The 10 Best Hotels in Barcelona

The time: Midnight on my first day in Barcelona. The place: The famous 4 Cats cafe, one of Pablo Picasso’s favorite haunts. The company: Pals from Twitter who had turned into real-life friends.

Sònia Graupera, a Barcelona-based travel writer, had invited me to speak at the Hospitality Industry World Congress in her home city. Though we had only been “Twitter friends” up to that point, when we met I felt like we had known each other for years, bursting out laughing and exchanging stories over drinks and bowls full of green olives.

After the conference, I spent extra time in Barcelona to stalk hotels, explore its many neighborhoods, architecture, and museums, and have some of the best meals of recent memory at Escriba, Restaurante Lasarte, and Tickets tapas bar.

Sònia told me that most of the properties that have opened in the last few years have been family-owned boutique hotels. But, she said, “we’ve also seen the international chains like W, Mandarin Oriental, and Renaissance arrive in Barcelona, with Hilton opening its second hotel, all in the past four years.” Lucky for us travelers, the influx in options hasn’t driven up costs. ”Prices are still very reasonable, compared to Paris, London, or Milan, with very high quality,” she said.

After pounding the pavement for hours armed with Sònia’s expertise and extensive research, I came up with my picks for the 10 best hotels in Barcelona (in no particular order):

The rooftop terrace at Hotel Majestic. (Photograph courtesy Majestic Hotel & Spa)

> Hotel MajesticIf I had to choose where I’d stay again, I’d go with this hotel. Located on the swanky Passeig de Gràcia near two of Gaudi’s most famous buildings, La Pedrera and Casa Batlló, this hotel has a rich 90+ year history to discover. Grand columns and a chandelier lead to the lobby lounge, bar, and piano, while rooms have all been recently renovated. My balcony allowed me to watch Barcelona promenade by. The feature that made me go from like to love? The rooftop pool and lounge, with phenomenal views of La Sagrada Familia and Passeig de Gràcia.

> ABaCI felt immediately calm at this hotel, located on Av. Tibidabo, a street of villas slightly removed from Barcelona’s main tourist sites. Opened as a hotel in 2008, the building was actually the U.S. embassy in Barcelona from 1936-1939. Now, they call it a restaurant with a hotel, because the 2-Michelin-star-rated Restaurant ABaC is so popular. At the helm is Jordi Cruz, known for being the youngest chef in Spain to get a Michelin star. If you’re looking for a romantic retreat in the heart of the city, look no further than this hotel’s 15 stylish rooms, gorgeous spa, and garden.

> Casa Fuster: Designed by a famous Catalan architect, this historic building opened as a hotel in 2004, revealing a whimsical, modern design in its 105 rooms on the Passeig de Gràcia. Café Vienés, just off the lobby, is a popular meeting spot with bright furnishings. But on Thursdays, it turns into one of the hottest jazz clubs in town (Woody Allen has played his clarinet here, as this is his hotel of choice in Barcelona). A two-minute walk from Casa Fuster is Da Greco, a wonderful spot for homestyle Italian cuisine if you are tired of tapas bars.

The lobby at the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona. (Photograph by Annie Fitzsimmons)

> Mandarin Oriental Barcelona: There’s no mistaking when you’re at a Mandarin Oriental property. The vibe is always tranquil and unhurried, with impeccable service. Their Barcelona location has been no exception since opening in 2009. The hotel has one of the best breakfast spreads served in a truly serene setting, as well as a lovely rooftop pool. Rooms overlooking the Passeig de Gràcia have far better views than the “garden view” ones, which are more run down.

> Hotel Claris: A hotel with a truly superb location, this former 19th-century palace off the Passeig de Gràcia has the additional distinction of housing a 400+ piece art collection. Each of the 124 rooms is decorated with original Roman, Egyptian, and Hindu art. There’s even a small Egyptian art exhibit above the lobby level. The love for art comes from owner Jordi Clos, an avid collector who also owns the Egyptian Museum of Barcelona. Hotel Claris’ rooftop restaurant and terrace are also beautiful. The style of the rooms can vary wildly, so be sure to look into each type before booking.

