With the arrival of spring, Barcelona’s high season is just starting to ramp up. Things kicked off with Semana Santa (Holy Week) celebrations, and followed by Sant Jordi Day—Catalonia’s version of Valentine’s Day—on April 23. It’s a great time to visit the city: temps are mild, trees are in bloom, and there are sunny days aplenty—plus you can avoid the crush of the summer crowds. These three recently opened boutique stays all make the perfect base for exploring the Catalan capital.
This new luxury hotel brand opened its first property in Barcelona in February 2018, with plans to expand in Vienna, Prague, and Budapest over the next two years. The location is excellent, just a block off the swanky shopping boulevard of Passeig de Gracia and a short walk to Plaça de Catalunya and the iconic Las Ramblas.
The sleek façade is complemented by an equally stylish interior, exuding a modern-meets-Art Deco vibe courtesy of local designer Jaime Beriestain. The soaring lobby features striped marble floors, glossy black columns, mirrored ceilings, a huge circular chandelier and a gorgeous central staircase curving upward.
The 61 rooms and 30 suites are decorated in a sophisticated, neutral palette of taupes and grays, with warm wood furnishings and brass accents. Most have large bay windows kitted out with built-in seating, which makes a comfy nook to relax and look out over the bustling Gran Via de les Cortes Catalanes below; some also have small balconies. The suites boast roomy living areas outfitted with contemporary furniture, plush carpeting and bespoke artwork, along with spacious terraces. White marble bathrooms are equipped with rainforest showers and cozy robes; if you are craving a bathtub, you will need to book a suite.
FOOD & DRINK:
The ground floor Linia restaurant offers a mix of Mediterranean fare and Catalan specialties and the bright space is designed with floor-to-ceiling windows that look out on the Gran Via. Breakfast (included in the room rate) features a buffet of pastries, cheeses, bread and yogurt; you can also order hot dishes from the menu. But the real action is at the rooftop Azimuth, a glass-enclosed bar with a spacious wraparound terrace. The wine list includes local varietals, as well as a number of Austrian and German wines by the glass (a rarity in Barcelona). The cocktail menu is well-conceived and counts a particularly good gin & tonic selection; try the Atlantic, a mix of Galician Nordés gin, green grapes, dehydrated lime, and Le Tribute tonic water. On weekends, local DJs spin tunes and the outdoor tables and cushy white sofas fill up with locals drinking, chatting, and admiring the towers of La Sagrada Familia in the distance.
There’s a small rooftop pool and sun lounge with great views over Barcelona, as well as a gym with treadmills, elliptical machines, bicycles, and free weights, plus a sauna and steam room. Wi-Fi is fast and free.
Learn More: https://www.almanachotels.com/barcelona
The first mainland Europe outpost of Ian Schrager’s swanky lifestyle brand is set in Barcelona’s hip El Born district, filled with trendy restaurants, bars and boutiques alongside charming medieval squares. Opened in September 2018, the hotel is next door to the colorful Santa Catarina Market, and only a stone’s throw from the iconic Barcelona Cathedral.
Carlos Ferrater Studio transformed a staid former office building into a five-star property, which features a striking dark-gray façade punctuated by jutting angled windows. Spain’s Lázaro Rosa-Violán was responsible for the interiors, including the petite but impressive lobby, with a double-height ceiling, walnut floors and paneling, reproduction Dalí chairs, and an eye-catching orb-shaped chandelier by French designer Eric Schmitt.
The 100 rooms stretch across nine floors, and range from cozy rooms (at 258 square feet) to two sprawling penthouse suites replete with enormous terraces. All feature herringbone parquet floors, walnut paneling, and king-sized beds with custom leather headboards and luxury Anichini linens. Superior and deluxe rooms have cozy built-in window seats with city views. (It goes without saying that the higher the floor, the better the view, but be sure to keep the shades closed against the relentless Barcelona sun.) Bathrooms are on the smaller side and are separated from the sleeping area by sliding wood-shutter panels; they feature large rainforest showers (suites offer oversized soaking tubs) and signature Le Labo products.
FOOD & DRINK:
The ground floor Bar Veraz (where breakfast, for an additional fee, is served) is perfectly serviceable, but the Edition is really all about the rooftop bar. Simply named The Roof, the 10th-floor indoor/outdoor space offers jaw-dropping, nearly 360-degree city vistas (it’s one of the tallest buildings in the neighborhood). Settle in at a table or sprawl on one of the daybeds surrounded by greenery and soak up views of the surrounding red-tiled roofs of El Born, Jean Nouvel’s curiously shaped Torre Glòries, La Sagrada Familia, and the mountains and sea in the distance. The ornate spires of the Barcelona Cathedral look close enough to reach out and touch. There’s a nice list of local and French wines, a short cocktail menu and several sakes by the glass.
Evenings, head to the hotel’s Punch Room, at the top of a (very Instagrammable) spiraling marble staircase and hidden behind a wood door. The speakeasy-style bar—dimly lit and outfitted with leather armchairs, a fireplace, and a billiards table—pours tasty (if pricey) cocktails and specialty punch. It gets particularly busy in the wee hours (staying open until 3am on weekends) and attracts a young, fashionable local crowd.
The hotel’s third bar, the underground Cabaret, is billed as a late-night supper club; open Thursday to Saturday from 9pm and requiring reservations, it’s still finding its feet and perhaps best left to those seeking more experimental entertainment.
There is a small gym with free weights and cardiovascular machines, a saltwater plunge pool on the roof, and free Wi-fi throughout the hotel.
Learn More: https://www.editionhotels.com/barcelona
Sir Hotels is a quirky boutique chain that started in Amsterdam; it has six properties in the Netherlands, Berlin, Ibiza, and now Barcelona. Situated just off the Passeig de Gracia, Sir Victor is named after the female Catalan writer Víctor Català, a penname adopted by Caterina Albert i Paradís. Formerly the Hotel Omm, it was recently renovated and reopened in late February 2019. While the rooms are finished, most of the common areas (including the lobby, restaurant, and bar) are still being worked on and are slated to be completed in May.
The 91 rooms are simple, but elegantly decorated with wood floors, modern furnishings in soothing gray and beige tones, and works by contemporary Catalan artists on the walls. In homage to the hotel’s namesake, Víctor Català, rooms are stocked with a small library of mostly women authors. There are multiple room categories, starting with the Sir Petite interior rooms; you will want to spring for at least one category up and book one with a private balcony. The suites feature canopy beds, separate living areas and freestanding bathtubs; some rooms directly overlook Passeig de Gracia, while those at the back look out over the interior garden.
FOOD & DRINK:
A sprawling rooftop bar is currently only open to guests; that will change in the coming months, and with its amazing views of Gaudi’s Casa Mila rooftop, it’s sure to get quite busy. The restaurant and bar, Mr. Porter, is slated to have a steakhouse theme.
Unlike many boutique hotels in the city, Sir Victor boasts a spa—and a spacious one at that. Along with six treatment rooms, including one dedicated to Thai massage, there is a large jacuzzi, hammam and sauna. There is also a salon (operated independently of the hotel). The spa menu is still being determined.
On the mezzanine level, a quiet, glassed-in library welcomes lounging and reading; and will eventually host music and literature events. As an added bonus, there is also a nice-sized rooftop pool and a windowed gym directly overlooking Passeig de Gracia.