Inside the Manor House --El Palauet Living, Barcelona

The Suite Principal Paseo de Gracia has two balconies with views of Passeig de Gracia, one of Barcelona’s major avenues.

Barcelona is a city that combines history and art, and those in the know seeking a refuge head to El Palauet Living, located in the city’s designer Passeig De Gracia. We’re just back from this former manor house, which is in the same neighborhood as some of Antoni Gaudi’s most impressive architectural works. Nestled in between the trendy Gracia and the busy Plaça de Catalunya, the property is a central base for exploring the Catalan capital. Dating over 100 years, the building used to house the Bonaventura family. Converted into a hotel in 2010, the building retains its original façade and reception area, both listed as “Barcelona Historical Treasures.”

With only six suites in the property, guests can expect plenty of space in their new casa. Each is an expansive 1,600-square-foot accommodation comprising two open-plan bedrooms, en suite of course. While all of the rooms maintain similar features, the layout of each differs. Keep an eye out in each suite for the opulent plaster ceilings. With over 45 across the building, these pieces dating back to 1906 are some of the many protected “Historical Treasures” dotting the vicinity. Inside the rooms, expect Modernist furnishings and minimalistic whites and creams. Guests can control the ambiance through the in-room, iPad-controlled climatization system, which lets you choose the lights, temperature and music throughout. The expansive bathrooms include Japanese toilets and rainforest showers, and are fully stocked with Aveda products, alongside our new favorite, Osme Organic, to keep guests fresh. Take a relaxing, pre-siesta dip in the Jacuzzi bathtub, complete with soothing chromatherapy lights.

Every accommodation also comes with a full kitchen and dining area — perfect for taking typically long Spanish lunches with friends. Watch out for the miniature wine fridge, which is fully supplied with Catalan wines, cava (the locals’ favorite sparkling tipple) and the seasonal wine of the month.

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El Palauet Living has six suites, each with more than 1,600 square feet of space. Seen above right is Suite Mezzanine Paseo de Gracia.

Looking for a room with a view? We recommend the Suite Principal Paseo de Gracia. Only this suite opens onto a sprawling terrace with sweeping views of the bustling Passeig de Gracia, perfect for a morning café con leche. Fact: Located on the first floor, this level of the building also acted as the actual living space of the Bonaventura family. Good to know: These front-facing rooms are all made soundproof so as to keep out too much of Barcelona’s buzz.

For guests traveling with families, we suggest the Tibidabo Suite. Located away from the busy main road, the layout of this particular room allows for lots of space for active children, as well as a more open kitchen space, all with views of the scenic Mt. Tibidabo, of course. Tip: Kids can enjoy their own Kiddies breakfast, complete with tasty Nutella sandwiches and fresh juice.

Those wanting the full VIP treatment can avail of El Paluaet’s personal assistant service. Each room is assigned its own assistant. Midnight cheeseburger or a spontaneous private jet to the South of France? The onsite concierge has seen it all.

For queries and any special requests, agents should reach out to Nuria Reixach ([email protected]), head of the personal assistant team.

Starting to feel peckish? While the hotel does not have an onsite restaurant, there is a range of gourmet options available. Popular local restaurants provide an extensive room service menu ranging from a typical Mediterranean offering from L’Eggs to a Japanese selection from Nomo. Our favorites include the Spanish gyozas filled with Iberian ham and tomato sauce or the Galician beef short loin served with bouquets for those looking for something a bit heartier.

The Suite Principal Tibidabo has semi-circular stained glass window with floral designs and overlooks Mt. Tibidabo.

Top Tip: Guests looking to get a bit more hands-on in this gastronomic city can take advantage of the hotel’s personal chef service. A local Catalan chef will take you around the local markets, including Las Rambla’s famous Boqueria, sourcing local produce to create typical Spanish dishes. You can either sit back and let him get to work or take advantage of a private Spanish cooking lesson.

Get the most out of Barcelona’s sunny climate with a jaunt up to the rooftop terrace. Open to the public only one night a week during the summer months, the exclusive terrace is perfect for a sunset tipple from the onsite bar.

Guests should try out the terrace’s spa, complete with Jacuzzi, Finnish sauna and a solarium. Don’t miss out on the selection of massages. Our Favorite: The hour-long anti-jet- lag restorative massage, perfect for travelers who need some restoration. Top Tip: A rooftop morning yoga session is the ideal wake-up call.

Contact [email protected] to set up any spa requests, including mani-pedis, hairdressing and makeup services.

The Suite Atico Tibidabo has two bedrooms, one of which comes with a small terrace decorated with mosaic.

Guests who are looking to take in a bit more of Barcelona’s culture can partake in a range of El Palauet’s “experiences.” Apart from private tours of Gaudi’s architecture or the winding barrios, our pick was the Art Cava. Guests are taken to a local family-run vineyard where they get to visit the onsite bodega for some cava tasting. Insider Tip: Get a little more hands-on by completing the last step of the cava-making process, “disgorging” and come away with your own bottle. Take advantage of the hotel’s onsite childminding for those needing a little time away. 

The property also has two large event spaces, with a combined capacity of 450 guests. We liked the basement space. Once housing the Bonaventura’s kitchen and corridors, the rustic space is now converted but maintains the original exposed brick walls and archways.

Advisors can reach out to General Manager Jana Santamaria ([email protected]) for help with organizing any onsite events for clients.

Centrally located, the hotel is within walking distance of most of Barcelona’s iconic offerings. Looking for some authentic Spanish eateries? We suggest a walk to Can Paixano, better known as La Xampanyeria. This tucked-away Barcelona institution serves some of the best jamón bocadillos (small Spanish sandwiches) in town. Try the chorizo and manchego and wash it down with their famous cava. Those needing a tapas fix, should try the wine shop-turned-bodega de tapas, Quimet y Quimet. We like the Greek yogurt and truffled honey montadito or try the smoked oysters, all alongside a glass of chilled vermut.

The bathrooms at El Palauet Living include Japanese toilets, rainforest showers and Jacuzzi bathtubs. Seen here is the bathroom of Suite Atico Paseo de Gracia.

Noteworthy is the Michelin-starred Tickets. Run by Albert Adria (younger brother of elBulli’s Ferran Adria), the carnivalesque façade opens up onto five small- plate bars and open kitchens. Foodwise, think gastronomic tapas, such as their famous liquid olive or the world of oysters.

Those seeking to escape the tourists need to visit the charming Gracia district. This Instagrammable neighborhood is chock-full of plazas, cozy boutiques and some of the best bars in the city. Check out a must-visit site: The Old Fashioned, a bespoke cocktail bar with an extensive menu. Try the Diplomatico Old Fashioned or one of their specialty gin & tonics. Insider Hint: Have a chat with the friendly bar staff and they’ll whip you up your own personalized creation. A little closer to home is Boca Chica, a plush bar with plenty of ambiance. Right off Passeig de Gracia, enjoy a glass of wine on the garden terrace. Those in need of a pick-me-up, should pay a visit to Brunch & Cake to sip on an espresso.

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