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Barcelona Hotels

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
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The 5 Rooms
72 Carrer Pau Claris
Barcelona
Spain 0810
Tel: 34 93 342 7880
info@the5rooms.com
www.the5rooms.com

The 5 Rooms is a very personal project from Jessica Fritz, a vibrant tastemaker who has opened the doors of her updated neoclassical apartment and expanded to the floor above. The hotel is adorned with chic antiques, eclectic art, eye-catching design pieces, and modern comforts. There is a reception area and lounge (filled with tomes on local art and culture), plus some small kitchen facilities. The guest rooms and suites—soundproofed against the busy streets below, where the 19th-century Eixample meets the Barri Gòtic—have high beds swathed in natural textiles, flat-screen TVs, spacious bathrooms, and an overall decor that exudes light and Zen-like calm. Note that the name is deceiving: There are actually 12 rooms available, plus a further two apartments in another building a few doors down the street.—Suzanne Wales

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
ABaC Restaurant & Hotel
1 Avenida Tibidabo
Barcelona
Spain 08022
Tel: 34 933 196 600
www.abacbarcelona.com

The chic and intimate AbaC sits on the Tibidabo hill at the north end of the city, on a street lined with fantastic (and fantastical) modernist mansions. The welcome is discreet but warm, and includes a tour that culminates in the small but attractive spa. In the 15 airy guest rooms, white dominates while daubs of dusty color and at least one but sometimes two plasma-screen TVs add interest. Divided bathrooms aren't huge, but they're well-planned, and come with his-and-her Hermès toiletries. And as you move about the room, the high-tech lighting responds to your location. That said, you may never want to leave the sexy banquette-style sofas along the picture windows in some of the larger rooms. Never, that is, except to dine in the restaurant, which is overseen by chef Xavier Pellicer, who moved his avant-garde two-Michelin-star restaurant to this uptown location last year. Breakfast, an indulgent three-course affair, is worth getting up for.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
AC Miramar
3 Plaça Carlos Ibáñez
Barcelona
Spain 08038
Tel: 34 93 281 1600
acmiramar@ac-hotels.com
www.hotelacmiramar.com

For years the city has been debating what to do with this small palace on the eastern face of Montjuïc. Built for the 1929 World Expo, it had been empty since 1983 despite its stunning location overlooking Barcelona's waterfront. After an extensive renovation by the designer Óscar Tusquets Blanca—who took the bold step of adding a modern structure around the older building—the luxurious Miramar finally opened its doors in 2006. The 75 bedrooms are arranged over six floors around a covered patio, dominated by a mammoth chandelier inspired by Gaudí. The spacious rooms have traditional mahogany furnishings, tiled floors (there's underfloor heating for the cooler months), and generous terraces. Wispy gray curtains separate the extra-deep bathtub from the bedroom. Request Superior Vista or Deluxe Vista rooms for fantastic views over Barcelona's port. The Miramar has outdoor and indoor pools and a day spa area, as well as the excellent La Forestier restaurant (try the fish of the day cooked with garlic, rice, shrimp, calamari, and spicy peppers).

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
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Barceló Raval
17–21 Rambla del Raval
Barcelona
Spain 08001
Tel: 34 93 320 1490
raval@barcelo.com
www.barcelo-raval.com

Barcelona's Raval district—a central neighborhood just off Las Ramblas—has seen the most aggressive regeneration in the city over the past decade. It used to have underground appeal; now it has wide, pretty plazas and boulevards. Luckily, it hasn't lost its artsy sensibilities, which shows in the Barceló Raval, a striking elliptical building encased in black wire mesh that opened in 2008. On the ground floor, local interior designer Jordi Galí has paired furniture in pinks and reds with madcap lamps, flocked wallpapers, and a curved dividing wall covered in tiny black and silver Bisazza tiles—somehow it all works. The decor has been turned down a notch in the 186 rooms (around 269 square feet in size), which are white with a splash of either lime green or hot pink. Rooms also include a suspended flat-screen TV, iPod dock, and mini Nespresso maker, plus a lighting control panel next to the plump and generous bed. And because the Barceló is housed in a ten-story tower, incredible city views from the giant curved windows come as standard. Hopefully you're already intimate with your roommate, because the shiny, modular bathrooms are open-plan. The B-Lounge downstairs is a hip hangout for locals and visitors alike, while the rooftop terrace has 360-degree vistas and a mini plunge pool—the hotel's free Wi-Fi works up there, too. Come here if you're looking for an edgier neighborhood in Barcelona (think NYC's Meatpacking District before it became totally gentrified).

