in Barcelona such as Casa de la Lactància (1908-1913) and the stained glass and wrought iron of the Boqueria Market on the Ramblas, among other monuments in the Catalan capital.

He used to spend his summers in Tossa and he received an assignment from a local member of the bourgeoisie, Joan Sans, who had amassed a fortune in the cork industry in Colombia according to some. Sans wanted a residence on the seafront promenade, the new “Eixample” in Tossa. The house was built in 1906 by the seafront on the site of an old fisherman’s house which was in ruins. No document on the house has been found, just one dating back to 1986 when the house was declared a Unique Building by Tossa Town Hall.

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From private house to hotel

The house changed owners in 1930, when after World War I the Sans business ran out of luck. It was at this time when Fernando Vilallonga i Balam bought the house. Vilallonga did some renovations in the house such as the Carrara marble staircase on the ground floor or the beautiful bronze sculpture commissioned to artist Frederic Marès, which represents the Greek goddess Diana.

Vilallonga ended up without a wife and left the house to Mercedes Gotarra Blanqué, daughter of his niece, Rosa Blanqué. The house has not changed owners since and it became Hotel Diana in 1958.

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The outside

The building has a unique maritime façade, with Modernist gargoyles that represent the four seasons, mosaics of glazed ceramic and wrought iron, similar to those of Casa Vicens in Barcelona. The gargoyles were made by the sculptor Alfons Juyol, but it was Falguera himself who designed them.

In the house’s interior courtyard there is a well with a combination of wrought iron and trencadís mosaic with natural and animal elements and a marble fountain with two intertwined fish figures. You can also see two giant Yatay palm trees which give the house a unique touch.

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The inside

The interior still preserves most of the decorative repertoire that Falguera designed. The ground floor has three rooms: the Iris room, the Diana room and the Chimney room. The Iris room stands out for its red walls, two original busts from when the house was built and a majestic chandelier hanging from the ceiling. This was the house’s main living room. The Diana room stands out for its hydraulic tiles with swans and natural motifs. These tiles are the same ones as you can find in the private club Cercle del Liceu in Barcelona, located in the famous homonymous theatre. Other outstanding features are the polychrome glazed windows, the ceramics, the sgraffito on the doors, the wall openings, the colours and the shapes inspired by nature. A whole Modernist world in a single room. In the centre of this room is Diana, the bronze sculpture by Frederic Marès in honour of the Greek goddess. Lastly, in the Chimney room you can see a combination of ceramics, stone and wrought iron, and the sculpted busts of Mrs. Sans, the daughter of the first owner Joan Sans, and her husband Francesc Rissech.

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Today

Currently, Hotel Diana is a Modernist-style boutique hotel, an accommodation with charm that still preserves its original architectural style and most of the interior decoration from the original house. The hotel is in constant evolution and new changes and renovations are carried out every year to make the guest’s stay an unforgettable experience. The rooms were renovated in 2016 and their main characteristic is that they are all different from one another. Every room has special details that make it unique.