Barcelona is home to some of Europe’s best boutique hotels, which you can find scattered across the city, from the lively Gothic Quarter to the affluent Grácia neighbourhood. There are hotels designed for oenophiles, those with secret bars and nightclubs, and others with Mid-Century furniture.
Hotel Praktik Vinoteca
Hotel Praktik Vinoteca has a wine theme throughout | Courtesy of Hotel Praktik Vinoteca / Hotels.com
This centrally located boutique hotel in Barcelona is completely devoted to wine and has 900 bottles lining the walls of the lobby. One of five themed boutique hotels in the city by Praktik, Vinoteca 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.
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 outside the windows (both of which are also visible from the Goja Rooftop Experience). 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 a few Gaudí landmarks.
This boutique design hotel in Barcelona’s L’Eixample neighbourhood has a colourful retro design. Room Mate Carla’s lobby is an elegant affair with lots of gold 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 here 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.
Right in the thick of Barcelona’s action is the four-star Hotel Pulitzer. Set in a 19th-century building, this well-designed boutique hotel lies near Plaça de Catalunya and is within walking distance of some of the city’s most famous attractions, including Gaudí’s 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 its tree-strewn terrace hosts regular live music and DJs in summer. Most rooms here are stylishly finished, with neutral hues and abstract art scattered on the walls, while bathrooms don bright turquoise tiles.
Vintage telephones, retro record players and a green Vespa scooter are all part of the scenery at Retrome, which feels more like a Mad Men set than a boutique hotel. Inspired by the ’60s and ’70s, all 15 rooms have been individually designed with unique patterns and antique furniture – they also have smart TVs so that you’re not entirely lost to another era. The hotel also happens to be right on the doorstep of some of Gaudí’s architectural wonders and the grandiose Teatre Tívoli.
With an Art Deco-style reception and restaurant, an industrial-chic common room, homely rustic dining areas, a trendy speakeasy-type basement event space and cosy rooms, Casa Gracia Barcelona has it all. There’s always something to do here, with the weekly programme including yoga, walking tours, tapas tours, live music, quiz nights and much more. Rooms range from six-person dorms (with the option of bunks or no bunks) to private rooms with balconies, and 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, you can head downstairs to the restaurant La Paisana.
The Mercer Hotel is a pocket of tranquillity in the centre of Barcelona’s lively Gothic Quarter. Built on an ancient Roman wall, this 28-room, five-star boutique hotel offers pure, unadulterated luxury in a near-silent setting. Spanish architect Rafael Moneo successfully 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 hang-out, Els Quatre Gats. The highlights at this boutique hotel, however, are its rooftop pool and quality breakfast served on a patio scattered with orange trees.
Chic and Basic Velvet has a beach-themed terrace | Courtesy of Chic and Basic Velvet / Hotels.com
With a mirrored hallway reflecting soft lamplight and multiple plants, the reception of Chic and Basic Velvet has a warm atmosphere, while the rest of the hotel echoes the feel of an Art Deco theatre with modern updates. There’s even a screening room playing old movies, and the hotel regularly hosts 20-minute theatre performances for its neighbours on Wednesdays and Thursdays – maintaining a good connection with Barcelona residents is important to the hotel. Located in L’Eixample, the hotel offers great views of Montjuïc and the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya – especially from the beach-themed terrace, which has outdoor showers and plush towels.
Just a 10-minute walk from the sprawling Ciutadella Park is Yurbban Passage Hotel and Spa. Located in a former textile factory, the hotel has free-to-use yoga mats in each of its 60 rooms, a photo booth in the lobby and eco-friendly cardboard coat hangers – but that’s not all. This uber-cool boutique hotel also has a rooftop pool and open-plan seating area, as well as 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 chef.
Marriott and Ian Schrager (co-founder of New York’s infamous Studio 54) came together to create a string of high-end hotels for people who seek entertainment as well as a quiet place to stay. 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. Regular cabaret parties take place here, as well as weekly rooftop DJ sessions in summer. While the atmosphere here is relaxed, the decor is sleek, from its tech-rich rooms with ambient lighting and abstract furniture inspired by Gaudí to its handcrafted, spiralling Art Deco staircase.
Housed in an ornate 19th-century building, H10 Casa Mimosa sits in Barcelona’s 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 Sagrada Família is around 15 minutes away on foot. Inside the hotel, there’s an internal patio lined with palm trees and complete with a shallow dipping pool – ideal for escaping Barcelona’s packed streets. There’s also a rooftop pool offering city views and a chill-out area perfect for sundowners.
This hotel offers Barcelona’s ultra-hip residents somewhere to hang out and gives travellers a familiar place to stay in the Catalonian 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’s 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 lies in Barcelona’s Gràcia neighbourhood. The tech-laden boutique hotel, which opened in February 2018, was expertly 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, TV, etc), while the decor throughout the rest of 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.