Author and boutique traveller Laura shares her favourite spots in Barcelona for the perfect boutique hotel stay.
Can’t decide between the beach and the city? Spain’s stylish Barcelona treats you to both. Barcelona is brimming with culture and endless sights, whether you’re into art, architecture, fashion or food. Modernist architect Antoni Gaudí is responsible for a veritable street gallery of impressive landmarks, with Park Güell, Casa Milà and the magnificent Sagrada Família all found here.
The city sprawls across a collection of distinct neighbourhoods – or barrios as they’re locally known – all of which have their own identities and highlights, and each of which is great if you just want to walk around and discover some hidden gems. Wander down the Gothic Quarter’s winding alleys for a mishmash of ancient architecture and modern wonders, head to Gràcia for boutiques, restaurants and a village feel, or make a beeline for Eixample for some of the city’s iconic buildings and designer shops.
A boutique hotel for jewellery lovers in Barcelona
Housed in a classic Catalan building that was once home to a jewellery workshop and showroom, Hotel Bagués sits within the city’s famed Gothic Quarter. It’s a great base for strolling down the famed Las Ramblas, which is packed with restaurants, street performers, stalls and local artists.
Jewellery lovers rejoice, in this hotel, you’ll be treated to some sparkly sights in your bedroom. Each room houses a piece of Bagués-Masriera jewellery and there’s even a mini-museum in the hotel where you can spot some further treasures from the famed jewellery house.
The interior continues with the opulent theme: gold, leopard print, and Venetian glass bring a bling but cosy feel, but the real jewel here is the hotel’s slick rooftop plunge pool – perfect for those balmy Barcelona days when you just want to soak up the sun, take in the city from above and sip on your favourite glass of vino. Talking of which, the hotel’s El Regulador bistro is a great spot for an indulgent glass of cava with breakfast, and some Mediterranean cuisine and cocktails for lunch or dinner.
For a real treat pick one of the jewel suites for your own private hot-tub, and ramp up the indulgence factor with an in-room massage.Compare prices
A slick boutique design hotel in Barcelona
The moment I walked into Hotel Pulitzer I was wowed: mahogany floors, zebra print rugs and slick white leather sofas in the lobby, this boutique Barcelona hotel is the epitome of laid-back cool. You couldn’t get more central than its location just a stone’s throw from the Plaça Catalunya city centre square – this is where you can dine, drink, shop and sightsee until your heart’s content.
If you’re a fan of design, you’re in for a treat here. Every corner of the Hotel Pulitzer looks like the pages of a magazine, there’s a greenhouse restaurant where instagrammable palms and hanging baskets drape across exposed brick walls and oversized glass windows, there’s the Pulitzer Vermut terrace that hosts summer parties and lazy Sundays with newspapers and blankets, and there’s the front desk in the lobby crafted from reconditioned gilded Sicilian church panels.
The rooms are just as cool, with an artists studio, stark design feel, thanks to bold artwork on the walls, leather furniture and dark marble bathrooms. If you plump for a suite, you can expect a private plant-covered terrace, an outdoor shower and speakers in your bathroom so you can continue the party even when you’re soaking in the tub…Compare prices
An adults-only boutique hotel experience in Barcelona
To stumble upon The Wittmore feels like you’ve been let in on a local secret. Tucked down an alleyway in the city’s atmospheric Gothic Quarter, the only sign you’ll find of this place is the doorman standing at the end of the street; arriving is certainly a novelty.
Inside, this stylish setting gives off private member’s club vibes: it has a no photo policy and an adults-only guest list. The hotel lobby is a tempting blend of plush velvet curtains, chintzy wallpaper and a traditional style painting of the make-believe Lord Wittmore.
The Witty hotel restaurant will impress with its food and its style. Its setting boasts a fireplace, a library wall, mismatched furniture and a beautiful terrace with vertical garden and fairy lights, while food includes big hearty favourites such as boeuf bourguignon and beef Wellington. Head to the speakeasy-style bar afterwards to try the Witty signature cocktail.
Upstairs you’ll find a cool-without-trying sun terrace, edged by classic yellow and white stripe beds and an unusual sunshine-tiled wading pool. More retro panache awaits in the bedrooms, with Marshall speakers, vintage-style telephones and old-school furniture.Compare prices
A boutique hotel for an arsty stay in Barcelona
Set in the hipster Raval district of Barcelona, Casa Camper is a great base if you want to explore the city’s art scene. Nearby you’ll find the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Centre of Contemporary Culture and a maze of bohemian streets inhabited by independent artists.
Set up by the iconic shoe brand, Camper, this Barcelona boutique hotel fits in flawlessly with its eccentric surrounds. The bigger rooms boast separate sitting rooms across corridors, where you’ll find hammocks that are set up in front of the TV. Bedrooms are painted bright red with slogans and greetings emblazoned across the walls, and balconies overlook the busy streets outside – they’re perfect for people watching.
Books and magazines are stacked up in the public area downstairs, there’s a snack bar where the food is free, or you can head for some Michelin star Japanese in the Dos Palillos restaurant. Up on the roof you can soak up some of that Barcelona sunshine, there’s an honesty bar to keep you refreshed and a jungle shower for cooling down in-between sunbathing sessions.
A boutique hotel for movie fans in Barcelona
I couldn’t write a list of Barcelona hotels without including this one, firstly because it sits opposite one of my favourite sights in the city, Gaudí’s Casa Batlló. The only sign of this hotel is its doorbell, and with just nine rooms it feels like a pretty special find in such an iconic location.
The second reason is its namesake. Margot House found its title while making a nod to the legendary Gwyneth Paltrow character from Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums. And this boutique Barcelona hotel oozes as much style as you can expect, all without trying, of course. Pared back interiors ooze a Scandi vibe: the floors are concrete, you hang your clothes on bamboo rails and the paintwork is fresh and bright. Homely touches come from grey cashmere blankets on the bed, softly wrinkled linen curtains and cosy throw cushions.
Although it’s small, the hotel definitely wins when it comes to privacy. The staff are respectful, and you can find all the local advice you need in your room from the hotel’s own Barcelona mini-guide. You can even borrow a Brompton bicycle if you fancy a ride across the city.
This Barcelona hotel gives off a homely vibe in its public spaces: the open plan design has a reading area, a choice of DVDs, an iMac computer and an honesty pantry. I absolutely loved it for an afternoon read, a glass of wine and a piece of cake.Compare prices
A writer living in London, Laura is currently working on her debut novel – a fictional tale inspired by her travels across America. When she’s not checking out the ideal hotel bed thread-count, she’s penning short stories, writing for various publications & brands, and sharing fashion tales on her blog, LauLauLand.