Barcelona, Spain

Planning a trip to Barcelona? The capital of Catalonia is one of the most exciting cities in the world. The location! It’s in between the Collserola mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. The architecture! Between the Gothic and the Modernista buildings, every block is a surprise. The culture! The museums, the shopping, the food, the beaches, etc. There’s only one thing you’re missing: a hotel that’s as cool as the rest of the city.

Photo: Casa Camper Barcelona
Photo: Casa Camper Barcelona

Are you in to modern and quirky? If so, Casa Camper is the hotel for you. Behind a 19th-century Gothic façade, you’ll find a green hotel that’s open and minimal. The lobby is full of artwork and bicycles. Free snacks are always available. Your room, which faces a vertical hanging garden, has a mini lounge with a hammock and bright red accents. Dos Palillos is run by a former El Bulli chef. The Michelin-starred restaurant serves Asian tapas. And the hotel’s El Raval location—in between Las Ramblas and MACBA, the Museum of Contemporary Art—means you’re steps away from Plaça de Catalunya, La Boqueria market, Gran Teatre del Liceu, and dozens of galleries.

Photo: Grand Hotel Central
Photo: Grand Hotel Central

Is nightlife more your thing? There’s no better place to watch the sun set than the rooftop of the Grand Hotel Central. First, ease your jet-lagged muscles with a massage in the Wellness Suite. Or move from the steam sauna to the dry sauna to a cold shower to the relaxation room in the Thermal Suite. Get acquainted with Catalan cuisine at Ávalon. You’ll definitely return again for the black sesame-crusted langoustines. Then head up to the infinity pool that overlooks El Born’s ancient city walls and the Barcelona Cathedral. The Sky Bar has live music and killer cocktails. And, at the end of the night, your calm, neutral-hued room is just downstairs.

Photo: Alma Barcelona
Photo: Alma Barcelona

Or are you looking to splurge? Alma Barcelona is a sleek, peaceful oasis within the hectic city. The light-filled space has gray walls, hardwood floors, and a sculptural staircase. That’s just the lobby, where you’re welcomed with a glass of Cava. Your minimal room has a finger print-activated door, a complimentary mini bar, and a view of Gaudi’s La Pedrera building. There are plenty of places to relax outside of your room, too. Swim in the lap pool. Sip a kiwi Bellini on the rooftop terrace. Find a quiet spot in the shady garden. Eat Dover sole à la meunière for lunch at the restaurant. Cap off the meal with homemade limoncello. And then go explore all of Gaudi’s creations—Casa Batlló, Sagrada Familia, and Park Güell—nearby.

Now you can focus on the rest of your Barcelona plans. Or wing it. Since you already have a great hotel, the rest of your trip will start to fall into place.

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