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Best boutique hotels in Barcelona 2023: Where to stay for fine dining, location and sea views

The best boutique places to stay in Spain’s cultural capital

Sally Davies
Tuesday 23 May 2023 11:20 BST
Barcelona's Sagrada Familia, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi
Barcelona's Sagrada Familia, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi

Barcelona is one of the world’s most visited cities, and for good reason. As the cosmopolitan capital of Spain’s Catalonia region, there’s much to see, from the breathtakingly beautiful Sagrada Familia and beaches to the world-renowned museums.

So, it’s no wonder that, in part thanks to its tourism boom back in 2016, we saw a rise in accommodation options across the board. We’re not just talking skyscraping business hotels either, you’ll find everything from a new breed of savvy youth hostels to luxury resorts.

But where it really excels is with the particular combination of quirky and stylish stays that encapsulates the spirit of the city itself and needn't always break the bank.

To help you choose the best stay for you – whether you want to be beachside, stay in the Gothic Quarter, or shop ’til you drop – we’ve rounded up the ultimate pick of Barcelona's best boutique hotels.

Best hotel for romance: The Wittmore

Neighbourhood: Barri Gòtic

Leave the kids behind at The Wittmore

Hidden away down the smallest alleyway imaginable, this adults-only hotel has a cosy country-house feel, with a roaring log fire and stacks of board games in the library, and vintage touches in the bedrooms, such as old-school dial telephones and porcelain rotary light switches. Rooms face the internal light well, which does mean there’s no view to speak of – but there's a roof terrace with a diminutive pool and a vista over the Old City.

Best hotel for rooftop swims: The Hoxton

Neighbourhood: Poblenou

The Hoxton’s rooftop pool

Millennial-favourite The Hoxton made its debut in the Catalonian capital for 2022, setting up its stall in – where else? – one of the city’s coolest neighbourhood’s, eastside, beach-adjacent Poblenou.

Design-wise, it oozes the contemporary, bougie brand of chic that’s now synonymous with the Hoxton: cool rattan floors, salmon-hued corridors, chilled out rooms accented with mint and sea greens, marble inlays and wood, with statement lamps and bold, abstract hessian wall hangings behind the beds.

Downstairs sits a trendy, high-ceilinged restaurant and bar with bold pops of colour splashed across the walls, brown leather banquettes and a buzzy outdoor terrace serving up insanely decadent deep-dish pizzas; head to the top for sundowners with fabulous views alongside the rooftop pool and bar. Helen Coffey

Best hotel for dining: Sir Victor

Neighbourhood: Eixample

After one of the city's best steaks, loosen your belt buckle at Sir Victor

The newest addition to Barcelona's stable of design hotels, Sir Victor soothes the soul with its rich, deep colours and the plants, books and artworks that enliven the public spaces. Staff can organise design, music, food and photography tours for guests, or you might choose to freeze your troubles away in a spa so cutting-edge it includes a cryochamber. Perhaps its greatest asset, however, is the Mr Porter restaurant, which serves up possibly the greatest steaks in town (and some of the spiciest sides).

Best hotel for a sea view: Little Beach House

Neighbourhood: Garraf

Need a digital detox? Head to the Little Beach House

Not strictly speaking in Barcelona, the Little Beach House is an easy 45-minute train ride away, south of the city and close to the whitewashed seaside party town of Sitges. Belonging to the Soho House group, it sits in a quiet and unspoilt bay, with a simple, pretty design of pastels, plants and wicker that reflects both its location and a determination to avoid the networking buzz of the mothership – this is a place to kick back and listen to the waves (there is a ban on mobiles and laptops in the common areas). But note: you have to be a member of the Soho House Group before you can book a room.

Price: Membership from €45.83 per month (£40 per month)

Book now

Best hotel for bargain chic: Hotel Market

Neighbourhood: Sant Antoni

Stylish rooms, at an affordable price, await at Hotel Market

Named after the revamped Mercat de Sant Antoni – a food market that takes up the adjacent block – this is an excellent budget option close to Barcelona's hippest area for wining and dining. Creaky floorboards, red lacquered cabinets and stone sinks are all enjoyably kooky for a budget three-star, and the restaurant is supremely elegant (the food less so, but you can't argue with these prices). The bar is a relaxing place to hang out with a G&T after a day's sightseeing, and the addition of terrace tables on a quiet pedestrian street is a welcome one.

Best hotel for history: Mercer Hotel

Neighbourhood: Barri Gòtic

Relax in the Mercer's rooftop pool

Situated in a medieval building fused into a section of the Roman city wall, the luxurious Mercer is a huge favourite with history buffs (ask if you can see the centuries-old frescoes in a private dining room built inside the former defence tower). The hotel’s crowning glory, however, is the roof garden with plunge pool – a small and quiet oasis filled with flowers and fragrant herbs.

Best hotel for quiet luxury: Hotel Neri

Neighbourhood: Barri Gòtic

Escape the crowds at Hotel Neri

Close to the cathedral, but hidden from the crowds down a narrow sidestreet, the Neri is the prototype boutique, with only 22 rooms but immaculate levels of service and a superb restaurant. Closely embedded as it is in the medieval fabric of the Gothic quarter, it doesn't have much by way of views, but rooms are kept bright with a cream colour scheme and high ceilings. The plant-filled rooftop area is beautifully peaceful for somewhere so central.

Best hotel for Seventies vibes: Room-Mate Carla

Neighbourhood: Eixample

Step back in time at Room-Mate Carla

This former apartment block, a short walk from some of Gaudí's finest buildings, blends elegant turn-of-the-century architecture, high ceilings and original features with exuberant Seventies-inspired wall designs and bold-coloured bedspreads and cushions. It's low on facilities but does incorporate a small gym and computer for guests’ use, and the patio is a peaceful place to work or read.

Best hotel for shopping: Hotel Jazz

Neighbourhood: Eixample

Hotel Jazz

The Hotel Jazz could not be more central, located just off Plaça Catalunya and close to all the main shopping arteries. It's a stylish gem for its price point, not to mention friendly. Jazz floats around the lobby, corridors and up on the sundeck, where you'll find a surprisingly wide pool, along with plenty of loungers. Decor is vaguely jazz-themed, with pinstripe fabric and a monochrome aesthetic.

Best hotel for quirky design: Praktik Garden

Neighbourhood: Eixample

The colourful interior of Praktik Garden

Floor-to-ceiling vintage-style circus posters transform corridors into tunnels of colour, and complement the colourful book-lined reception area. Rooms are a little more sober, but have smart, navy-tiled bathrooms and an abundance of mismatched artworks. A small garden off the sitting area gives the hotel its name, and is an unexpected perk for a hotel of this size.

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