Josep Ensesa Gubert, his work: S’Agaró and the Hostal de la Gavina

05.1 S’Agaró, the dream of Josep Ensesa Gubert
S’Agaró was the dream of Josep Ensesa i Gubert (Sarrià de Ter, 1892-S’Agaró, 1981), which he realized and which his descendants have continued, with the same spirit, to preserve the stylistic homogeneity and harmony between architecture and landscape and the protection of the natural environment of S’Agaró.

Thanks to Josep Ensesa’s vision, S’Agaró became an emblematic example of a garden city on the Costa Brava, and enlisted the renowned architect Rafael Masó i Valentí to design the urbanization project. After Masó, Ensesa commissioned work to Francesc Folguera – urban complex, church, Camí de Ronda, and transformation of the Hostal de La Gavina – and Adolf Florensa. Josep Ensesa aimed to make S’Agaró not only a high-level residential summer resort but also a reference center for international tourism. And he succeeded.
The Centenary of S’Agaró – led by the S’Agaró 100 association, directed by its descendants Virginia Ensesa, Lluís Sibils, and Xavier Sibils – has been declared by the Catalan government as the Official Commemoration of the Generalitat 2024, with the aim of recovering and disseminating the historical memory of a historic, artistic, and cultural place that has left its mark on the collective heritage of the Catalans.

05.2 The Hostal de La Gavina, the jewel of S’Agaró
In the early 1920s, Josep Ensesa i Gubert, son of a successful industrialist from Girona, Josep Ensesa Pujades, persuaded his father to buy the land located between the bay of Sant Pol and the long beach of Sa Conca, north of Sant Feliu de Guíxols. The main jewel of the project was the Hostal de La Gavina.

The hotel positioned itself as the most luxurious establishment in the area and one of the best hotels in Europe. La Gavina is a founding member of the prestigious association Leading Hotels of the World. His son, Josep Ensesa Montsalvatge, continued his father’s legacy by maintaining the establishment at the highest level and succeeded in having La Gavina declared a Cultural Heritage of National Interest (BCIN) in 1995.

05.3 Hostal de La Gavina, an identity symbol of S’Agaró
Currently, the fourth generation of the Ensesa family – Julia, Virginia, Carina, and Josep Ensesa Viñas – is responsible, with the same enthusiasm and commitment as their ancestors, for keeping the hotel as a unique and wonderful place.

The world of culture has always been connected to the history of La Gavina. Nobel Prize winners, great artists, and intellectuals have visited the hostel, either professionally or privately. Salvador Dalí, Josep Pla, Josep Carreras, Camilo José Cela, Octavio Paz, Zubin Mehta, Carlos Santana, Robert de Niro, Jack Nicholson, Sean Connery, Shakira, or Lady Gaga are some of the many distinguished names that have stayed at the hostel. The Hostal de la Gavina and S’Agaró are inseparable. They are part of the same project and have breathed, since their creation, the same essence.


The celebration of the Centenary of S’Agaró aims to achieve these four main objectives:

1. To raise awareness about the project and legacy of Josep Ensesa Gubert.
2. To explore the history that has shaped the current reality of S’Agaró.
3. To affirm S’Agaró as an emblematic example of quality tourism.
4. To contribute to strengthening the destination in its broadest sense (residential, cultural, gastronomic, leisure, sports, etc.).

The celebration of the centenary of S’Agaró aims to achieve these objectives through various actions, some permanent and others ephemeral, that allow experiencing all those aspects that have given S’Agaró its unique character: exhibitions, concerts, outdoor cinema, tennis tournaments, regattas…

Architecture, tourism, culture, and sports will be present, allowing visitors to recall the episodes experienced in S’Agaró with leading figures from various fields of knowledge and the arts.