|Photo by Freeimages.com/Ivano di Basi|
by Sally Davies, The Daily Telegraph, July 28, 2016
An insider's guide to the Barcelona's top boutique hotels, including the best for rooftop pools, hip bars, Michelin-starred restaurants and stylish bedrooms, in areas including La Rambla, the Barri Gòtic (gothic quarter), El Born and the Passeig de Gràcia.
Mercer Hotel Barcelona
A peaceful oasis in the heart of the Old City, which is also a palimpsest of Barcelona's historical architecture. The Mercer is housed in a mostly medieval edifice built on to a section of the city's Roman wall, and includes a defence tower from that era. Its bare walls and ancient lintels are visible in many of the rooms. This place has all the essential facilities, including two restaurants and a pretty rooftop area with a plunge pool. Molton Brown toiletries and a free non-alcoholic minibar raise the tone in the smallish rooms. Ask for a room in the Roman tower for a special sense of history.
Read the full review: Mercer Hotel Barcelona
The bijou Hotel Bagués was once the showroom for a jewellery company, and a forensic attention to materials and details remains evidenced throughout. The hotel embraces a heady miscellany of styles and materials that fuses leopard skin, Venetian glass and gold plate. The front desk should give masterclasses in warmth and helpfulness to hotel staff everywhere. There is a rooftop plunge pool and gym, and a small museum on the first floor exhibits jewellery from the original Bagués-Masriera collection.
Read the full review Hotel Bagués
A delightful little hotel with only 22 rooms housed in a 17th-century mansion. What it lacks in facilities (no pool, no gym) it makes up for in style and location — just next to the cathedral, it could not be more central. Its terrace on an atmospheric little square and its leafy rooftop bar are extra pluses. Beautifully sympathetic to the style and original features of the historical building in which it is housed, the hotel nonetheless embraces an unusually bold palette for its soft furnishings and large, splashy artworks. Glass chandeliers and crushed velvet sofas make it classy but cosy all at once.
Read the full review: Hotel Neri
The hip, chic and good-value five-star hotel has a retro-glam interior by British designer Kelly Hoppen. It’s well located for shopping and to see the Gaudí buildings. The Murmuri has a rooftop sun deck with loungers, but for a gym or pool you’ll need to go to the nearby sister Hotel Majestic. Rooms are modestly sized but clean and smart. The Petit Comité restaurant provides a great introduction to Catalan cuisine, and is overseen by Michelin-starred chef Nandu Jubany. The real star of the Murmuri, though, is the stunning ElPassatge cocktail bar.
Read the full review: Murmuri Barcelona
The outré façade dotted with eyes on stalks and all-black lobby suggest something more avant-garde than the reality, which is a smart but understated five-star hotel. The Ohla provides all mod cons, along with plenty of luxuries — such as a clear-sided rooftop dipping pool. The hotel places you right in the heart of the action in the busy Via Laietana, the de facto border between the medieval Barri Gòtic and Born areas. Standard rooms have large rainshowers and luxurious touches such as a pillow and sheet menu. Don't miss the establishment's suberb Michelin-starred Saüc restaurant.
Read the full review: Ohla Hotel
You'll struggle to find a hotel much more central than the Pulitzer, sitting as it does just off the Plaça Catalunya. Exuding a vibrant cool, this is where the party people stay — which is not to say that you could not have a perfectly peaceful time. The lobby sets the tone with its white leather sofas and zebra-print rugs. The rooftop bar is the real selling point, with its glamorous clientele and Café del Mar vibe. Wood, leather and satin dominate the chic but modestly sized bedrooms, while bathrooms are tiled in dark marble.
Read the full review: Hotel Pulitzer
Grand Hotel Central
A creatively refashioned Twenties property in an atmospheric area, between the Gothic and Born districts and directly opposite the cathedral. The hotel exudes Art Deco grandeur. The rooftop infinity pool steals the show; there is a also a spa. The ground-floor gallery highlights the work of up-and-coming artists and a library space provides a welcome refuge. Rooms have high ceilings and Nespresso machines. Head to the restaurant for balsamic vinegar veal tagliata and desserts fashioned by the Michelin-starred chef Mey Hofmann.
Read the full review: Grand Hotel Central
Hotel España Ramblas
The España is a much-loved Barcelona institution, which started out as an inn for travellers in the 19th century. Recent additions include a top-deck sundeck and cocktail bar, which sometimes hosts live music or DJs. The rooms are fairly tiny unless you splash out for an Executive, but they are swish (peace lilies in test tubes and huge backlit photos as headboards), and such is the price you pay to sleep in a historical building. The Fonda España is worth eating in for the wonderful murals alone, but if traditional Catalan fayre is thing, you’ll love the food too.
Read the full review: Hotel España Ramblas
The Serras is sunny, friendly and supremely comfortable. Its decked rooftop bar and pool area, with views across the port, is worth a visit even for non-guests. A relatively sombre design by renowned designer Eva Martínez is never less than tasteful, with a white and chocolate theme in the bedrooms, nods to traditional Barcelona tiling on the over-sized headboards, and crushed velvet in ochre and grey in the common areas. Standard rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows, balconies and beds with mattresses by appointment to Queen Elizabeth II, no less. The house restaurant, Informal, is overseen by Marc Gascons, who has a Michelin star at his restaurant near Girona.
Read the full review: The Serras
One of the loveliest hotels in its price range, the Villa Emilia is not especially central (it is located in the Eixample, just off the Gran Via) but it is conveniently close to various forms of public transport. The shady rooftop terrace is a delight and hosts barbecues on Thursday evenings. Downstairs, Zinc Bar has a piano player on busy nights. Afternoon tea is laid on (free) at 5pm every day. The rooms are comfortable and well designed for this price, decked out in autumnal hues, with ethnic artworks above the beds. Staff bend over backwards to keep guests happy.
Read the full review: Villa Emilia
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- W BarcelonaBarcelona, Catalonia, Spain
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This article was written by Sally Davies from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.