From Barceloneta Beach to Plaza Catalunya, you’ll find upmarket five-star boutique hotels beside budget B&Bs and eco-conscious guesthouses. Not sure where to start amid Barcelona’s overpopulated hotel scene? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Charm, affordability and excellent location make Violeta Boutique a perfect stay | Courtesy Violeta Boutique / Hotels.com
Violeta Boutique is the kind of small, personalised and fairly-priced hotel that you’ll want to return to again and again. The best rooms in this 19th Century building are large with high ceilings and plenty of natural light. Sightseers will be pleased to know the hotel is just a few minutes’ walk from Plaza Catalunya (the city’s main square) and full of staff who delight in sharing their knowledge of Barcelona. There are free muffins and tea available too.
Casa Gracia is the hippest place to stay in Barcelona. Walk into a reception of plants, old ironwork from another era, modern chandeliers and a glass floor looking into a speakeasy lounge beneath your feet. Move past the Art Deco style bar and restaurant full of locals chatting softly in Spanish to a spacious common room with brick ceilings and a fireplace. Head upstairs via the antique-style elevator, past a library full of books and a wall of mirrors to the dining rooms, where you’ll find the communal tables. Continue out to a large terrace flooded with light, lounging areas, and a space for yoga. The rooms themselves are upstairs and some rooms come equipped with balconies overlooking the bustling Passeig de Gracia.
Sustainability and environmental protection are important at Hostal Grau | Courtesy of Eco Boutique Hostal Grau / Hotels.com
Eco-warriors will be charmed by this green boutique hotel close to Barcelona’s Plaza Catalunya. From environmentally-friendly cleaning products to naturally sourced lavender soap and organic teas, Hostal Grau is dedicated to sustainability on every level. Meanwhile, the decor is homely and ping-pongs between boho-chic and minimalist. Walls are crisp white, the furniture is upcycled and they use crates for shelves.
Hotel Midmost offers a luxurious feel in an avant-garde style setting | Courtesy Hotel Midmost / Hotels.com
This classy, avant-garde-style hotel is one of the best mid-range options for visitors to Barcelona. Navy, white and gold hues give this chic boutique a regal feel. And the rooftop pool area, though small, is fit for royalty with its stripy four-poster sunbeds. Meanwhile, well-priced standard rooms are cosy but perfectly efficient and come with blackout curtains, bathrooms so white they’ll make you squint and beds you’ll never want to leave. Not forgetting the staff here who are willing to go that extra mile to ensure you have a great stay in the city.
The centrally located Retrome Urban Retreat is your retro-home in Barcelona. It’s cheap and comes with 15 rooms curated in ’60s and ’70s-style – think groovy patterns, copper lamps and walnut cabinets. Staff are passionate about the city and happy to point you in the direction of the best bakeries, cafés and independent shops. Rooms come equipped with vintage trinkets, record players and coffee machines – some also come with private balconies.
Luxury meets tasteful design meets Barcelona at the Renaissance Hotel. Much of the artistic elements in the rooms and throughout the building were inspired by Barcelona’s beloved Antoni Gaudí and the modernism that’s so prominent in the city. That’s why you’ll see a lot of metal with rounded corners, and carpets with Gaudí designs on them. The hotel also strives to emulate nature with lots of Mediterranean blues and mountain golds – a reflection of the surrounding ocean and nearby Montjuïc. They also installed light dimmers to replicate the effect of sunrise and sunset. Such details were meant to tempt guests to “look and look again”. With expert ‘navigators’ (who are like specialised concierges) to give local tips of the city, a chic Rumbo bar and eatery on the main floor, the Goja rooftop with views from the Sagrada Familia to the hills and the ocean, and premium rooms and junior suites, a stay at the Renaissance leaves guests feeling like they’re well taken care of.
The hotel decor blends retro elements with a nod to the future | Courtesy Room Mate Emma / Hotels.com
Room Mate Emma is part of a visionary boutique hotel group that has made a big splash in Barcelona. This hotel cleverly blends future and past. Some rooms have groovy ’60s and ’70s designs, while others have space-age graphics. Gaudí would’ve been impressed with this wacky hotel, which has a lobby like the inside of a spaceship, and brightly coloured abstract communal spaces. This is one for the forward thinkers (or guests not afraid of a hallucinogenic trip).
