Exploring some of the Catalonian capital’s swankiest hotels
This is TLE’s guide to eight of the best luxury hotels in Barcelona is for those looking for a memorable stay in Spain’s second largest city.
Barcelona, one of the most-visited cities in Europe, is full of architectural gems, restaurants and bars – as well as 4km-long, man-made, sandy beach. And with a flight from London taking just over two hours, it’s the ideal city break.
So, whether you’re after a hotel with a serene rooftop pool or a tech-rich boutique, we’ve got you covered. Here are eight of the best luxury hotels in Barcelona.
The Barcelona EDITION
The best luxury hotel in Barcelona for entertainment
Located next door to the colourful, abstract canopy of the Santa Caterina market in Barcelona’s arty El Born neighbourhood you’ll find the Barcelona EDITION hotel – a hotel at the top-end of five-star luxury.
Its lobby area boasts towering ceilings, an abstract blue chandelier (unique to each EDITION hotel) and is adjacent to a neatly-designed bar with spirits that seem to hover above it. Black and white portraits of iconic cultural scenes in Spain (flamenco, festivals etc) that were taken by a Catalan photographer are mounted on walls. A whiff of black tea swirls around in the air reminding you that you’re in somewhere fancy.
One of nine EDITION hotels, The Barcelona EDITION opened last summer and comes with 100 stunning rooms and 15 suites. Rooms have a Japanese minimalist feel (think Lost in Translation) and come with ambient lighting, clever tech (a switch that open curtains), walnut finishings and Gaudi-inspired furniture.
But perhaps the biggest draw to this hotel is its entertainment. Downstairs there’s an underground, New-York-style clandestine cabaret bar hosting regular shows. And hidden behind a sensor-activated moving wall above a stunning, swirling staircase just off the lobby, you’ll find the Punch Room – a speakeasy bar popular with both guests and locals and kitted out like something you’d see on Boardwalk Empire. There’s also a rooftop bar with
The food is exceptional too – from its Asian-inspired dishes available at The Rooftop (the bao is to die for) to its varied breakfast offering downstairs. Not to mention the staff at the EDITION who will solve your dilemmas (like not knowing what to order) before you realised you even had one.
Rooms: Room rates start from €375 (approx. £328) per room per night.
Location: Av. de Francesc Cambó, 14, 08003 Barcelona
Hotel Arts Barcelona
The best luxury hotel in Barcelona for access to the beach
Located at Port Olympic, a short cab ride from the city centre, Hotel Arts Barcelona is just the ticket for those wanting to unwind in a lavish hotel by the sea. Thanks to an enormous, shimmering goldfish out front, built by sculptor Frank Gehry, the hotel is hard to miss.
Rooms are simple, clean-cut and bright. But the postcard views of the Mediterranean Sea and city – both if you’re lucky or cunning enough to pre-request – are the main reward. The hotel, home to two Michelin star restaurants, an award-winning cocktail bar and an inviting outdoor infinity pool, is very hard to leave – for all of these reasons.
Hoteliers at Hotel Arts Barcelona are some of the best in the world. From Diego, the resident mixologist who specialises in experiential cocktails that take you around the world in a few sips, to Lorenzo, who caters to the far-reaching needs of those in the Club Lounge with a constant, and genuine, smile on his face.
If you’re after a seamless blend of opulence and comfort with traditional customer service, check out Hotel Arts Barcelona.
Rooms: Room rates start from €295 (approx. £268) per room per night.
Location: Carrer de la Marina, 19, 21, 08005 Barcelona, Spain
The best luxury hotel in Barcelona for tech lovers
Designed by acclaimed Chilean designer Jaime Beriestain, the Almanac hotel, which only opened in February this year, offers boutique luxury charm in a relaxed, friendly setting and has more mod cons than you can shake a stick at.
Located in the L’Eixample area of Barcelona, just off Gran Via, it’s in a prime location for exploring surrounding designer shops. Gold, opulent finishes, 1920s-style art décor furniture, and more textures than you can count on both hands, make it feel like something out of The Great Gatsby. Its spiralling, snail-like staircase in the lobby is a touch of architectural genius.
