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Hotel 1898, Barcelona

Editor's Pick
Barcelona, Spain, Europe: The Hotel 1898
109 La Rambla
Spain 08002
Tel: 34 93 552 9552's insider take:

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. 

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