I am so excited to be revisiting Barcelona this summer, after a 20 year hiatus. I’m sure there will be some change to the city after the massive success of the Olympics which was held shortly before our first visit. I know some of the areas that were redeveloped for the Olympics are now chic and trendy? Our visit is very short, only two nights, mainly to revisit the David Bowie Is exhibition which we saw at the V&A a few years ago. It’s due to leave Europe after Barcelona, so it seemed a fitting birthday gift for Mr B, who is a huge Bowie fan and like so many of us, has been left with a void after his passing and a renewed interest in everything David Bowie was. So this exhibition and Barcelona should be a great few days away without the kids. I always say kids, one of them is 22 now but the youngest who is 15 is staying with a friend for the duration of our trip, so we can indulge our Bowie passion uninterupted. She came with us to the V&A and moaned the whole way round so this time will be a treat.
So even though we are only away for two nights, I always like to stay somewhere well designed, instagram worthy, shall we say, but without blowing the budget out of the water. My friends tell me this is a great strength of mine and I’m always given the task of finding our accommodation when we go on our girls mini breaks, they tell me I never disappoint and always come up with the goods, because their nice like that? My weapon of choice is booking.com and I use their review filter to sift the wheat from the chafe. Reviews of less than 8/10 are filtered out and then I go for lowest price first and location is always a considered option. If you’re only some where for a few nights you need location to be key? You need to hit the ground running and then be in the best area for the coolest bars and restaurants to avoid public transport journeys or expensive taxis in the evening, cutting into your precious time.
So if you to are considering a short break in Barcelona, these options are worth a closer look? One is our hotel of choice, another two of them would be equally perfect. I booked our hotel mainly for the location. El Born seemed more bohemian than Exiample, where the other two budget hotels were located, although Exiample is a better choice if you want a larger room and a better nights sleep, as the area is less condensed than El Born. The final two hotels are on my wish list for when money isn’t a consideration. A girl can dream? If money isn’t your consideration, these two are pretty damn fine hotels in my opinion.
Chic & Basic – Born
This is our hotel of choice based on location and budget. As I’ve said the rooms are small, as are many of the rooms in Barcelona and especially in the El Born district, but it is right in the heart of the old part of Barcelona where many locals live and the night life is authentic and lively.Chic and Basic have other similar hotels and a selection of apartments, in various locations throughout Barcelona. The hotel have bikes that you can hire, which we intend to take out for a cycle along the water front. There is a communal area in the hotel for drinks and breakfast, although this does not come included in the price, as is quite often the case now with most city hotels.
This beautiful 19th Century neoclassical building, a former family home of the Bonay family, has been sensitively renovated, with lots of original features and tiled floors preserved. This centrally located boutique hotel, in the exiample area close to lots of the main attractions of Barcelona, has been brought up to date with modern furniture & textiles and invites guests to make the most of their stay at Casa Bonay with a cocktail bar, restaurant and cafe. Some rooms have outdoor seating areas and showers on the balcony, which is a perfect way of finishing a busy day in the city?
A strange choice I know for somebody with coeliac disease to consider a hotel within a bakery, but the rooms are so well designed and the location in the exiample district such a good choice, that it would seem churlish to deny Mr B fresh pastries in the morning? To be honest, I couldn’t imagine anything nicer in the morning, than being woken up by the smell of fresh bread wafting through the hotel? This small chain of Praktik hotels have another 3 locations throughout Barcelona, all with a cool modern interior.
The Soho House members group have recently opened this hotel in Barcelona and used the colours of the landscape to decorate the interior beautifully. The exposed brickwork and terracotta and nude pink tiles and textiles throughout are the perfect choice for this Catalan outpost.
Cotton House Hotel
This former building was once home to The Cotton House of manufacturers headquarters and the grand structure and interior of the building have been brought up to date with a sense of luxury and indulgence. From the grand library, to the elegant conservatory and the rooftop pool, every part of the hotel has been considered beautifully to form part of the Marriott Luxury Autograph collection. Simply stunning!