With 61 rooms and 31 suites, ranging from standard doubles to penthouse suites, it is a hotel not attempting to appeal to the mass market. Rooms are free-flowing, luminous and technologically-rich. Each comes with a smartphone controlling everything from the electronic curtains to the air conditioning and in-room dining – and even the ‘do not disturb’ sign is digitalised.
The Linea restaurant, adjacent to the lobby, is expertly skippered by executive chef, Sergio Ruiz Nieves. His team serve wide-ranging dishes – lunchtime lobster sandwiches and entrecote de lomo (pork entrecote) by night. Food is Catalonian influenced and ingredients locally-sourced where possible.
The rooftop hosts 360-degree views of Barcelona, complete with a bar and a shin-deep dipping pool. The Alamanac is for those wanting to taste the future of luxurious travel.
Rooms: Room rates start from €350 (approx. £317) per room per night.
Location: Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes 619-621, Eixample, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
Mercer Hotel Barcelona
The best luxury hotel in Barcelona for a serene stay in the city centre
Made up of 28 rooms, The Mercer Hotel Barcelona, located in the city’s Gothic district renowned for its ancient cathedrals and narrow streets, is around a 15-minute walk to Las Ramblas. This hotel is proper five-star luxury.
On arrival, you’re welcomed by cava and a friendly concierge team – who would probably carry you to your room on their backs if they could. The Mercer has something only the best hotels have: its own refreshing, un-identifiable smell that hits your nostrils on arrival and doesn’t leave until you do.
The hotel occupies an old Medieval palace, built on top of Barcino walls of the ancient Roman city with arches and paintings (frescos) that date back to the 12thCentury. The interior, designed by prestigious Spanish architect Rafael Moneo, is a balance of old and new. Traditional-looking wooden beans, oak floors and exposed brick – painted in neutral colours – offset quirky, hanging, modernist black lights and leather belt-wrapped mirrors.
And the little touches haven’t gone unnoticed. Freshly printed weather reports placed on the bedside table each night, evening patisseries, a single red rose that sits on the open-plan sink in your room and Molton Brown toiletries. Rooms come with Nespresso coffee makers, a relatively-small TV and a complimentary mini bar (minus alcohol).
Breakfast is served in the hotel’s inside patio on the ground floor where you’ll be surrounded by wall-climbing plants, a handful of puffy trees and a blue sky. The food is brought to your table and ranges from various types of egg dishes (eggs Benedictine, omelettes and scrambled) to freshly-cooked pancakes. An intricately-placed fruit bowl worthy of an Andy Warhol painting and basket of bread and buttery croissants that dissolve in the mouth like flying saucers.
This is a hotel for serenity and relaxation in a central location.
Rooms: Room rates start from €430 (approx. £385) per room per night.
Location: Carrer dels Lledó, 7, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
Hotel Alexandra Barcelona, Curio Collection by Hilton
The best luxury hotel in Barcelona for exploring Gaudi’s gems
Sitting in one of Barcelona’s most cosmopolitan quarters, Le’Eixample, the Hotel Alexandra Barcelona, part of the Curio Collection by Hilton, is well situated for shopping, eating out or exploring Antonio Gaudi’s architectural gems. Casa Batillo is around an eight-minute walk and Casa Mila roughly four.
The interior in communal spaces is relatively un-inspiring but what the hotel’s lobby and corridors lack in gusto its bedrooms more than make up for. Modernist furniture is offset by traditional mosaic Moorish-looking, beautifully-tiled floors underfoot. And the ornate alcove ceilings fuse poetically with natural oak wood finishes. All 116 rooms come with ultra-modern showers with jets pointing every which way and iPhone docking stations.
When you leave your room – and once you’ve managed to navigate your way through the black, labyrinth-like corridors – a heavenly, 500-square-meter plant-scattered patio and a shallow pool is the ultimate prize. If you’re one to work out on holiday, head to the hotel’s small gym, complete with sauna.
The main reward at this hotel is its Solomillo (Sirloin) restaurant, though vegans may not agree. Solomillo serves up some of the most tender steaks in the city. The sweet carrots and cream potatoes are necessary indulgent accompaniment. Breakfast at the Alexandra is pure Catalan fair sourced locally (meats, cheeses and freshly-baked breads).
Rooms: Room rates start from €183 (approx. £164 for a single) per room per night.
