barcelona-architectural-building

The Catalan capital in north-eastern Spain is rich with historic sites and classic tourist activities.

For fabled architecture, trace Gaudí’s genius as you stroll L’Eixample, past the Casa Milà and the Casa Batlló, and continue down La Rambla to the dazzling Palau Güell. Marvel at the continuing construction of the Sagrada Família, 130 years and counting, and admire the resplendent stained-glass windows and soaring arches.

Ponder the works of Picasso and Miró and chase down with sunset drinks on a panoramic terrace. With sun-drenched beaches, selecting a patch of sand on which to bronze, can be a day-long activity. Alternatively, browse the centuries-old Boqueria market for flavourful seafood and market-fresh produce. Feast on hearty paella or Basque-style tapas bars and as darkness falls take in rapid-fire rhythms of flamenco and a buzzing nightlife rejuvenating outlying neighbourhoods.

Bed & Break

Before Airbnb there were just straight B&Bs and this is one of them. Bed & Break is made up of nine rooms set over two floors in a modernist residential building typical of Barcelona, close to Passeig de Gràcia (prime location). All rooms have high ceilings, design details and comfortable beds, but you do get what you pay for – the €85 per night rooms have very little natural light and are a tad musty. It’s a B&B experience – there’s no lift, some bathrooms have handheld showers and you’ll have to arrange check-in time with the owner Ivan – but it has the attention to design detail you might expect from a small boutique hotel. Positives include a daily cleaning service and a kitchen stocked with all the basics. Book through Chateaux Hotels.

Casa Bonay

Housed within a sun washed 1869 mansion in Dreta de l’Eixample, Casa Bonay presents an authentic portrait of Barcelona by showcasing local brands and promoting homegrown talent. It’s a hotel but there’s also a coffee roaster, independent book store, 24-hour shop, rooftop chiringuito and a two-in-one restaurant all under one roof. You’ll also find a garden terrace with a series of outdoor showers and hammocks. The hotel’s founder, Inés Miró-Sans, worked for the Ace Hotel group for three years and there are design-led nods to her time there, such as the bar and lounge named Libertine, which is painted a deep shade of green with dimmed lighting, a black concrete floor and a scattering of rattan chairs. With a cosy living-room feel, come night you’re just as likely to find one of the hotel’s 70-year-old neighbours sipping on a strong cocktail as you are a millennial tourist. For late night frolicking, head next door to hotel’s brand new club, Nice.

  • +34 9354 5805 0
  • Go to Website
  • Gran Via de Les Corts Catalanes 700
    08010

Hotel Brummell

Located in the hillside hood of Poble-sec, Hotel Brummell is part of a neighbourhood revamp that has seen trendy bars and restaurants crop up in the area. The hotel’s sleek and minimalist design features a metal staircase which zigzags down the back of the property beside a pool deck housing a rooftop pool surrounded by sun beds and yellow parasols. There’s a running club, a yoga studio and a list of local recommendations given to guests daily – Brummell might not look anything like the family homes that surround it, but it remains a spot with strong ties to the community.

  • +34 9312 58622
  • Go to Website
  • Carrer Nou de la Rambla 174
    Barcelona
    08004

Margot House

Despite being in one of Barcelona’s prime locations – bang in the middle of Passeig de Gràcia and directly opposite Gaudí’s Casa Batlló – Margot House doesn’t shout about it. Hidden on the first floor of a residential building, this hotel was named after Margot Tenenbaum and is every bit as cool as the Wes Anderson character. Made up of nine rooms and a large open-plan communal space with a living room, dining area, honesty bar and kitchen (for tea, coffee and cakes) the hotel feels like home. And we wish it was – with materials like raw concrete, light-hued wood and marble table tops, the Scandi and Japanese-style design couldn’t be more appealing. Splashes of colour come in the form of wild flowers and hanging plants.

Mercer Hotel

Tucked between the winding narrow streets of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter and built into the ancient Roman walls that once enclosed the city, the Mercer combines the neighbourhood’s medieval heritage with minimalist style. While first-century columns and restored frescoes have been updated by Spanish architect Rafael Moneo, a glass-walled courtyard, orb-like lights and a colourful 70s-style bar create a contemporary vibe. This is an adult hideaway with old-school service to match – expect a turndown service with locally made chocolates and the next day’s weather forecast on your pillow.

