Concierge.com's insider take:
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.