Set in a former textile factory, this hotel is ready-made for millennials. Communal spaces are industrial-looking and full of the type of cool, mismatched furniture that you expect to see in a posh co-working space. Rooms – although snug – come with pillow menus, yoga mats and biodegradable coat hangers. Bikes are free for guests to use, there’s a rooftop pool area, and the hotel offers a nightly social hour with complimentary wine for those looking to make friends. A shuffleboard table and photo booth in the lobby will keep you entertained.
A rooftop pool, vertical garden and hovering fireplace make H10 Metropolitan a trendy spot to stay | Courtesy H10 Metropolitan / Hotels.com
It probably doesn’t sound like a major selling point, but the H10 Metropolitan’s swirly wooden headboards are up there with the best we’ve seen. But that’s not the only reason we’ve included this swish hotel at the top of La Rambla in our round-up. The sophisticated design hotel has an unusual style – there’s an antique bike, hovering fireplace and an outdoor vertical wall garden. But the biggest prize is the tranquil rooftop pool for when you’re done with sightseeing.
The Cotton House Hotel provides majestic luxury set in an elegant Neoclassical building | Courtesy Cotton House Hotel / Hotels.com
The Cotton House Hotel has managed to retain some original features from when it was the headquarters of the Cotton Textile Foundation in the 19th Century. It’s now a five-star unadulterated luxury hotel set in an elegant Neoclassical building. The finishing touches here are what makes the hotel so special – from the chequered marble chessboard-like flooring, twirling optical-illusion-of-a-staircase and majestic ceilings that won’t fail to astound.
The Golden Tulip Barcelona is in the up-and-coming Poblenou neighborhood and features a small rooftop pool | Courtesy of Golden Tulip Barcelona / Hotels.com
This hotel is located between the heart of Barcelona and the popular, up-and-coming neighbourhood of Poblenou. The latter, a former industrial area, is having a moment and its little wonder why: it’s leafy, quiet and full of restaurants and bars. The standout feature of this cheap hotel, however, is its rooftop area, which comes with a shallow dipping pool and city views. The interior here is not unlike something you’d find from a four-star chain hotel – modern, bright and pristinely finished. Friendly staff are happy to print out information or offer insider tips on less obvious things to do (like visit the Palo Alto Market).
The reception at Hotel Pulitzer is adjacent to a large seating area surrounding a bar that is spacious and full of light – a friendly welcome after travelling. In the back on the main floor sits the Greenhouse restaurant, which is an incredibly chic space that’s mostly white, full of mirrors, windows and overflowing green plants. The restaurant itself is worth a look, even if you aren’t staying for the amazing meals on offer (which include pressed juices, warm veggie dishes, and berry compotes at breakfast). Rooms range in size, but many come equipped with balconies looking out at beautiful views of Barcelona. And the rooftop is perhaps one of the biggest draws, which often hosts live bands, DJs and a happening party. Located in Eixample, the Pulitzer is steps from the lively Placa Catalunya and minutes from La Rambla.
Picasso’s first workshop was in the building where Hotel The Serras now stands. However, guests here have more to brag about than just one historical fact, like the views of Port Vell marina from the rooftop, which is the dream and perhaps why the area is called El Sueño, meaning ‘the dream’ in Spanish. The smart hotel also comes with understated New York-meets-Catalan decor and is close proximity to both the beach and the Gothic Quarter.
This warehouse-like hotel is in the trendy Poble Sec neighbourhood | Courtesy Hotel Brummell / Hotels.com
Are you the sort of person who likes staying in quiet neighbourhoods just outside of the city? Well, Hotel Brummell is right up your street. Located about 20 minutes’ walk from Barcelona’s best market (Mercado de la Boqueria) in the Poble Sec area, this boutique hotel takes pride in its ‘tropical modernist’ design, which basically means industrial finishes and loads of plants. Most of the 20 rooms are smallish and have suave NY loft apartment/warehouse vibes. On the roof, there’s a plunge pool and views over the city and Montjuïc.