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Bonic Guesthouse
9 Carrer Josep Anselm Clavé
Barcelona
Spain 08002
Tel: 34 626 053 434
reservations@bonic-barcelona.com
www.bonic-barcelona.com

A little charmer brimming with potted palms, colorful tiled floors, and Moroccan textiles, the eight-room Bonic is the sort of B&B you would expect to see in the south of Spain. Except here it is, on the third floor (with elevator) of an 18th-century mansion just off La Rambla. The Portuguese owner, Fernando de Barros Ferreira, is a personable and energetic host who converted the apartment to a guesthouse as a labor of love. The guest rooms are all brightly painted in various bold colors, and there are three bathrooms (shared between guests), so visiting the Bonic feels more like staying in a private home. This is particularly true in the mornings, when guests gather in the sunny gallery for a breakfast of fruit and local charcuterie while Fernando regales all with his insider knowledge of the city.—Suzanne Wales

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Casa Camper
11 Carrer d'Elisabets
Barcelona
Spain 08001
Tel: 34 93 342 6280
barcelona@casacamper.com
www.casacamper.com

The latest brand extension from the ever-growing Mallorcan cobbler, Casa Camper is as idiosyncratic as the company's offbeat shoes. Designed under the exacting eye of Catalan designer Fernando Amat (of Vinçon, the high-end design store), this is a hotel that demands you pay no tips, instructs you to use the stairs in lieu of the elevator, and offers a free, 24-hour health-conscious buffet from its podlike kitchen. The 25 rooms are minimalist wombs with red walls, dark floors, and Shaker-inspired furniture. There's no view, but there is a nifty "vertical garden," which is a wall lined with 117 potted plants. If you book a standard room, the door opposite your bedroom leads to a personal lounge with a balcony, sofa bed, wide-screen plasma TV, and Brazilian hammock. In Camper Suites, the living area and bedroom are integrated. Should you stay here? Look at your shoes and you'll have the answer.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Casa Fuster
132 Passeig de Gràcia
Barcelona
Spain 08008
Tel: 34 93 255 3000
info@hotelcasafuster.com
www.hotelcasafuster.com

Like the Taj Mahal, the Casa Fuster was a labor of love. In 1908, Mallorcan aristocrat Mariano Fuster commissioned architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner to transform a chocolate factory into the most "spectacular house in the city" for his beautiful wife, Consuelo Fabra. Nearly a century later, Catalan architects GCA turned the residence into a sweet state-of-the-art luxury hotel. The Café Vienés—a hot spot for city intellectuals in the 1940s-has been re-created with plush velvet, silk cushions, and snaking sofas in warm, modern colors (coffee, spice, and Bordeaux). The 96 Bedrooms are similarly sumptuous, decorated with more silk and lavender and sage accents. But it's the four tower suites that get top marks for ingenuity. With their oval shape, silver undulating ceilings floodlit by Fortuny lamps, mini-cinemas, king-size beds, saunas, and extra-large sacks of Loewe toiletries, they're every bit as spectacular as Fuster's wife could have wished for.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Chic & Basic
3 Carrer Princesa
Barcelona
Spain 08003
Tel: 34 93 295 4652
www.chicandbasic.com

The name Chic & Basic may suggest a rudimentary hostel with a bit of designer frippery thrown in, but there's a lot more to this good-value hotel in the trendy Born district. The renovated 18th-century mansion retains much of its original grandeur, particularly in the common areas—witness the sweeping creamy-marble staircase. While the 43 all-white rooms—each with its entrance swathed in curtains of crystal beads—are admittedly pretty small (around 183 square feet), the clever design makes a lot out of a little: The showers are housed in space age–style clear-acrylic cylinders, and there are metal clothes racks rather than wardrobes. Your brown-paper-bag "welcome pack" contains bath gel, lollipops, and a survival guide to the hotel, explaining how to work the lighting and TV. We recommend the rear rooms, which overlook a pretty interior patio—ask for one of the two rooms with a private terrace. At these prices, you shouldn't expect room service, but Chic & Basic has a stylish little lounge where you can help yourself to tea and coffee.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Ciutat de Barcelona
35 Carrer de la Princesa
Barcelona
Spain 08003
Tel: 34 93 269 7474
princesa@ciutathotels.com
www.ciutathotels.com

