Cosmopolitan, forward-thinking and ground-breaking, Barcelona is a city that never takes its finger off the pulse; its vivacious heart rarely skips a beat. Yet with all its innovation and modernity, the capital of Catalonia is proudly enriched with a long and vivid past. Art, architecture and avant-gardism are what many come to marvel at in this Catalan ciudad. The hotels in the city echo this unique personality, especially the ones at the higher end of the price range, so should definitely be experienced if your budget allows. Here we have selected the top five luxury boutique hotels in Barcelona.
Set right in the heart of the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, sidled up next to the Cathedral of Santa Eulalia on a medieval side street, typifying the concept of ‘hidden gem’. This dramatically-designed hotel is housed in an 18th Century palace and is classed as the first (and possibly the best) boutique hotel in the city. With understated luxury showering each of its 22 exclusive rooms, serenity and elegance adorn the hotel in abundance. Backing onto Plaça de Sant Felip Neri, quite possibly the most beautiful square in Barcelona, the plaça is paradoxically burdened with a heart-rending past you might just want to discover…
Say hola to classic Catalan cool in this former department store and once palace of the first Count of Barcelona. The neoclassical façade, designed by surrealist Frederic Amat, is bejewelled with hundreds of eyes on stalks and once inside, the interiors are all monochrome chic and minimalistic cool. Centrally located for some splendorous sightseeing, the location is as good as it gets. Once you’ve rambled down Las Ramblas, saunter back to Ohla to indulge in some rooftop time, relaxing in the glass-sided pool which overlooks the best sights of the city.
Photo credit: Marco Pastori
Built as an afterthought to accompany the Michelin-star restaurant, in no way, shape or form does this intimate hotel fail to impress. Situated at the northern edge of Barcelona, on Avinguda Tibidabo, this is the seriously swanky residential area where the Bourgeoisie built their palaces. A Hermés welcome pack on arrival, Jacuzzis with chromotherapy (that’s light therapy which apparently balances your energy, if you didn’t know), remote control curtains, and the comfiest Treca de Paris mattress you’ll ever experience – ABaC takes luxury to new levels.
Within walking distance of Las Ramblas, in the Eixample district, step into this calming and contemporary hotel and escape the buzz of Barcelona for a while. In harmony with the Moderniste architecture of Rambla de Catalunya, the proximity to Gaudi’s monuments is effortless and the designer shopping on this street is notorious. The insides by British interior design goddess Kelly Hoppen are all neutral hues, sensual textiles and understated furniture setting the scene for a sleek stay in this chic boutique hotel. A place you’ll want to be seen, cue sunglasses – if anything, for the sunlight that gushes in through the sizeable bay windows.
Primero Primera is unlike most other hotels in town, distinct for being a family-run affair, which adds a homely appeal that no other luxury hotel can boast. Built in 1955, hints of fifties glamour still live on through black and white photography adorning the walls, well-thumbed books lining the retro bookcases, and the 2011 renovation was careful to preserve the integrity of the original building. Residing in Tres Torres, a quiet residential area, the hotel is tranquil and discreet; so discreet, in fact, that on arrival you’ll be making your way through the garage to the entrance. Primero Primera offers a personal touch that is often rare to find in a bustling city.
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Category: Luxury Travel