August 20, 2021
Tablet is your source for discovering the world’s most exciting boutique hotels — places where you’ll find a memorable experience, not just a room for the night. For over twenty years we’ve scoured the earth, evaluating hotels for every taste and budget, creating a hand-picked selection that’s proven and unforgettable. Now, we’re the official hotel selection of the legendary MICHELIN Guide.
Here are the top boutique hotels in Barcelona, Spain, plus the Michelin star restaurants located nearby:
There are a lot of great hotels in Barcelona — after all, this is a city that handles a staggering amount of tourism. So why is this the One? Well, for our money, there’s no better location in Barcelona, situated at the point where two of the city’s best neighborhoods meet. There’s Eixample, a leafy residential district south of the Avenguda Diagonal off the beaten tourist path (don’t mistake the Rambla de Catalunya, one of the neighborhood’s charming pedestrian thoroughfares, with its more well-known and highly trafficked counterpart La Rambla). And there’s Gràcia to the north, lively, trendy, and where young Barcelona lives and plays. You’re within walking distance of all the major sights — Gaudí’s Parc Güell, the Sagrada Família cathedral, the Gothic Quarter — but you’re firmly on the locals’ turf. And that makes all the difference.
You’ll live very comfortably while you’re here, too. The One certainly looks like the five-star hotel that it is. Across the hotel and its 89 guestrooms, there’s a lot of marble, mirrors, and gold accents, done in an elegant way — the handiwork of designer Jaime Beriestain, whose studio created a lot of the furniture too. There’s plenty of dramatic, colorful artwork on the walls, but the best visuals are easily the nearly floor-to-ceiling picture windows that let guests fully take in the neighborhood. The entry-level “cozy” rooms live up to their name (and all that coziness implies when it comes to real estate and hotel rooms), but they’re smartly designed. And the higher-end rooms are among the most luxurious in the area, with private terraces and spectacular views of the Sagrada Familia. If it’s city views you’re after, though, head straight to the rooftop and its plunge pool, which offers unobstructed views of the Barcelona skyline: you’ll remember in an instant why, in a city full of great hotels, this was the one.
Two stars isn’t much for a hotel — unless they’re Michelin stars. Monument Hotel is an elegant new five-star hotel that’s opened on the same premises as Restaurante Lasarte, a two-star restaurant by Martín Berasategui, the Basque chef who holds more Michelin stars than any other chef in Spain. Lasarte is a landmark, considered one of the best places to eat in Barcelona, and now it has a hotel to match. Both are located in a grand 19th-century building on the Passeig de Gràcia, a few minutes’ walk from a pair of Antoni Gaudi’s dazzling architectural projects, Casa Battló and La Pedrera. So it seems natural that the Monument Hotel’s striking modern interior, with its curving ceilings and soaring vertical beams, is vaguely reminiscent of Gaudi’s great masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia cathedral.
The public spaces bring together old and new, featuring pale stone and romantic staircases — a reminder of the building’s past — with industrial steel with futuristic light fixtures. The 84 guest rooms and suites are lined with wood paneling and exposed brick. Many have balconies overlooking the city; all, thoughtfully enough, are soundproofed. They feature spacious bathrooms with free-standing tubs and products by Jo Malone, plus heated floors, Coco-Mat pillow menus and Egyptian cotton sheets, flat-screen Loewe TVs, Bluetooth sound systems, and minibars stocked with complimentary sodas.
Straddling the border between the old city and the Eixample, Hotel Pulitzer Barcelona is as modern as they come, fitting effortlessly into Barcelona’s already expansive cohort of high-design hipster hotels. It’s a 2004 renovation of a Twenties building, and its carefully preserved facade offers little hint of the striking Art Deco-influenced spaces within — again, in true Barcelona style.
Where it departs slightly from the standard set by its peers is in its embrace of conspicuous luxury. The Pulitzer is unashamedly upscale, the public spaces festooned with velvet sofas, lacquered bookshelves lined with books, and a collection of contemporary and antique artworks; bold and clean it is, but minimal it certainly isn’t.
If you walk down the streets of the Eixample neighborhood in Barcelona, you can’t help but notice that there’s a lot of local pride here. Catalan flags hang from the French-style balconies on every street, and you half expect the locals to greet you with “Visca Catalunya” rather than hello. So when you arrive at Casa Bonay, if there’s one thing the team here will impress upon you, it’s that this hotel was a community effort. From the furniture to the blankets to the soap, this is Barcelona — and Catalan culture — on full display.
As a result, you’ll live like the locals do at Casa Bonay. This part of town isn’t the tourist traps along Las Ramblas. Rather, it’s tucked away on a thoroughfare of a largely residential neighborhood, and the hotel’s courtyard looks out onto the everyday Barcelona of laundry lines and gardens. Most of the rooms include outdoor space from which to enjoy the view, including a full private terrace with outdoor shower if you book the courtyard large terrace option. The rooms aren’t exactly enormous — you’re living like a local, remember — but they’re cleverly arranged in a way that highlights the tasteful décor: stunning mosaic or terracotta tiles, high ceilings, cream-colored walls and blue and teal accents.
Walking the halls of the Mercer Hotel Barcelona is a bit like hanging out in a forward-thinking gallery of modern design, where the exhibits never close and management lets you stay the night — except here, the impeccable modernist furniture and glass partitions are housed in an ancient defense tower. This is Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, after all, where you’d be hard-pressed to find buildings that don’t reveal some aspect of the district’s Roman origins.
If the thought of all that history in the stones beneath your feet and the archways above your head gives you pause, rest assured that the archaeological treasures scattered throughout the twenty-eight guest rooms don’t make the place feel at all unwelcoming. The ancient elements are surprisingly well integrated for a hotel that’s working with stark design schemes — the exposed brickwork is never ponderous, and the ceiling beams are painted to fit right into the color palette, which relies most heavily on shades of cream to balance out the dark wood of the furniture. Hanging lamps resemble rope ladders, and give the open-plan bathrooms a bit of irreverence.
The MICHELIN Guide's restaurant selections for Barcelona, Spain: