With magnificent boulevards, winding old alleys, the Montjuïc always looming in the background, and the beach always in range, Barcelona provides a unique atmosphere and boasts a casual and easy way of life. The Modernist architecture and the many Gothic buildings give the capital of Catalonia an entirely particular skyline. In any of the differing districts, whether young and trendy, or storied and dignified, Barcelona flaunts its very own kind of charm. With interiors flawlessly curated by some of the world’s leading designers, a stay in a design hotel will ensure there is a not a moment of your trip anything short of wonderful.
Where to spend the night in a design hotel in Barcelona? Barcelona’s neighborhoods at a glance:
The Eixample & El Born: Luxurious boulevards, Barcelona’s gay scene & Modernism
The Eixample, a historical district near the center of the city, is characterized by its massive boulevards and its long list of Barcelona’s favorite sites and scapes. In the largest district in Barcelona, one can see the hand of the architects of the Modernista Movement most apparently. The work of Antoni Gaudí is unmissable from every trendy cafe, boulevard-side bench, and even the terrace of your hotel. With attractive design concepts and first class amenities, a design hotel will add just another layer to the fascinating way in which Barcelona spans time. In terms of nightlife, this Barrio offers an especially dynamic take on Spanish partying. Referred to by some locals as “Gayxample”, Eixample promises more than just Medieval-Modern views — it guarantees a bustling and youthful party life as soon as the sun sets. Starting at a design hotel in one of Barcelona’s hippest areas, you can bounce from gay sauna to trendy bar to hot club and back again. El Born is a small neighborhood tucked between the Eixample and Parc Zoològic de Barcelona. In a design hotel here, you’ll find cool light concepts, modern art lining the walls, retro lobbies, and all the innovative design you could ask for.
Gothic Quarter: Barcelona’s lively Old City, shopping & historical charm
Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter stretches from the seaport into the city to meet the southern border of Eixample — a perfect location for those seeking beach bliss and a bustling and distinct city life. Where Picasso spent his teen years, where Gaudí began his first project in architecture, and where the restaurants range back to 1786, the Gothic Quarter spans over two thousand years of history and charm. Strolling through the Gothic Quarter is as close as you can get to a fairytale — golden light trickles down on medieval cobblestone while you indulge in a cone filled with cured meats. Wander through the gridded streets to find the best luxury and boutique shopping. Meander a little further to the northern border of the district to find La Boqueria, one of the oldest markets in Europe and home to some of the most delicious and authentic Spanish treats — ranging from tacos, to smoothies, to full fresh fish. Add a design hotel to the mix and you’ll be blown away by the combination of modern and medieval, all in the cool bliss of contemporary interior design and top of the line service, staff, and amenities. Design hotels in the Gothic Quarter offer super stylish rooms, spa treatments, and in-house cuisine to die for.
Sagrada Família: Otherworldly architecture, locals-only feel & Spain’s most beloved church
The Sagrada Família District is located in the northern part of the city and is home to the most visited monument in Spain. The Sagrada Família appears as if from another world -- under construction now since 1852, this Roman Catholic Church shoots up into the sunny skyline. It exudes the aura of the Modern era, the grandeur of which has not since been approached. Even for the untrained eye, the presence of these two and a half centuries of work is totally palpable and awe inspiring. The surrounding neighborhood is just as dazzling in and of itself. With more than a half of the residents of the area being born-and-raised in Barcelona, the structured grid layout and brilliant architecture offers a genuine experience of the city. On generally quiet streets, and within beautiful parks, you’re bound to find the perfect day for you. In a design hotel in the Sagrada Familia, enjoy views of this gorgeous residential neighbor from rooftop pools, glasses of wine within cool minimalistic interiors, and the warm presence of a friendly and professional staff.