The hotel is inspired by well-known Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudí | Courtesy Hotel Barcelona 1882 / Hotels.com
The hotel’s name is a tip of the hat to Gaudí, who started building Sagrada Familia in 1882. Gaudí is said to have been heavily inspired by nature and, so it seems, was the colour palette of this hotel – think earth tones and subtle greens and blues. The hotel’s terrace hosts free morning yoga on Wednesdays, as well as views over the designer’s towering Gothic cathedral just 400 metres (0.25 miles) away.
Every city has at least one hipster hotel, and Barcelona’s is Soho House. This private-member’s-club-come-hotel has 57 rooms and sits opposite Port Vell on the outskirts of the Gothic Quarter. It’s facilities-rich – there’s a 36-seater theatre, flash Cowshed spa, and year-round rooftop pool – and is close to the beach and La Rambla. The rooms and common areas have a twee British vibe going on and if it weren’t for the blue skies and Catalonia flags draped on the buildings nearby, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were staying at a moneyed British Lord’s house in the Cotswolds.
Dame Helen Mirren and Morgan Freeman are said to be fans of this world-famous luxury hotel chain – and we can see why. Everything at the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona on Passeig de Grácia seeps opulence, from its modern rooftop pool and rooms with Casa Batilló views (Gaudí’s wavy, coral-floor-like construction) to the hotel’s fancy restaurant looked after by a female chef with seven Michelin stars.
The Mercer is a peaceful, luxurious boutique hotel in the heart of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter. Signs of the neighbourhood’s ancient past can be seen throughout the hotel, which blends restored original Roman walls with contemporary fittings. The star of the show, however, is the hotel’s tree-speckled internal courtyard – arguably the best breakfast setting in the city. Should you wish to unwind, take a book to the hotel’s library or rooftop pool area.
A peaceful hotel with a private members' club feel | Courtesy The Wittmore / Hotels/com
Hiding in plain sight in Barcelona’s ancient Gothic Quarter, lies the exclusive, adults-only The Wittmore hotel. Kitted out like a British country home with portraits of moustached men in kilts and plaid carpets, it’s the kind of place you want to be photographed in. Sadly, that’s not possible because picture-taking isn’t allowed but that just adds to the charm of this peaceful hotel that also has a private members’ club feel and sun terrace to match.
Like your hotels clad floor-to-ceiling with gadgets? Then the Almanac is for you. This smart boutique hotel hasn’t been around long but is already well-respected in Barcelona. Designer Jaime Beriestain (a big fish in these parts) has used a wealth of textures with gold hues and oak and walnut finishes to create a sense of James Bond sophistication this hotel. If that’s not enough to tempt you in, there’s also a shallow rooftop pool, a fine Mediterranean brasserie and yoga classes.
Ernest Hemmingway, Joan Míro and The Beatles all spent some time at El Avenida Palace – not at the same time, of course. And it’s unlikely that, other than a few interior touch-ups and the addition of a rooftop pool, much has changed since. The luxury hotel is draped in old-world Catalan charm and comes with likeable staff who remember your name, traditional Spanish rooms, and the best golden staircases you’ll ever see.
If ever there was a saying “never judge a hotel by its exterior” Hotel Arts Barcelona would be the justification as to why. The outer shell looks more corporate than arty, but the interiors are lovely. Imagine a sweet botanical aroma and kind staff who welcome you like family. The decor is unfussy, the restaurant has two Michelin stars, and it’s close enough to the beach that you could sling a cocktail garnish into the sea from the hotel’s pool area.
If you’re looking for a high-end hotel in the artsy El Born neighbourhood, you can’t do much better than The EDITION Barcelona. Rooms here are fit for Hollywood stars, and come packed with gadgets, bespoke Gaudí-inspired furniture and mood lighting – making them hard to leave. The hotel is a Marriott/Ian Schrager (founder of famous NY nightclub Studio 54) collaboration, so it has been designed to entertain its punters. There’s also a Boardwalk Empire-style underground cabaret club, a London-esque speakeasy and a rooftop pool bar that hosts parties every week during summer.