> Hotel Arts Barcelona: For those of you who want to be as close to the Mediterranean as possible, check out this vibrant hotel with 483 rooms, five fantastic restaurants, a spa on the 42nd floor with the one of the most gorgeous views, and fresh flower displays throughout. It was built during Barcelona’s revitalization for the 1992 Olympics and has a prime spot next to Frank Gehry’s fish sculpture, which has since become a symbol of the city.

> Hotel Alma: This super-stylish boutique hotel in the Eixample neighborhood feels hidden away from the bustling city streets. Rooms at Hotel Alma have high ceilings and strong, masculine feel, but with white marble bathrooms. While it’s definitely not the right choice for families, those wanting a sleek, quiet stay in Barcelona will be more than pleased with the experience.

A "junior suite" at Omm. (Photograph by Olga Planas)

> Hotel Omm: It’s all about the word natural at Hotel Omm — the furniture and linens are earthy and unrefined, and public spaces are filled with light. The hotel’s spa is one of the best in Barcelona, as is Restaurant Moo, where Catalan food is served “with a twist” worthy of a Michelin star. I also really liked Moovida, the more casual little brother to Moo that can be found in the lobby.

> Neri Hotel: You may have some trouble finding Neri when you first arrive, as it’s tucked away in the Gothic Quarter. But that’s just part of its charm, as is the fact that it was once a Medieval palace. The stone walls from its palace days remain, which lend a very authentic feel to the hotel and its beautiful courtyards.

> The Mirror: One of the best values in Barcelona, this hotel  is all white, light, and well…mirrors. Each of the 63 rooms feels trend-setting in its design, and larger due to the expansive effect of the reflections. The seafood restaurant is a favorite, run by Paco Pérez, a chef who has earned two Michelin stars at another restaurant in Costa Brava. It is said this restaurant should — and will — earn its own star soon.

Bonus Tips! For more great value and food, try The Park Hotel, where rooms can be found for less than 100 euros. The hotel’s restaurant, Ten’s, is a local foodie favorite, and was one of mine as well. There are also two Room Mate-branded hotels in Barcelona, Emma and Pau, which are geared toward a fun-loving, younger crowd.

Annie Fitzsimmons is Intelligent Travel’s Urban Insider, giving you the dish on the best things to see and do in cities all over the world. Follow her travels on Twitter @anniefitz.

Comments

  1. Adrienne B
    January 24, 2013, 7:44 pm

    I love the Hotel Majestic… The rooftop is one of my favorite places to grab a drink in Barcelona – even better to stay there!

  2. Noemí Benito
    Barcelona
    January 28, 2013, 3:04 pm

    Don’t forget small boutique hotels like ANBA B&B Deluxe, 7 design rooms in the centre of the city, with an excellent service, confort and where you can feel like at home.

  3. JJ Jhonson
    www.jakpost.travel
    January 29, 2013, 12:50 am

    The Majestic is where i met my girlfriend . Such a nostalgic to read this article. And yes adrienne, the rooftop is amazing

  4. Danial Ahade
    Toronto
    January 30, 2013, 10:17 pm

    Great to know some of these hotels. My boss is planning a tour of Spain next summer. I might possibly join too. I would recommend him these hotels. He would love to know in advance. Oh hoooo, http://www.tracquisitions.com can’t wait to go to visit Barcelona.

  5. Traveling Ana
    Barcelona
    February 4, 2013, 10:06 am

    Hi!
    These are fantastic and nice hotels in Barcelona! Aside from the article information, if you are planning a trip to Barcelona soon, I would like to recommend to you to have a look to this site about hotels in Barcelona to find the best hotel for you according your needs. Try it! http://www.fogg.co.uk/spain/catalonia/hotels-in-barcelona
    I hope you find it useful!
    Regards