Opened in 2006, this chic six-story hotel has 78 petite rooms with zebra-striped lampshades, Mondrian-esque murals behind the beds, and flat-screen TVs. It's also surprisingly good value for money, but take a closer look and you'll notice where they've made savings: The cups in the bathrooms are paper not glass, there's a low-power hair dryer, and you'll find no minibar (although there are free-access fridges stocked with water). There are some great perks, though, not least of which is its location on the edge of the chic El Born district, and a rooftop sundeck and pool overlooking the medieval quarter. Skip breakfast (you'll get much better food in one of the neighborhood cafés), but make a point of going along to a live jazz session (Thursdays and Fridays only) in Colors, the hotel restaurant.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Grand Hotel Central
30 Via Laietana
Barcelona
Spain
Tel: (34) 93 295 79 00
Fax: (34) 93 268 12 15
info@grandhotelcentral.com
www.grandhotelcentral.com

With a relaxed atmosphere, this 147-room hotel in the heart of Barcelona—everything seems a ten-minute walk from the front door—is hip without the attitude. No sooner do you arrive at the converted 1920s office building than smiling staff fall all over themselves to take care of you. The library is stocked with periodicals, books, and a TV, and in good weather, a small rooftop terrace with a plunge pool affords stunning views over the recently renovated Santa Caterina market. Rooms are Zen on the Med, with light eucalyptus parquet floors, limed oak furniture, and taupe walls, and the complimentary minibar is a welcome touch.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Gran Hotel La Florida
83–93 Carretera Vallvidrera al Tibidabo
Barcelona
Spain 08035
Tel: 34 93 259 3000
reservations@hotellaflorida.com
www.hotellaflorida.com

For some, it's too far removed from Barcelona's bustle. For others, the setting is the draw—high atop a lush mountain 15 minutes outside the city center. Known as a pleasure palace for visiting kings and celebrities during the 1920s, the hotel fell into decline until it reopened in April 2003. Today this classic property has been yanked into the 21st century, filled with contemporary art by the likes of Ben Jakober and Yannick Vu, whose 88-foot fiber-optic Homage to Gaudí graces the inner courtyard. The 52 rooms are done in an Art Nouveau style and some have huge arched windows—none will disappoint, but the 22 suites are even better. The Sky Terrace Suite bears the imprint of artist Rebecca Horn (the creator of Barceloneta beach's rusty cubes) and has a large patio with a Jacuzzi. The Japanese suite has a Zen garden and mountain views. But it's the 121-foot L-shaped indoor-outdoor infinity pool—made of stainless steel—that makes it perfectly clear this is no Old World hostelry anymore.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hostal L'Antic Espai
660 Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes
Barcelona
Spain 08010
Tel: 34 93 304 1945
reservas@lanticespai.com
www.lanticespai.com

The Hostal L'Antic Espai was opened in 2006 by Cuban Abel Estévez and Brazilian Sergio Carvalho, antique lovers who have stuffed their one-story, ten-roomed guesthouse with the restored finds they've collected from Spain, France, Italy, and beyond. "We hate minimalism," Sergio says, and it shows. Every surface in the public rooms is covered with porcelain plates, delicate cups and saucers, and tasteful knickknacks. The high-ceilinged bedrooms have ornate mosaic tile floors, an eclectic assortment of period furniture, luxurious red velvet curtains, and shimmering gold bedspreads; their only concession to the 21st century is the flat-screen TV and CD player. After a full-on day of sightseeing, the evening cup of tea—served from an antique teapot, of course—to welcome you "home" is one of the little touches that makes this place so special.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hotel 1898
109 La Rambla
Barcelona
Spain 08002
Tel: 34 93 552 9552
1898@nnhotels.es
www.nnhotels.com/eng/hotel1898

Opened in October 2005 in an old Philippine tobacco-company headquarters, the 169-room Hotel 1898 takes its name from the year the Philippines gained independence from Spain. This high-end hotel's old-fashioned approach to hospitality is an antidote to the overdesigned swarm of boutiques that have colonized the city in recent years; it attracts a fortysomething crowd that's in touch enough to want to be based in the center of town. Catalan designer Rosa Rosselló's vision is firmly rooted in the 18th century, and draws on the building's original carved wood and plasterwork and evocative black-and-white photos of tobacco plantations. Rooms and corridors are striking in black, red, and green candy stripes; the best are the suites, which have private terraces, plunge pools, grass lawns, and views of the Ramblas from the hotel's perch on the Plaça Catalunya end of the street. Expansive views are also to be had on the roof terrace; it's an ideal spot for a glass of cava (Catalan sparkling wine) at sunset. In the basement, the guests-only spa revives the jet-lagged in a faux-Roman bathhouse with arched ceilings over a turquoise pool. 

