The detail is sublime, from Bar Arnau's alabaster fireplace to the contemporary "champagne bubbles" of the inner courtyard
Lavish Modernist dining room serves Catalan cuisine created by multi-Michelin-starred chef Martín Berasategui
Intimate teak roof deck complete with plunge pool, hip music and a light show
What To Know
A city tax of $1.60 per person, per night will be collected by the hotel at checkout
Occasional tour groups passing through can detract from the peace and quiet
There’s no gym or spa, but in-room massages can be arranged
Due to its status as a historical building, standard rooms are rather small
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Modernist masterpiece near the Gothic quarter, with a lavish restaurant, posh tapas bar and rooftop pool
Modernist masterpiece. There’s barely a corner of this richly decorated hotel that doesn’t have a story to tell, from the Catalan greetings engraved in the lobby to the Roman-style mosaics on the marble staircase (an obsession of architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, who designed the hotel in 1900), to the Sala de las Sirenas, named for the mermaids that float around on its walls. When the interior space was revamped by designer Mercè Borrell and architect Carlos Bassó in 2010, they arranged it so you can look up through the breakfast room’s glass roof and see the mermaids' golden air bubbles floating skyward. The impressive alabaster fireplace in Bar Arnau is where Catalan creatives (Ramon Casas, Antoni Gaudí, Puig i Cadafalch, et al.) gathered to discuss their ideas.
Bed and Bath
The rooms feel rather staid compared with the full-blown fantasy of the hotel's public spaces, playing it safe with a beige and gray palette. Petite but perfectly formed, the smallest are 161 square feet but feel larger thanks to a simple, modern style and views to the street or internal courtyard. Bathrooms are sleek, with oversize vanities and showerheads and luxe Rituals products.
Since the revamp, the public spaces at the España have been embraced by locals, who pop by Bar Arnau for an expertly made whiskey sour or a glass of cava before heading to the opera, or for a taste of Martín Berasategui's sturdy Catalan food at the Fonda España. Try broad beans with blood sausage, black rice with monkfish, or roast duck with black turnips from the volcanic soil of La Garrotxa. Head to the roof terrace to splash in the plunge pool by day, then dine under the stars on posh tapas such as mushroom and foie gras croquettes and scallop and smoked bacon sandwiches.
Carrer Sant Pau 9-11
How to Get There
Flights are available to Barcelona El Pratt Airport(BCN) from major U.S. cities on a variety of carriers. Transfers to/from BCN, about seven miles away, are approximately $160 each way in a private car, and can be arranged through the property. Taxis to/from BCN are approximately $46, each way.