Where to Stay in Barcelona Now: 12 Hotels We LOVE
The waterfront views from Barcelona's port-side hotels are gorgeous, to be sure, but there's just as much luxury (and affordability) to be found in the city center. All you have to decide is which one of the city's best hotels suits you best—be it a historic townhouse with an eye for design or a Belle Époque landmark in the thick of it all.
The names involved in this 1869 Neoclassical former home’s transformation read like a best-of list: the design—including a painstaking restoration of the building’s finer details—comes courtesy of Brooklyn-based Studio Tack and co-owner Inés Miró-Sans (who worked at the Ace Hotel New York), while the ground floor features a café from celebrated Catalan baristas Satan’s Coffee Corner. Guest rooms are attractively simple (and surprisingly affordable), juxtaposing minimalist furniture with the building’s original mosaic floors, and the rooftop has its own orchard and herb garden. The lobby is the real showstopper, however, where teal sofas, Turkish kilims, and a wagon-wheel chandelier set the stage for after-hour cocktails and conversation.
Cotton House Hotel
This Belle Époque beauty, a former cotton baron hangout, wows from the moment you step over the threshold. Original marquetry floors, a marble staircase, and a hall of antique mirrors all nod to the building's 19th-century roots, while a sexy rooftop pool, buzzy restaurant, cocktail bar, and lush terrace—all courtesy of interior designer Lázaro Rosa-Violán—provide more modern thrills. Once you've explored surrounding Eixample, unwind in the hotel's library, dine on Catalan-influenced small plates at Batuar restaurant or retire to your all-white guest room, whose oversized windows look out onto the city's rooftops.
Soho House Barcelona
Soho House expanded its empire last year with its Spanish debut in the city’s Gothic Quarter. The brand’s secrets to success—a buzz-worthy location, a decadent culinary menu and noteworthy spa, a deft approach at marrying native design details with more modern tastes—is no different here. This 19th-century apartment block is a pleasing mix of old (Juliet balconies, gothic chandeliers, Spanish tiles) and new (a signature rooftop pool, shabby-chic 20th-century furniture), while the hotel's location on Plaza Medinaceli means you’re within striking distance of the Palau Güell museum and Las Ramblas. Drop your bags in one of its 57 guest rooms (kitted out with vintage radios and Frette bathrobes) and head straight to the outpost of Cecconi’s for elevated Venetian specialties like wild mushroom risotto with taleggio or beef tartare with black truffle.
This 18th-century townhouse, on the site of Picasso's first studio on leafy Passeig de Colom, is now a sleek urban retreat that nods to the city’s Art Nouveau and Art Deco past. You’ll see it in the graphic-print headboards that recall the city’s historic tiles in its 30 black-and-white guest rooms as well as Spanish architect Francesc Daniel Molina’s restored 19th-century façade. Depending on which direction you face from the rooftop pool, you can spy Barcelona’s expansive port or the city’s grid of medieval streets. After taking in the view (and some prime people watching), head downstairs to restaurant El Informal, where chef Marc Gascons (formerly of Costa Brava’s Michelin-starred Els Tinars) prepares Catalan small plates with a Mediterranean twist.
Mercer Hotel Barcelona
The Mercer's 17th-century townhouse may sit on the walls of an ancient Roman city in the Gothic Quarter, but don’t be fooled by all those medieval arches and brickwork—inside, the hotel all about contemporary luxury, from the swanky rooftop bar and plunge pool to the gourmet French restaurant and 28 Scandinavian-style guest rooms decked out with expressionist art, hanging lamps, and modernist furniture. If you’d rather step into Spain’s past, head to the serene courtyard, where 17th-century columns loom over sweet-smelling orange trees.
ABaC Restaurant Hotel
Barcelona’s credibility as a culinary capital comes to a head at ABaC, which bills itself as a restaurant first, hotel second. The Michelin-starred namesake restaurant, in an all-glass extension of a 19th-century mansion, is all the reason you need to head to leafy residential neighborhood Sant Gervasi—an award well-earned under the watch of chef Jordi Cruz, whose experimental Catalan cuisine (foie gras tacos with mole migas; sweet corn ice cream) has earned accolades for more than a decade. Sleep off the food coma in one of its 15 rooms in the adjoining 19th-century mansion (all simply but luxuriously furnished with rain showers and Hermès bath amenities) or at the spa, which has its own thermal pool and hammam.