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hotel Arts Barcelona
19–21 Carrer de la Marina
Barcelona
Spain 08005
Tel: 34 93 221 1000
www.ritzcarlton.com/hotels/barcelona

Located at water's edge, a 20-minute walk from the Ramblas, this hotel under the Ritz-Carlton umbrella has a lot to thank for its reputation: the best service in town, world-class restaurants, a Six Senses rooftop spa that's a shrine to pleasure with 43rd-floor views. Now, the hotel has renovated the 483 guest rooms (56 of them suites) in smart tones of rich chocolate and charcoal, adding an array of Bang & Olufsen gadgets. But the best feature is primarily a natural one: the Mediterranean light that floods in through the high-tech steel and glass facade. Our favorite rooms are the El Club Corner Suites on the 30th to 33rd floors, which at 700 square feet are nearly 50 percent larger than standard rooms and have access to a team of concierges and a lounge where champagne and canapés are served.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hotel Bagués
105 La Rambla
Barcelona
Spain 08002
Tel: 34 93 343 5000
bagues@derbyhotels.com
www.derbyhotels.com/Bagues-Hotel-Barcelona

A joint venture between the famous Bagués family of jewelers and a local hotel group created this 31-room boutique property on the site of the former Bagués flagship on La Rambla. Drawing on the brand's Modernista heritage (its craftsmen forged the floral, feminine style of Art Nouveau jewelry), the hotel is awash in jewel colors, gold leaf, and myriad textures yet retains a contemporary—if theatrical—air. What the guest rooms lack in size, they more than make up for in comfort, with plump beds swathed in damask, oversize headboards, and generous rain showers. The roof terrace, with its pint-size lap pool, is adorable and within touching distance of the 17th-century Bethlehem Church next door. The mezzanine floor accommodates a small museum of the work of Masriera, the ingenious jeweler famous for the shimmering enamel jewels of the Art Nouveau era.—Suzanne Wales

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hotel Denit
24–26 Carrer Estruc
Barcelona
Spain 08002
Tel: 34 93 545 4000
info@denit.com
www.denit.com

Stylish and compact, the Hotel Denit is a smart low-cost option from the Majestic Group, whose other hotels, such as the Murmuri, tend to be in the luxury category. Interiors are in light woods with clean, white surfaces and textiles that exude a no-fuss Scandinavian sensibility. The 36 guest rooms are on the small side yet light and well conceived, with lots of storage space tucked behind screens, showers instead of tubs, and little work areas. (Room 501 is the only one with a small terrace.) If you need some breathing space, the lobby has free Wi-Fi and a long table and lounge area. The Denit's urban vibe reflects its location: a minute's walk from Plaça Catalunya (Barcelona's main transport hub), yet in a quiet street with little traffic.—Suzanne Wales

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Diagonal Barcelona
205 Avinguda Diagonal
Barcelona
Spain 08018
Tel: 34 93 489 5300
hotel.diagonalbcn@hoteles-silken.com
www.hoteldiagonalbarcelona.com

The Hotel Diagonal Barcelona sits at the center of Diagonal Mar, a district within a district that has been transformed from a humble working-class area to a more bustling business neighborhood. The hotel's playful black-and-white facade—like a mammoth 3-D chessboard—rises nine stories beside Jean Nouvel's Torre Agbar tower (request west-facing rooms for a great view of the tower). The stylish lobby has a retro look, with podlike chairs and copper-toned mosaic tiles (it's also the bar area and a good spot for a cocktail) that add a touch of '70s glamour; it's no surprise this place is a regular backdrop for fashion shoots. The 240 rooms are tamer, combining sleek wengelike furniture with an Asian sensibility. Huge black-and-white wall murals create serenity, while the glass-walled bathroom is separated from the bedroom by a simple sliding screen. Head up to the rooftop terrace and splashing pool to see the neighborhood's sprouting high-rises firsthand.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hotel España
9–11 Carrer San Pau
Barcelona
Spain 08001
Tel: 34 93 550 0000
info@hotelespanya.com
www.hotelespanya.com