Gracia: Center of the bohemian, alternative & youthful nightlife
In a design hotel in Gracia, north of Eixample and at the foot of the Serre de Collserola nature preserve, you’ll find the utmost opulence within one of the city’s coolest neighborhoods. Barcelona’s Gracia maintains a village-like feel, filled with the intrigue of bohemian and alternative lifestyles. The winding streets are chockfull with street artists, tapas tasting, and fresh cocktails much needed on a sunny afternoon. It is also home to one of Barcelona’s most cherished attractions: Park Güell. An out-of-this-world park, designed by none other than Gaudí, is amazing not only for its ahead of its time design, but also for the unparalleled views it offers of the city from the hill it stands on. A design hotel in Gracia comes equipped with first-rate restaurants, cool and calming light-concepts, and luxury spa treatments perfect for ending an exciting day on the town.
El Raval: Multicultural crowd, genuine Spanish flair & architectural wonders
El Raval, a district brimming with lively nightlife and authentic Spanish flair, is the choice neighborhood for those looking to stay among the locals. A picturesque part of the city, El Raval is home to some of Barcelona’s coolest bars, hottest restaurants, and best contemporary art. For the perfect sunset spent with the city’s international youth population, head to the steps of the Museo d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona to find Barcelona’s reputation as the skateboarding city epitomized. El Raval, considered the most stimulating and authentic of the districts, is filled with local characters, international nomads, and young lovers. The neighborhood that never sleeps: El Raval promises to always entice, morning through evening through morning again… In a neo-Baroque inspired design hotel, you’ll feel real cool looking out over the trendy El Raval district, sharing sunset tapas in stylish hotel lounges. Take advantage of the luxurious amenities offered in select hotels: iPod docks for some mood-music, plasma screen TVs for lazy evenings in, and well equipped exercise centers for working off those tapas.
Barceloneta & Beachside: Modern plazas, beaches & a long-established charm
Design hotels in Barceloneta & beachside have managed to strike the perfect balance between poolside and seaside opulence. Surrounded by the unique retro flair of your design hotel, enjoy gorgeous views off the coast into the boundless Mediterranean. Sip Cava behind floor-to-ceiling windows that frame stunning views of Barcelona’s Port Cable Car — cutting across the skyline to Montjuïc Fortress. Hang out in your fluffy bathrobe all morning and then wander downstairs to the lively and dynamic Barceloneta, where you’ll find idyllic beaches, town squares filled with the best tapas and natural wine you can dream up, and even a charming zoo and aquarium. The local’s favorite beach, Sant Sebastià, is perfect for sunbathing between bites of al fresco seafood and dips in the warm water. For a break from the sun, let Roy Lichtenstein’s “Barcelona Head” sculpture lead the way into the Marina Port Vell, complete with first-rate shopping, an IMAX cinema, and the Museum of Catalan History.
Montjuïc & Plaza España: Nature, museums & the Magic Fountain
The Montjuïc Fortress sits elegantly hilltop, within an expansive landscape of hills, botanical gardens, and the Mediterranean always behind. Brimming with amazing viewpoints and renowned museums, the district of Montjuïc and Plaza España is perfect for those seeking a mix of natural wonders and a bustling city life. A design hotel places you in the middle of the action — whether that action for you is a short walk from the best mountain viewpoint in Barcelona, or being right on the edge of the epicenter of the city. Whatever you choose, every design hotel promises to provide cosmopolitan charm, trendy style & first-rate cuisine. Whether Montjuïc or Plaza España, you’ll end meeting in the middle at the Magic Fountain — it’s widely agreed that this colossal fountain is an unmissable destination. With over seven billion light and water combinations, you’ll never be bored watching this show stopper of a performance — and it’s free. For those more inclined toward traditional art, the Museum of Catalan Art boasts a thousand years of Catalan culture: From the European Renaissance, to more Gaudí, to 20th century photography. In Montjuïc and Plaza España, you’ll have it all. There’s no better way to end the day than at a design hotel superbly located within; hanging out on your balcony, sprawling out next to the pool, and simply enjoying the contemporary coolness of the lobby, devised by the best interior designers.
Barcelona – Good to know:
Tickets: With Barcelona having such a long list of tourist attractions and historical wonders, tickets to enter these sites are usually sold out the day of. Plan ahead and book your spot for Sagrada Familie, Park Gaudí, and any of the many museums a day prior to assure you won’t miss out on these once-in-a-lifetime site seeing opportunities.
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