The One Barcelona
Its location between two of Barcelona’s best neighborhoods—leafy Eixample and trendy Gràcia—puts The One within spitting distance of the city’s best assets, from Gaudi’s Parc Güell to the Sagrada Família cathedral. But that’s not all the hotel has going for it. Interiors by designer Jamie Beriestain (who also made much of the furniture you’ll find here) are as sophisticated as they are beautiful—we're talking 89 all-white guest rooms awash in light that streams from floor-to-ceiling picture windows, with pastel Eames furniture, copper trimming, and colorful original art by Chilean painter Fernando Prats, not to mention the bathrooms with their 18-karat-gold taps and Jordanian marble tubs. But don’t get too distracted, lest you miss drinking in those fantastic views from the rooftop pool or diving into Mediterranean fare (coquelet stuffed with foie, figs, and dried apricots, perhaps?) at Somni Restaurant & Cocteleria.
“Thoughtful simplicity” may as well be the motto of this 20-room sleep on the edge of Poble Sec, an up-and-coming neighborhood near Montjuïc hill and the sea. Contemporary guest rooms feature heated bathroom floors and industrial light fixtures (some have terraces with open-air tubs), vending machines drop out curated local goodies, a small pool is shaded by parasols, and the restaurant serves a short but excellent menu of bistro grub and cold-pressed juices—enough to enjoy but not too much to detract from the countless tapas joints and gallery spaces worth exploring just outside. (Unwilling to postpone your wellness regime? Stays include free classes at the next-door yoga studio.)
You’ll pick up on Hotel 1898’s cool, hip vibe the moment you step through the entrance: striped sofas sit by decorative fireplaces and wood-paneled walls in the soaring open-plan lobby, and guest rooms feature jewel-tone color schemes (burgundy; charcoal; emerald) and old-world details like black leather armchairs and throwback lampshades. The real draws, though, are found above—and below—the hotel’s heart. A cave-like subterranean spa features a surprisingly large swimming pool, while the rooftop has a restaurant and pool of its own (lined with canopied daybeds, natch) along with one of the best 360-degree views in all of Barcelona. Hit up the terrace bar after hours for cocktails and live music.
The Barcelona EDITION
Steps from the cathedral and Santa Caterina Market, Ian Schrager’s 100-room Barcelona EDITION has the brand’s usually trimmings and trappings (a clubby lobby; a signature staircase; a basement nightclub) as well as a few signature details of its own—namely, a sprawling rooftop cocktail lounge and saltwater plunge pool overlooking Old Town and priceless furniture pieces by Salvador Dalí and Antoni Gaudí that nod to the city’s Catalan culture. Elsewhere, more contemporary touches like a sapphire-blue Eric Schmitt chandelier and white oak herringbone parquet floors in guest rooms add to the mystique.
Just when you thought Barcelona couldn’t top its already lengthy list of design boutique hotels, in comes the Almanac. Local studio Office of Architecture was tapped to rethink the space, and the result is sophisticatedly sleek—picture grained marble bathrooms with copper accents, chaise longues tucked into bay windows, and, downstairs, velvet blue seating and high ceilings in the restaurant, which serves up Catalan classics like scallops with “Trinxat de la Cerdanya” and Iberian pork belly. Our favorite space, though, is the rooftop bar Azimuth, which features a terrace overlooking the Sagrada Família, a swimming pool, and a glassed-in lounge serving spritzes, sangrias, and small plates to Barcelona’s style set.
It takes some doing for a boutique hotel to make it on a "best of" list, but Casa Camper does things right. Opened by the Mallorca-based shoe brand of the same name, this quirky 40-room sleep embraces its hip El Raval neighborhood digs, outfitting rooms (which look out at the interior vertical garden or street) with hammocks and bright red walls and replacing room service with a 24/7 snack bar and honesty bar on the roof terrace—two places to stock up at when you're not dining at the Michelin-starred Asian tapas restaurant or knocking back cocktails during rounds of billiards in the rec–style basement. Another perk: Richard Meier–designed Museum of Contemporary Art is just steps away.
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