The Best Boutique Hotels in Barcelona, Spain

Relax at a boutique hotel after a day of exploring Barcelona
Relax at a boutique hotel after a day of exploring Barcelona | © JOHN KELLERMAN / Alamy Stock Photo
Adam David Turner

The boutique hotels of Barcelona have an intimidating architectural lineage. This is the city of Gaudí’s La Sagrada Familia and Casa Milà, the dreamy, medieval streets of the Gothic Quarter and a cathedral dedicated to the beautiful game, Camp Nou. Thankfully, they’re up to the challenge, doling out a mixture of stylish retreats in historic buildings and avant-garde getaways with Michelin star-level cuisine. A stay in Spain’s Catalan capital has never looked so good.

El Palace Barcelona

El Palace Barcelona opened its doors in 1919 as Barcelona’s first five-star hotel. Born the former Ritz of Barcelona, El Palace Barcelona embraces its rich heritage, blending timeless glamour with contemporary experiences, creating a truly elegant and memorable stay in one of the world’s most historic hotels. El Palace Barcelona is only moments from Passeig de Gràcia, the historic Gothic Quarter and home to some of the city’s most prestigious boutiques and restaurants.

The hotel is surrounded by prominent modernist buildings such as La Pedrera, Casa Batlló and La Boquería and is a stone’s through away from the city’s prominent cultural and tourist attractions including Plaza Catalunya, and the bustling Ramblas, allowing guests and visitors easy access to explore every aspect of Barcelona’s rich history. All 120 rooms and suites are designed in the hotel’s signature neoclassical-inspired style. Step into one of El Palace’s six signature Art Suites inspired by a former prominent guest artist and their artistic preference including painting, dance, architecture, literature, sculpture or music and you enter the worlds of Ronnie Wood, Salvador Dali, Joan Miro, and Josephine Baker.

From the 1500m2 Rooftop Garden & Terrace (one of the largest in Barcelona overlooking the Sagrada Familia), and Swimming Pool on the seventh floor, to Bluesman Cocktail Bar and Cigar Lounge, with its live music, renowned cocktails, and speak-easy inspired setting, to the hotel’s newest award-winning restaurant, Amar Barcelona in partnership with El Bulli alum, Rafa Zafra, and indulgent treatments in Luxury Mayan Spa, El Palace Barcelona is the perfect destination to soak up the culture and timeless majesty of Barcelona.

Hotel Bagues

A small yet perfectly cut gem on La Rambla, Hotel Bagues occupies the former headquarters of a prestigious 19th-century jewellery company. Behind the neo-classical facade is a sumptuous and eclectic fusion of buttoned leather seating, rosewood and Venetian glass. It’s the details that make this hotel sparkle, such as a fresh rose left for you on arrival, combined with great in-room tech and slate bathrooms. It’s all crowned by a rooftop terrace with plunge pool, cocktail-tapas bar, and cityscape vistas.

Hotel Neri

Opened in 2003, Hotel Neri was the first boutique hotel to open in the Gothic Quarter, and still remains one of the finest. Occupying two beautiful old buildings – one medieval the other 18th century – the hotel is replete with centuries-old features such as coffered ceilings and stone arches. It’s the artful integration of colourful contemporary interiors that really impresses, as well being home to ‘a’ – one of the best restaurants in the neighbourhood.

Ohla Barcelona

Scattered with ceramic eyeballs on stalks, the 19th-century facade of Ohla Hotel is an attention-grabber. The quirky avant-garde continues inside, with rows of ceramic faces welcoming you with smiles and grimaces as you enter. Behind all the artistic oddities, however, lies a seriously upscale hotel with smart rooms, gastronomy by a Michelin star-level chef, and cocktails by award-winning mixologists. What’s more, the rooftop terrace with a funky glass-walled pool has to be one of coolest in Barcelona.

Hotel Brummell

Located in the trendy El Poble-Sec on the southern fringes, Hotel Brummell offers a pleasing balance of urban and leafy. Besides the attractive facade, this 1870 building has been transformed with lots of polished concrete and plant-filled patios. There’s a real focus on wellness with healthy (and hearty) breakfast options as well as free yoga classes. It’s right next to the Parc Montjuic, great for jogging and walking, and the historic centre is still within walking distance. A rooftop pool awaits your return.

Hotel Praktik Vinoteca

Hotel Praktik Vinoteca has a wine theme throughout

This centrally located boutique is devoted to wine with 900 bottles lining the lobby walls. It also offers complimentary vino on arrival and wine tastings at an extra cost. There’s also an on-site sommelier with an encyclopaedic knowledge of Catalan wines, and an adorable patio where you can enjoy a tipple. Rooms at this inexpensive, three-star hotel are compact but neatly finished with crisp, white walls, crafted wooden headboards and wine-inspired art.

Renaissance Barcelona Hotel

The Renaissance Barcelona Hotel takes inspiration from the city it calls home

The Renaissance Barcelona Hotel embodies the city with specific design elements and Mediterranean inspirations. Rooms feature ocean blues and mountain golds that mimic the sea and Montjuïc just through the windows, both of which are also visible from the rooftop. There are also elements of Barcelona’s modernism movement in photographs, carpets and even the bedside lamps. Located next to Passeig de Gràcia, the hotel is in close proximity to Gaudí landmarks.