The Hotel España, a star at the turn of the 19th century, was given some much-needed care and attention in late 2010. Now the property's gloriously detailed interiors (originally designed by the Modernista movement's foremost architect, Domènech i Montaner) have some dramatic contemporary touches, too, such as geometric hanging lights and bold-colored feature walls. The velvet-swathed guest rooms with wooden accents are on the smalll side (some standards ring in at only 50 square feet), yet it's the breathtaking public spaces that really shine. Admire the dining room's frescoes of dainty watery nymphs as you tuck into breakfast. Or take a seat at the curvaceous alabaster fireplace as you sip a nightcap in the Bar Arnau. Top Basque chef Martín Berasategui has taken the reigns of Fonda España, the hotel's restaurant, where you can experience his robust cuisine (veal cheek with Priorat wine reduction, or tuna with tomato jam and arugula chips) surrounded by intricately carved wood and glorious ceramic murals.—Suzanne Wales

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hotel Jazz
3 Pelai
Barcelona
Spain
Tel: 34 93 552 96 96
jazz@nnhotels.com
www.hoteljazz.com

The location of this sleek property near Plaza Catalunya is "perfect because it's well away from the crowds and noise" but still a short walk from the Ramblas. "Middle-of-the-road rooms" liven up a neutral palette with artwork and bright pillows. The outdoor rooftop pool has "views worth the price of your stay." Staff "are friendly"; expect only a breakfast buffet since there is no restaurant on-site.

(108 rooms)

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hotel Me
272–286 Carrer Pere IV
Barcelona
Spain 08005
Tel: 34 93 367 2051
info@solmelia.com
www.me-barcelona.com

It might not be smack bang in the Barri Gòtic, but the Hotel Me —a slightly askew, retro glass tower designed by French architect Dominique Perrault and opened in 2008—is likely to attract design buffs east of the city center to the Diagonal Mar neighborhood. The hotel's view of Jean Nouvel's Torre Agbar, along with the nearby Olympic Port and Sagrada Familia, should seal the deal. The Hotel Me, part of Spanish Sol Meliá group's upmarket brand (there's another Me in Madrid), has 259 rooms spread over 29 floors with a choice of impressive vistas—the Mediterranean or the city and Nouvel's bullet-shaped tower. The accommodations have been done up in bold red, blue, and purple textiles, with lacquered floors and surfaces, and have the expected extras like iPod docks and plasma TVs. There is a very generous selection of Aveda products in the spacious bathrooms, which have both rain showers and tubs. The Me is home to Dos Cielos, a rooftop restaurant helmed by young-gun twin chefs Sergio and Javier Torres (it was awarded its first Michelin star in 2011). A branch of Angels & Kings, the U.S.–based nightclub owned by pop star Pete Wentz is on the premises too. There's also a spa, with cool wood and slate floors and vibrant blue tiles. The Me's less tourist-centric location and fabulous amenities have proved a hit with young, trendsetting nighthawks who don't mind dishing out the $20–plus cab fare into the center of town. (For those that do, the metro is a ten-minute walk away).—Suzanne Wales

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Murmuri
104 Rambla de Catalunya
Barcelona
Spain 08008
Tel: 34 93 550 0600
info@murmuri.com
www.murmuri.com