Mandarin Oriental

We probably don’t need to tell you that the Mandarin Oriental is an opulent option which comes with a hefty price tag. What we will tell you, however, is that the Mandarin Oriental in Barcelona has one of the best rooftops in the city, with a priceless view over the Sagrada Família church and Gaudi’s Casa Batlló. The rooms are classic and chic with lots of natural light flooding in (a big plus in Barcelona) and a private terrace or balcony in each. The communal spaces are where the Mandarin outdoes others. Glamorous and stylish, the hotel incorporates Gaudí’s gothic style into the heart of its design.

  • +34 9315 18888
  • Go to Website
  • 40 Passeig de Gràcia 38
    Barcelona
    08007

Soho House Barcelona

This long awaited outpost of Nick Jones’s illustrious members club opened its doors in 2016 and houses the usual luxuries of a vintage style gym, rooftop pool and bijou velvet cinema – all open to both members and hotel guests. The 57 bedrooms combine the brand’s signature cosy luxury with a stylish Catalan flair, felt in the original mosaic floors and vaulted, red brick ceilings. Make sure to take advantage of the Sunday Feast brunch at the on-site Cecconi’s restaurant – with everything from oysters to crispy suckling pig, it’s an indulgence which cannot be missed.

  • +34 932 20 46 00
  • Go to Website
  • 4 Plaça del Duc de Medinaceli
    Barcelona
    08002

Cotton House Hotel

With a shimmering rooftop pool, stately library and on-site shirt tailoring service, this former Textiles Factory has many luxurious touches. But it is the majestic entrance hall which really sets it apart. Two contrasting staircases, one an imposing white marble, the other a contemporary spiral suspended from 6 floors above, set the tone for the hotel’s perfect blend of 19th century Catalan bourgeois and modern opulence. The 83 rooms range from modest to massive and offer easy access to the Batuar restaurant and lush patio terrace.

  • +34 93 450 5045
  • Go to Website
  • 670 Gran Via de les Ports Catalanes
    Barcelona
    08010

Prakitk Bakery

It may seem like the stuff of childhood dreams, but at this hip hotel you really can wake up in a bakery, thanks to Praktik Hotels’ genius collaboration with Barcelona bread legends, Baluard. Breakfast on buttery brioche and glistening piles of pastries, while watching the kneading and folding action through one of the giant kitchen windows. While the rooms are petite, the beds are huge – allowing you a solid kip before making the most of the hotel’s enviable central location just off Paseig de Gracia.

  • +34 934 88 00 61
  • Go to Website
  • Carrer de Provença 279
    Barcelona
    08037

Hotel Pulitzer

The white leather sofas and parquet floors of Pulitzer’s lobby ooze city chic, accentuated by the slick bunch of Brompton bicycles standing to attention by the door. The hotel attracts a surprisingly cool clientele for somewhere with such proximity to the tourist trappings of Las Ramblas, with the rooftop bar overflowing with both discerning locals and well-heeled tourists. Join the Instagram set for dinner among the palms of the frondy Greenhouse restaurant, or pop next door to La Esquina for a cosy weekend brunch.

Bed & Break

Casa Bonay

Hotel Brummell

Margot House

Mercer Hotel

Mandarin Oriental

Soho House Barcelona

Cotton House Hotel

Praktik Bakery

Hotel Pulitzer

You May Also Like

City Guides

You know how you have that one incredible friend who knows their city inside out? Yeah, that’s us. We take the world’s most dynamic destinations, hand-pick the best parts and give them to you in one place. This is the kind of guide that you don’t need to run by a local. Eat your heart out, shop ‘til you drop, drink like a fish, dance your socks off, sleep – then repeat.

Bundles

Enliven your senses through travel. Get stuck in to the culinary delights of Tokyo, explore the modern-art scene in Marrakech, dance the night away in Jaipur and listen to the beat in Ghana in the new Magazine Bundle, Senses.

Download Suitcase App
Learn More