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Hotel Neri, Barcelona 

5 Carrer Sant Sever
Spain 08002
Tel: 34 93 304 0655
view web site ›'s insider take:

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.

From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:
Tucked away in the ancient alleyways of the hauntingly beautiful Jewish Quarter, the Neri is hard to find but well worth the search. Located within a renovated eighteenth-century palace, it has interiors that are a luxurious study in textures: stone floors and walls, velvet couches, and crystal chandeliers. Sensual juxtapositions continue in the 22 rooms, which have rustic wooden tables beneath flat-screen TVs, dramatic silk drapes, rough-stone bathroom walls, and all-glass shower stalls. The restaurant is popular with guests and stylish locals alike, who admire the two twelfth-century stone arches and an eclectic menu featuring loin of venison with chopped figs and pomegranates and grilled watermelon adorning a creamy tomato soup.—2005 Hot List

When to go: Year-round, excepting August.

Which room to book: Nos. 3 and 5, with terrace

Amenities: Bar/lounge, 24-hour Room Service

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