Location: Carrer de Mallorca, 251, 08008 Barcelona, Spain
NH Collection Barcelona Gran Hotel Calderon
The best luxury hotel in Barcelona for its rooftop pool and city views
Situated within a five-minute walk of Plaza Catalunya, this luxury hotel homes one of the best views of Barcelona. Its rooftop bar and pool offer wrap-around views of the city – from the beach and Las Ramblas to Mount Montjuic and Gaudi’s famous Gothic Cathedral. Only a few minutes’ walk away is Passeig de Gràcia station, which will take you to Barceloneta in under 15 minutes (the beach is five to ten minutes from there).
With rope hanging seats and a cinema-sized LCD screen in the lobby, showcasing moving images of waterfalls and other random wildlife scenes, the reception feels like the inside of a very white, cutting-edge spaceship.
Bedrooms are simply kitted out but contain all the mod cons – 49-inch flat screen TVs, generous wardrobe space, tea and coffee making equipment and delightful one-button shower set to the perfect temperature. A red, Calcher, Big Brother diary-room style chair placed in front of the window swallows even larger guests (at 6 ft 2, I felt like a toddler sitting in his grandad’s chair).
Breakfast at the hotel is as you’d expect – a blend of wholesome, hearty local cheeses and jamóns with modern touches in the shape of smashed avocado on toast.
Rooms: Room rates start from €229 (£203) per room per night.
Location: Rambla de Catalunya, 26, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
El Avenida Palace
The best luxury hotel in Barcelona for traditional, mid-century grandeur
The El Avenida Palace, a former famous tea house, is the perfect example of classical Catalan grandeur. The four-star hotel, located less than a five-minute walk away from Passeig de Gracia metro station in the heart of Barcelona, is drenched in mid-century charm.
It’s the kind of place the reception staff remember your name when you drop off your weighty key at the reception as you head out for dinner. But it’s not completely traditional in that next to the key box there’s a glass jar full of flumps, and on the terrace, there’s a heated outdoor pool offering 360 views over the city.
The hotel’s interior, made up of thick marble, elaborate swirling, golden staircases and regal carpets, takes guests back to a time when the Beatles topped the charts. Funnily enough, the hotel was given the famous band’s seal of approval when they stayed here in 1965. After their visit, the lads from Liverpool were given the ultimate privileged of having a suite named in their honour, which people can still stay into this day.
The rest of the 151 rooms here are decorated in floral patterns or striped elegant indigo, olive and maroon tones and finished with golden mid-century fittings. All the mod cons are included too like flatscreen televisions. Famous guests include Hemmingway and Catalan artist, Joan Miro.
Rooms: Room rates start from €150 (£103) per room per night.
Location: Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 605, 08007 Barcelona, Spain
Yurbban Passage Hotel and Spa
The best hotel in Barcelona for a sociable stay with a boho feel
Guests staying at the four-star, ultra-hip Yurbban Passage Hotel and Spa are welcomed in proper fashion on arrival – with a cold glass of cava. The boutique hotel, located in the popular Gothic area of Barcelona, has been designed to make guests feel like they’re visiting family, reflecting the hotel group’s motto ‘Live as a native’.
Decorated in chic, bohemian style (with a shuffleboard table and photo booth), the lobby area feels as if it’s been designed for luxury-seeking hipsters. This theme continues throughout the hotel.
All rooms at Yurbban Passage Hotel and Spa, which is a member of Preferred Hotels and Resorts, are compact, bright and minimal and were designed by local interior designer Raquel Sogorb. Standard rooms have a Scandinavian feel but aren’t too exciting (simply decorated in white, black and greys) but are perfectly practical and contain everything you need for a comfortable stay. There is the option to upgrade to a Terrace or Premium room for an additional cost. All 60 rooms come with yoga mats, cardboard coathangers and witty copywriting.
A quiet, fresh-smelling spa area (with pool and steam room) is located in the hotel’s basement, and there’s a rooftop bar area with a small dipping pool and views across the city. A nightly complimentary drinks reception that runs from 6.30pm every night to encourage guests to socialise with one another.
Rooms: Room rates start from €161 (£140) per room per night.
Location: Carrer de Trafalgar, 26, 08003 Barcelona