Barcelona is one of the world’s most visited cities, and its tourism boom back in 2016 brought with it a rise in accommodation options across the board, from the new breed of savvy youth hostels to skyscraping business hotels.
But where it really excels is in that particular combination of quirky and stylish that encapsulates the spirit of the city itself and needn’t always break the bank.
Here’s the pick of Barcelona’s best boutique hotels.
The best boutique hotels in Barcelona are:
- Best for romance: The Wittmore, Booking.com
- Best for dining: Sir Victor, Booking.com
- Best for a sea view: Little Beach House, Sohohouse.com
- Best for modernism: Anakena House, Expedia.com
- Best for bargain chic: Hotel Market, Booking.com
- Best for history: Mercer Hotel, Booking.com
- Best for quiet luxury: Hotel Neri, Booking.com
- Best for seventies vibes: Room-Mate Carla, Booking.com
- Best for shopping: Hotel Jazz, Booking.com
- Best for quirky design: Praktik Garden, Booking.com
Neighbourhood: Barri Gòtic
Hidden away down the smallest alleyway imaginable, this adults-only hotel has a cosy country-house feel, with a roaring log fire and stacks of board games in the library, and vintage touches in the bedrooms, such as old-school dial telephones and porcelain rotary light switches. Rooms face the internal light well, which does mean there’s no view to speak of – but there’s a roof terrace with a diminutive pool and a vista over the Old City.
Price: Doubles from €335 (£286)
The newest addition to Barcelona’s stable of design hotels, Sir Victor soothes the soul with its rich, deep colours and the plants, books and artworks that enliven the public spaces. Staff can organise design, music, food and photography tours for guests, or you might choose to freeze your troubles away in a spa so cutting-edge it includes a cryochamber. Perhaps its greatest asset, however, is the Mr Porter restaurant, which serves up possibly the greatest steaks in town (and some of the spiciest sides).
Price: Doubles from €347 (£296)
Not strictly speaking in Barcelona, the Beach House is an easy 45-minute train ride away, south of the city and close to the whitewashed seaside party town of Sitges. Belonging to the Soho House group, it sits in a quiet and unspoilt bay, with a simple, pretty design of pastels, plants and wicker that reflects both its location and a determination to avoid the networking buzz of the mothership – this is a place to kick back and listen to the waves (there is a ban on mobiles and laptops in the common areas). But note: you have to be a member of the Soho House Group before you can book a room.
Price: Doubles from €135 (£123)
Anakena House is an elegant converted Eixample apartment with typically modernist flourishes, from the patterned hydraulic floor tiles to the sinuous door handles. There are only eight rooms, so this isn’t a place for party people, despite its location at the heart of Barcelona’s genteel equivalent of the Castro district. Rather it’s a place to experience how the other half still live, since it feels very much like being in someone’s rather grand home.
Price: Doubles from €120 (£109)
Neighbourhood: Sant Antoni
Named after the revamped Mercat de Sant Antoni – a food market that takes up the adjacent block – this is an excellent budget option close to Barcelona’s hippest area for wining and dining. Creaky floorboards, red lacquered cabinets and stone sinks are all enjoyably kooky for a budget three-star, and the restaurant is supremely elegant (the food less so, but you can’t argue with these prices). The bar is a relaxing place to hang out with a G&T after a day’s sightseeing, and the addition of terrace tables on a quiet pedestrian street is a welcome one.
Price: Doubles from €141 (£121)
Neighbourhood: Barri Gòtic
Situated in a medieval building fused into a section of the Roman city wall, the luxurious Mercer is a huge favourite with history buffs (ask if you can see the centuries-old frescoes in a private dining room built inside the former defence tower). The hotel’s crowning glory, however, is the roof garden with plunge pool – a small and quiet oasis filled with flowers and fragrant herbs.
Price: Doubles from €462 (£394)
Neighbourhood: Barri Gòtic
Close to the cathedral, but hidden from the crowds down a narrow sidestreet, the Neri is the prototype boutique, with only 22 rooms but immaculate levels of service and a superb restaurant. Closely embedded as it is in the medieval fabric of the Gothic quarter, it doesn’t have much by way of views, but rooms are kept bright with a cream colour scheme and high ceilings. The plant-filled rooftop area is beautifully peaceful for somewhere so central.
Price: Doubles from €358 (£306)
This former apartment block, a short walk from some of Gaudí’s finest buildings, blends elegant turn-of-the-century architecture, high ceilings and original features with exuberant seventies-inspired wall designs and bold-coloured bedspreads and cushions. It’s low on facilities but does incorporate a small gym and computer for guests’ use, and the patio is a peaceful place to work or read.
Price: Doubles from €142 (£121)
The Hotel Jazz could not be more central, located just off Plaça Catalunya and close to all the main shopping arteries. It’s a stylish gem for its price point, not to mention friendly. Jazz floats around the lobby, corridors and up on the sundeck, where you’ll find a surprisingly wide pool, along with plenty of loungers. Decor is vaguely jazz-themed, with pinstripe fabric and a monochrome aesthetic.
Price: Doubles from €196 (£167)
Floor-to-ceiling vintage-style circus posters transform corridors into tunnels of colour, and complement the colourful book-lined reception area. Rooms are a little more sober, but have smart, navy-tiled bathrooms and an abundance of mismatched artworks. A small garden off the sitting area gives the hotel its name, and is an unexpected perk for a hotel of this size.
Price: Doubles from €125 (£107)
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