One corner of Barcelona’s Eixample-Esquerra neighbourhood has been nicknamed ‘Gayxample’. While it’s not the only diverse community in the city, the district is certainly full of numerous gay bars, clubs and welcoming hotels. From stylish options with pools to self-catered suites, these hotels are happy to cater to the LGBTQ community and offer access to hip queer spots both in Gayxample and all across Barcelona.
Axel Hotel is situated in Barcelona’s gay quarter, Eixample | Courtesy of Axel Hotel/Hotels.com
Axel Hotel is one of the most well-known options for gay travellers to the city. A trendy and stylish hotel, Axel classifies itself not as gay-friendly, but as hetero-friendly, because the gay community is their first priority. It’s situated in the Eixample Esquerra neighbourhood, close to a number of gay and LGBTQ venues in the area. The hotel itself features beautiful Modernista touches and a bright, bold design. Rooms are luxurious and stylish, while the rooftop Sky Bar is both sophisticated and fun. There’s also a wellness centre and a gourmet Nikkei fusion restaurant on the premises.
Also located in the Gayxample area of the city, Hotel Cram is modern and minimalistic in its design. Situated in a gorgeous Modernista building, the interior is sophisticated and decked out in a wine red and cream colour scheme. One of the highlights is the Angle Restaurant, which has one Michelin star and is headed up by celebrity chef, Jordi Cruz. It also has a rooftop terrace with panoramic views over the Barcelona skyline, a swimming pool and a buffet area for breakfast.
The Hotel Pulitzer sits right on the corner of Plaça Catalunya, at the very centre of the city. This hip hotel is registered with the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) and offers stylish contemporary rooms with bright aqua blue-coloured bathrooms. The highlight of the hotel, though, is the leafy roof terrace, which is a great space to party. Here, you can enjoy sets by some of Barcelona’s best club DJs every Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, as well as a tasty array of drinks. The hotel also offers great services such as personal training, yoga, in-room massages and bicycle rental.
The Renaissance Hotel sits directly in Eixample and is also registered with the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA). The hotel provides a welcoming environment with ‘Navigators’ who give local tips about the city. There’s also the Goja rooftop bar with sweeping views of the city and a sleek party atmosphere, often hosting DJs and tastings in the evenings. Some of the premium rooms are perfect for groups, with additional pull-out sofa beds or are great for solo travelling with shower walls that can be made translucent or opaque depending on your preferences.
The four-star Acevi Villarroel is situated just two blocks from the Axel Hotel, also within the heart of Gayxample. It features a classic design with wood panels, polished wooden floors and light-coloured walls. What makes it an ideal base, though, are the wide range of facilities on offer, including a minimalist restaurant, a fully equipped gym, and the patio garden with outdoor swimming pool. There’s also a luxurious spa to unwind and relax.
Axel’s second hotel in Barcelona has a similar concept to the first, in that it primarily caters to the queer community, but markets itself as hetero-friendly. Located in the Sant Antoni neighbourhood, it’s close to the newly revamped Sant Antoni market, as well as several excellent restaurants and bars. It also lies within walking distance to numerous LGBTQ bars. Each of its 87 rooms is stylish, yet understated, and offers high-quality comfort and all the latest mod cons. Up on the rooftop, guests can enjoy the party-like atmosphere of the terrace and outdoor pool.
Situated in the Eixample area, The Corner Hotel features trendy cosmopolitan design, which is functional, yet cosy. Hipsters will feel right at home here with the exposed brick walls, original architectural touches and cool industrial design. A trendy bar, roof terrace with swimming pool and buffet breakfast room complete the list of facilities.
Located between Plaza España and Plaza Universitat, the Hotel Soho Barcelona is a great mid-range option with smart modern rooms and minimalistic design. Facilities include a rooftop pool and terrace area, open during the summer months. The hotel offers its own LGBTQ-focused walking route, which provides suggestions of various LGBTQ-friendly venues you can visit nearby.
The Ako Suite Hotel proudly posts about their LGBTQ-friendly suites. The rooms can sleep between one and four adults, meaning it’s ideal if you’re travelling with a group of friends. As well as all the usual facilities of a hotel room, Ako features lounge areas with sofa beds, kitchenettes and dining areas. Decked in soft muted tones with clean lines, they’re both spacious and relaxing. Facilities also include a rooftop pool and solarium.
The famous W Hotel rises high on the Barcelona skyline and its unique sail-like shape can be seen for miles, all the way down the coast. It, too, is registered with the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA). Sitting right next to the beach, this is an ideal option for sunseekers and water-lovers. Rooms are colourful, bright and modern, and offer some of the best views of any hotel in the city. You won’t be short of services or activities here either, with three restaurants, three bars, a gym, spa and outdoor pool. If you’re here in summer, look out for the wet deck electronica live music sessions by the pool every Friday night.