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The Barcelona Guide

Parc Guell, Gaudi, Barcelona

The Barcelona Guide

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Barcelona is a city full of wonder and beauty, where there’s a pronounced passion for life, food, culture, and of course, architecture. Where else can you surf in the morning, do a master tour of Gaudí’s surreal buildings (the Sagrada Familia and the Parc Güell, to name a couple), eat the best tapas of your life and get lost wandering the labyrinthine, majestic streets of the Barrio Gótico? Below, some of our favorite spots—along with some recommendations from friends who love the city as much as we do.

Mandarin Oriental Barcelona

Mandarin Oriental Barcelona

38-40 Passeig de Gràcia, Dreta de l'Eixample | +34.93.151.8888

Every bit as incredible as you'd want a Mandarin Oriental hotel to be, the chain's Barcelona location is in the center of the city, on the architecturally historic and shopping-centric Passeig de Gràcia. The 360-degree views of the city from the hotel's rooftop pool and Terrat restaurant are stunning, and some of the suites have pretty amazing views, too (i.e., looking out onto Gaudí's Casa Batlló). If you have time for a pampering session at the Mandarin's spa while you're there—worth it. (And the hotel can arrange babysitting services for you, should you need, as long as you let them know a day in advance.)

Hotel Arts

Hotel Arts

19-21 Carrer de la Marina, La Barceloneta | +34.932.21.10.00

Built for the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, Hotel Arts is a big hotel done right. The rooms are beautiful, the service is great, and its location in Barceloneta means amazing seaside views.

Hotel Claris

Hotel Claris

150 Carrer de Pau Claris, Dreta de l'Eixample | +34.934.876.262

Located just off Paseo de Gracia, Claris is a mix of classic decor and a slightly hipster vibe. Throughout the hotel, you'll find English furniture pieces from the 18th- and 19th-centuries, Roman sculptures from the 2nd- and 3rd-centuries, original etchings commissioned by Napoleon, and so on. There's also a museum featuring Egyptian art from the the Jordi Clos Archaeological Foundation’s private collection. And a modest rooftop pool.

Hotel Miramar Barcelona

Hotel Miramar Barcelona

3 Plaça de Carlos Ibáñez, El Poble-Sec | +34.932.81.16.00

Hotel Miramar sits a bit outside the city center, but you can be in the Las Ramblas district in minutes. Formerly a palace (built in 1922 by architect Ramon Raventós and inaugurated by King Alfonso XIII) the hotel has maintained its original, classy façade. And GP is a big fan of the sleek and minimalist interiors.

Hotel Casa Fuster

Hotel Casa Fuster

132 Passeig de Gràcia, Vila de Gràcia | +34.932.553.000

Designed by Catalan architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, Casa Fuster is a modernist masterpiece. The interior bar, Café Vienés, is particularly beautiful—go here for a coffee or a cocktail. And on Thursday nights, between 9 and 11, the space transforms into a jazz club.

Hotel Majestic

Hotel Majestic

69 Passeig de Gràcia, Dreta de l'Eixample | +34.934.88.17.17

Open since 1918, Hotel Majestic is ideally situated on Passeig de Gràcia, a short walk to Gaudí’s La Pedrera. The exterior of the building is absolutely beautiful, especially when lit up at night, and the interior feels wonderfully luxe.

Casa Camper

Casa Camper

11 Carrer d'Elisabets, Ciutat Vella | +34.933.426.280

A very original, small hotel, Casa Camper is in a 19th-century gothic building in the Raval area of Ciutat Vella, around the corner from the Museu d’ Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) and the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB). In addition to being an adored hotel, Casa Camper is home to Albert Raurich's first-rate restaurant, Dos Palilos.

Casa Bonay

Casa Bonay

Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, Eixample | +34.93.545.80.50

Sure, there’s something about this 67-room boutique property that reads very Ace Hotel-like—the fact that founder Inés Miró-Sans worked with Brooklyn-based design firm Studio Tack to nail the subtly hipster aesthetic has a lot to do with it—but with its original tile work and open-air passageways, the 19th-century mansion that houses the hotel and its sibling businesses is European through and through. The pleasantly priced rooms range in size from teeny to sprawling (some even have private terraces complete with outdoor shower). You’ll also find the Elephant, Crocodile, Monkey restaurant, Mother juice bar, and Satan’s Coffee Corner without even having to leave the property.

Cotton House

Cotton House

670 Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, Eixample | +34.93.450.50.45

Back in the 1880’s this landmark neoclassical building housed the Cotton Textile Exchange, but these days it’s home to a stunning 83-room hotel with a moody interior, a sweeping rooftop deck, and a one-of-a-kind suspended spiral staircase. As elaborate as the lobby and communal spaces may be (the library is particularly dramatic), the guestrooms are comfortably plush yet soothing in neutral tones and modern furnishings. Batuar restaurant, which has an old school marble bar and a lush terrace, is just as good for a fancy dinner as it is for a swift breakfast pre-touring.

Margot House

Margot House

46 Paseo de Gracia, Dreta de l'Eixample | +34.932.72.00.76

At just nine-rooms strong, a week spent at this elegant boutique property is a lot like staying at a local’s private home, if they had a concierge, laundry service, and a kitchen with snacks on demand 24/7. The minimalist but somehow still cozy bedrooms, with their Barcelona-made furniture and linens are kind of like living love letters to the city. Oh, and the Margot in Margot House is in reference to Margot Tenenbaum.

Hotel Praktik Bakery

Hotel Praktik Bakery

279 Carrer de Provença, Eixample | +34.93.488.00.61

While there are several Praktik mini-chain outposts in Barcelona, only one has a Baluard bakery right on site, meaning the scent of fresh-baked bread and pastry is included in the rates (which are some of the most reasonable in town). The whitewashed Lazaro Rosa-Violán-designed rooms are small but comfortable and come with all the basic creature comforts. And whatever the hotel lacks in glitz and glamour it more than makes up for in location…and carbs.

Soho House Barcelona

Soho House Barcelona

Plaça del Duc de Medinaceli, 4 | +34 932.204.600

Nick Jones can do no wrong, and the Barcelona outpost of Soho House is no exception. Located on the edge of the artsy Gothic Quarter and looking out onto the marina means you’re right in the middle of the action, minutes from all the best restaurants and sights—if you can bring yourself to leave the club. First-time visitors (non-members can book rooms, which is a huge plus) will appreciate the special attention paid to design details, like authentic Catalan fabrics and Spanish tiles in every room; meanwhile, members will feel right at home thanks to the familiar luxe yet lived-in aesthetic. This house has all the facilities of a luxury hotel (signature cowshed spa, bustling rooftop pool, restaurants and a cool speakeasy-themed basement bar) and all the expected creature comforts like fully stocked bathrooms, Nespresso machines, even hair straighteners.