British designer Kelly Hoppen's contemporary, Eastern-nuanced hand is evident throughout Hotel Murmuri, a new six-floor hotel in the Eixample. But her style is at its boldest in the downstairs bar, restaurant, and lobby, where burgundy velvet banquettes jostle for space with a cascading Swarovski crystal chandelier and abstract black, silver, and white wall murals. A glass elevator transports you to the 53 rooms, where the mood is toned down dramatically with tasteful if somewhat unchallenging chocolate and Champagne decor and oak furniture, yet brightened up by mountains of Hoppen's bed throws and cushions in burnt orange and russet tones. The bathrooms are spacious, with Silestone surfaces and large bath-shower combos with massage heads. Rooms on the top floor have a private 50-square-foot terrace and cost $260 more than the doubles below (from around $240 to $500). The stylish Marfil cocktail bar, with comfy blue sofas, rococo armchairs, and rings of black oak dividing the tables, is a trendy spot facing the street. It attracts both hotel guests and a Barcelonese clientele, many of whom are here to dine at Murmuri restaurant. Murmuri has fast gained a reputation for its combined Asian and Mediterranean cuisine (try the battered prawns with Japanese eggplant). There is no pool or spa at the Hotel Murmuri, but guests can take a short walk along Passeig de Gràcia and use the excellent facilities at the Majestic, the five-star grande dame that belongs to the same group (68 Passeig de Gràcia; 34-93-393-8128). If you want to stay in this well-heeled neighborhood, Murmuri is one of the few design-centric options.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hotel Neri
5 Carrer Sant Sever
Barcelona
Spain 08002
Tel: 34 93 304 0655
info@hotelneri.com
www.hotelneri.com

This lavishly restored 18th-century palace opened in 2003 in the Barri Gòtic. Decor in the 22 rooms—each inspired by a different local artist whose painting hangs above the bed—ranges from fairy-tale (shades of peach and tangerine) to vampish (scarlet and red wine hues). It's a curious mix that somehow manages to blend the building's original neo-Gothic archways and heavy stone floors with the comforts of a contemporary hotel. The deeply planted roof terrace provides a welcome oasis from the otherwise frenetic city center, and Jordi Ruiz's on-site restaurant reverberates with traces of his training at El Bulli and Akelarre. If you're looking for an Arab-inflected take on the cuisine of the Middle Ages, this is your place.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Hotel Omm
265 Carrer Rosselló
Barcelona
Spain 08008
Tel: 34 93 445 4000
reservas@hotelomm.es
www.hotelomm.es

This 59-room hotel in the Eixample is Rosa María Esteva's first foray into the hotel world (she's the wildly successful restaurateur behind the Tragaluz group), and we're willing to bet it won't be her last. The hotel's Moo restaurant has taken a Zen-meets-the-Med stance (saffron-spiced scorpion fish with garlic, and veal with anchovies); it's overseen by the brothers Roca, who are known for their two-Michelin-starred restaurant in Girona. The laid-back lounge/lobby is furnished with deep sofas and armchairs arranged around a floating fireplace, while the streamlined bedrooms benefit from loads of light and storage space. The rooftop pool area, incidentally, boasts the city's finest views of Gaudí's rooftops. There's also a moodily lit spa.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona
38–40 Passeig de Gràcia
Barcelona
Spain 08007
Tel: 34 93 151 88 88
mobcn-reservations@mohg.com
www.mandarinoriental.com/barcelona/

The pearly queen of Barcelona luxury hotels, the Mandarin Oriental is situated in an early 20th-century bank building that's been completely remodeled by Patricia Urquiola, the Spanish designer known for melding elegance and playfulness. Here she has subtly nodded to the group's Asian origins with details such as chinoiserie-inspired feature walls with a blossom and bird mural. But there's also what Urquiola calls a "Grace Kelly" veneer, with a creamy-pastel color scheme and classic forms. The 98 guest rooms have a Zen-like ambience, with blond wood surfaces, chalk-white Silestone bathrooms, and natural textiles. Rear guest rooms (some with terraces) overlook the hotel's lovely mimosa-filled outdoor café, while front rooms offer the spectacle of posh Passeig de Gràcia. The Blanc lounge-restaurant on the ground floor of the towering atrium has a sumptuous hanging garden, handmade Japanese carpets, and modernist mamasan chairs; the whole lounge-restaurant is wrapped in a suspended snowflake-cutout screen the designer had dubbed "the birdcage." The Banker's Bar—in the bank's old vault—evokes a colonial men's club; Moments, a cutting-edge Catalan cuisine restaurant has a theatrical ceiling rendered in gold leaf.—Suzanne Wales

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Market Hotel & Restaurant
10 Passatge Sant Antoni Abat
Barcelona
Spain 08015
Tel: 34 93 325 1205
reservas@markethotel.com.es
www.markethotel.com.es