  6. Francesc Holgado
    Barcelona
    May 24, 2013, 5:57 am

    Dear Annie,
    I loved your list but I missed a new hotel opened just nine months ago and already ranks No. 2 in TripAdvisor, the Mercer Hotel Barcelona http://www.mercerbarcelona.com.
    I think it’s worth …
    Warm regards,
    Francesc Holgado

  7. Compass
    New Delhi
    June 26, 2013, 3:08 am

    Majestic is my favorite hotel. i had spend very great time there recently. I’m a traveling lover. love to travel across the world.
    http://www.compasstours.com

  8. MCiti Suites
    philippines
    July 18, 2013, 4:17 am

    These hotels are really very interesting to be at. What hotel is much affordable? Thank you for the information. Barcelona is one of my favorite place to visit or have a week vacation.

  9. Steve
    USA
    July 28, 2013, 11:33 am

    Has anyone stayed at the Hotel DO Placa Reial?

  10. Tammy
    New York
    August 15, 2013, 1:55 am

    Annie
    I am planning my 40th Birthday in Barcelona! Can you tell me what the best – hip – stylish – area is…. Thinking what’s like our TriBeCa or Soho or west village etc. need to pick a hotel for my guests. Thanks!

  11. cristina
    November 4, 2013, 5:42 am

    Casa Fuster is without doubt the best hotel in Barcelona if you want to have a luxurious and quiet stay, with awesome food and excellent treat. But I am also very fond of luxurious apartments in Barcelona. You can also find great prices in this sort of accommodation: http://www.apartmentsbcn.com/en Happy stay in Barcelona!!

  12. silvia
    barcelona
    December 29, 2013, 3:38 pm

    the best “deluxe” guide is BetterBarcelona.com

  13. Pablo
    Barcelona
    January 8, 4:27 am

    Casa Fuster maybe is the most charming hotel in Barcelona, specially for the design and decoration. One of the things I like the most is the way catalans design their homes and hotels. In a way it’s a mix between tradition and a lot of modernist influence from artists like Joan Miró or Dalí. There are websites where we can find not only hotels, but also apartments and accommodation with the same decoration and style in case you want to visit Barcelona with your family cutting a bit your expenses, like http://www.barcelonapoint.com or http://www.cocoonbarcelona.com. Anyways if you like Barcelona and you want to feel like catalans do, try to look for catalan modernist accommodation rather than luxury, for me it’s the best way to dig in the catalan culture.

  14. Ari
    Barcelona
    January 13, 7:41 am

    I agree these are all great hotels, but very expensive also!! If you are looking for a good value, check these out:
    http://www.hotelactual.com – small independent boutique hotel in Passeig de Gracia
    http://www.yourhomeinbarcelona.com – Quality Low cost apartments near Sagrada Familia, perfect for families and groups
    and also
    http://www.anitasbarcelona.com – a small and cozy B&B with amazing views over Barcelona.

  15. josep
    Barcelona
    February 13, 4:18 am

    For its position I strongly recommend Hotel Serhs Rivoli Rambla. It’s a must!!!

  16. Alberta La Grup
    Barcelona
    February 13, 6:19 am

    Barcelona has significantly increased the number of accommodation during 2013. The list is very classic. but there are several new luxury boutique hotels, plenty of autenthicity, history and charm that our wealthy clients love. But the most important is not only where do you slep, but what are you going to experience there? Let’s ask your personal concierge for the best suite. http://www.albertalagrup.com

  17. joe moore
    australia
    March 18, 11:37 pm

    taking my wife to europ for her 50th. we have a 12 day cruise booked from 24/04/2014 .we have 5 days in Barcelona prior and 5 days in venis from 06/05/2014 after cruise,looking for value for money accommodation so we can enjoy the best of both cities

  18. Jonathan
    España
    April 4, 6:47 am

    Our company travels each year to Barcelona for the Mobile Congress. Suggest http://www.espaibarcelona.com apartments are the best we found for daily rental fully equipped

  19. My7Lives
    April 15, 9:52 pm

    These hostels are gorgeous. I have never been to Barcelona and I really want to travel there soon!! Does anyone have any advice for someone like me who is on a budget and looking for a place to stay??