Room Mate Carla

Most rooms at Room Mate Carla feature bold ’70s-inspired murals

This design hotel in L’Eixample has a colourful retro design; the lobby is an elegant affair with golds and blues. Meanwhile, the breakfast area will have you feeling as if you’re in the middle of an emerald-coloured LEGO house. All 88 rooms are minimalistic, but most come with bold ’70s-style murals. Facilities include a small gym and meeting rooms, but the pull of this hotel is its eccentricity, location and price.

Hotel Pulitzer Barcelona

Right in the thick of the action is the four-star Hotel Pulitzer. Set in a 19th-century building, this well-designed boutique lies near Plaça de Catalunya and is within walking distance of Casa Batlló and Mercat de La Boqueria. The decor is reminiscent of a New York cocktail bar, with framed prints and dark-wood finishings, and a tree-strewn terrace hosts regular live music and DJs in the summer. Most rooms are stylishly finished, with neutral hues and abstract art scattered on the walls, while bathrooms don bright turquoise tiles.

Casa Gracia Barcelona

With an art deco styled reception and restaurant, an industrial-chic common room, homely rustic dining areas, a trendy speakeasy-type basement and cosy rooms, Casa Gracia Barcelona has it all. There’s always something to do, with the weekly programme including yoga, walking and tapas tours, live music, quiz nights and more. Rooms range from six-person dorms (with the option of bunks or no bunks) to private rooms with balconies; all 146 rooms have a private bathroom. The hotel also includes an open kitchen and dining room full of tarnished wood tables, so you can cook or partake in the Spanish breakfast buffet. Alternatively, head downstairs to the restaurant, La Paisana.

Mercer Hotel Barcelona

Mercer Hotel is a pocket of tranquillity in the centre of the lively Gothic Quarter. Built on an ancient Roman wall, this 28-room, five-star boutique hotel offers unadulterated luxury in a near-silent setting. Spanish architect Rafael Moneo wedded original features (high ceilings, exposed-brick walls and 12th-century paintings) with subtle contemporary finishes to create a special juxtaposition. Within walking distance is the Picasso Museum and restaurant and former artist hangout, Els Quatre Gats. The highlights at this boutique hotel, however, are the rooftop pool and quality breakfast served on a patio scattered with orange trees.

Yurbban Passage Hotel and Spa

Just a 10-minute walk from Ciutadella Park is Yurbban Passage. Located in a former textile factory, the hotel has free-to-use yoga mats in each of the 60 rooms, a photo booth in the lobby and eco-friendly cardboard coat hangers – but that’s not all. This cool boutique also has a rooftop pool and open-plan seating area, plus a relaxing underground spa. All rooms are cosy and minimalist in design, while the rest of the hotel has an industrial-boho look. The food isn’t too shabby either – if you’re into Catalan cuisine prepared by a Michelin star-level chef.

The Barcelona Edition

The Barcelona EDITION’s rooms offer sweeping views

The Barcelona Edition, opposite the Santa Caterina Market in the trendy El Born neighbourhood, is a five-star boutique hotel with an underground nightclub and speakeasy bar. It hosts regular cabaret parties, plus weekly rooftop DJ sessions in summer. While the atmosphere here is relaxed, the decor is sleek, from the tech-rich rooms with ambient lighting and Gaudí-inspired furniture to the handcrafted, spiralling art deco staircase.

H10 Casa Mimosa

H10 Casa Mimosa is steps away from Gaudí’s Casa Milà

Housed in an ornate 19th-century building, H10 Casa Mimosa sits in the quiet L’Eixample neighbourhood in the centre of the city. On the same block as the hotel, you’ll find Gaudí’s Casa Milà (or La Pedrera), while the towering La Sagrada Família is a 15-minute walk away. Inside the hotel there’s a patio lined with palm trees and a shallow dipping pool. There’s also a rooftop pool offering city views and a chill-out area for sundowners.

Soho House Barcelona

Soho House Barcelona

This hotel offers the ultra-hip residents of Barcelona somewhere to hang out and gives travellers a familiar place to stay in the Catalan capital (you don’t need to be a member to stay here). The facilities and services at Soho House Barcelona are probably its biggest selling point. It has a 36-seat theatre, a modern gym, a Cowshed spa and a year-round rooftop pool. The hotel rooms are intimate and decorated with floral curtains, brightly coloured vintage lamps and cosy textured throws. With the curtains shut, it feels like a posh B&B in the British countryside.

Almanac Barcelona

This tech-laden boutique hotel, which opened in February 2018, was designed by Jaime Beriestain to meet the needs of the modern-day traveller, blending 1920s charm with 21st-century efficiency. All 91 rooms come with a smartphone that controls all gadgets (lights, blinds and TV), while the decor throughout the building has an art deco feel, with marble walls, gold finishes and clever lighting. Along with 360-degree views of the city, Almanac’s rooftop also features a shallow pool.

Leon Beckenham and Tara Jessop contributed additional reporting to this article.

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