Fresh in style and laid-back in atmosphere, this smart newcomer adjoins the modern Sant Antoni market (the local equivalent of the Boqueria) in the up-and-coming Sant Antoni barrio. Since the Tragaluz group's success with Hotel Omm, other restaurateurs—including this one—have embraced Tragaluz's eat-and-sleep philosophy. There are 17 generously sized bedrooms with black-and-white linens and white ceramic bathrooms dressed up with carefully selected modern, lacquered Oriental furniture; those in the back have small terraces. Market aficionados and self-catering types should book the apartment; about twice the size of standard rooms, it has a fully equipped kitchen, as well as a living area and substantial terrace. For everyone else, there's a high-ceilinged restaurant that's popular with local office workers, where chandeliers, black walls, and white linens belie its reasonable prices.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Murmuri
104 Rambla de Catalunya
Barcelona
Spain 08008
Tel: 34 935 500 600
www.murmuri.com

On a pretty boulevard off Las Ramblas, the 53-room Murmuri gives travelers a high-design option that's still sophisticated. Rooms by British interior designer Kelly Hoppen showcase her soothing if not particularly Spanish palette of black, cream, and chocolate brown punctuated by black-and-white photos, faux ostrich accessories, and flashes of color in the pillows and throws. It's a masterful first hotel effort from Hoppen (although the two single beds pushed together to make a double is a European throwback that should be thrown back). A small rooftop with box trees and chaises overlooks the city. The stylish lobby bar/restaurant, with its huge bead lamps and brushed-suede banquettes (and a humidor for cigar aficionados), has become a city meeting point. And although it's a bit away from the usual sights (except Gaudí's brilliant La Sagrada Família), the style and service compensate.

$199 or less
Editor's Pick
Hotel Photo
Praktik Rambla
27 Rambla de Catalunya
Barcelona
Spain 08007
Tel: 34 93 343 6690
reservas@hotelpraktikrambla.com
www.hotelpraktikrambla.com

Like the Hotel España, the Praktik Rambla is another once-beautiful old mansion that has been given a design makeover. The designer in question is Lázaro Rosa-Violán of Market Hotel and Big Fish fame. His knack for creating bold, modernist spaces in historic buildings is evident throughout, with large-scale abstract art, glossy black surfaces, mirror feature walls, and oversize classical furniture. Period touches remain, including high molded ceilings, colorful Mudejar tile floors, and a sumptuous Baroque-inspired lobby. Yet none of this quite prepares you for the rear terrace, which features a giant rippling stone fountain in the style of Gaudí. A "less is luxe" philosophy reigns in the 43 rooms, which feature retro-inspired mosaic-lined bathrooms and simple, Scandinavian-style furniture. Most look out onto either the elegant Rambla de Catalunya or the interior patio of this Eixample block (avoid these interior rooms, however—they're smaller and almost devoid of natural light). Breakfast is served in the funky Piscolabis café.—Suzanne Wales

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
W Barcelona
1 Plaça de la Rosa dels Vents
Barcelona
Spain 08039
Tel: 34 93 295 2800
whateverwhenever.wbarcelona@whotels.com
www.starwoodhotels.com/whotels/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=3183

At 26 stories high, architect Ricardo Bofill's glass-clad, sail-shaped W Barcelona hotel is a real head-turner. His bold creation, perched on the water's edge in the salty maritime district of Barceloneta, is the most beach-minded of all of Barcelona's hotels, with a full panorama of the city's (partly nudist) beach from the mezzanine-level infinity pool and sweeping views of the Mediterranean from the 473 rooms. Stylish chaise longues curve around the base of the floor-to-ceiling windows in the rooms and suites, which range from 420-square-foot Cozy rooms to 3,174-square-foot Extreme Wow suites. Room decor is unfussy, with a restrained retro vibe that extends into the gray granite WC and wet room. Much of the furniture has futuristic rounded edges, while beds sit center stage in some of the rooms (it's lovely to wake up to a view of the sky) and funky lighting casts bold hues (we like the hot pink) over the pale surroundings. The W Barcelona's public areas follow the same minimal design, but bubble seats and modular sofas in soft grape and lime green add a stylish splash of color. The top floor's Eclipse cocktail bar is more Bond-style glam, with gold sofas, octagonal tables, and killer views up the coastline. Eclipse looks likely to become a city hot spot: It already attracts international Euro-hoppers, expats, and Barcelonese trendsetters, as does the hotel's market-cuisine restaurant, run by Carles Abellán of Comerç 24 fame.—Suzanne Wales

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