We keep talking about boutique hotels as a different trip plan for 2015. After the previous short introduction and our short trip for some charming accommodations in Madrid, this time we will travel to Barcelona, another big city in Spain where you can enjoy a wide variety of boutique hotels characterised by their design, singular spaces and personal attention.
The big difference between Barcelona and Madrid is that the Catalonian capital always stands out for its taste for design and innovation. It is also important to bear in mind that this city has higher rates than Madrid and its attractions are more distant from each other, in comparison with the Spanish capital, where we find clearly an historic and artistic centre.
In Barcelona you can book a good boutique hotel in almost any pace and enjoy the authentic ambience of the city without needing to be very close to the old town. Nevertheless, it is truth that some of the most singular hotels in Barcelona are situated in famous streets such as Ciutat Vella, L’Eixample, Gràcia, etc. You can find a few interesting hotels in Poble Nou, but not as much as in the aforementioned areas.
Modernism is another hallmark. All the modernist area has wonderful must-visit hotels. This is the case of Museum Barcelona Hotel, one of the classic one in this city, where you can rest in an old modernist house (Garriga Nogués House) which has been completely and very gently refurbished and almost all the period details have been preserved.
Along with this, also managed by Petit Palace chain –which is one of the most important and best examples of boutique hotels in Spain-, it is worth mentioning the Boquería Hotel, renowned in the city for its beautiful romantic garden surrounding it and shaping the entire hotel. In this case, besides being an accommodation that boasts exquisite details, it stands out for its location, just some metres away from the famous market which gives it its name.
What you should always request in a boutique hotel in Barcelona is spaces conceived to enjoy experiences in the hotel representing a trip motivation in themselves. This is one of the main characteristics of Barceló chain with its Raval Hotel: although it cannot be considered a boutique hotel for its dimensions and accommodation capacity, it has applied this philosophy in its spaces, creating one of the fashionable terrace roofs in Barcelona where tourist from all over the world want to be, being or not guests of the hotel. Creating a viewpoint of the city is a real success, undoubtedly, since it is one of the best marketing formulas nowadays.
Being linked to the destination and achieving that the hotel, its spaces and activities make part of the social schedule of a city such as Barcelona is worth taking your hat off to. Few are the ones who achieve it, but there are more and more trying to. It is truth that many boutique hotels in Barcelona have not much capacity to make them know by word to mouth, but it is clear that in this hard-fought industry, as in others, making efforts, listening to the customer and making good investments give good results. If not in the short-term, then in the medium-long-term.
Choosing the right accommodation is essential, since many call themselves boutique hotels, but they are really a small and family accommodation where you feel at home… with all that being at home implies. Without an attraction, without extra services. That is not a good boutique hotel, but a small hotel. Pay attention, because there are many of these ones in Barcelona.
You should always request quality (never stay at a 1 or 2-star hotel, although you see an attractive price) and trust in the previous guests’ reviews: those who have tried it before can tell you what you will really find. But, do not hesitate to try a good boutique hotel, it will worth it.
There are hotels in Barcelona that can offer you experiences similar to the boutique hotels –maybe with a less noticeable personal attention- that will help you to plan a romantic escapade or a trip with friends completely different from what you have seen before. Some hotels that give this type of added value are, for example, hotels such as Catalonia Barcelona Plaza, where, from the beginning of the stay you see that everything is organized, every service and facility is conscientiously designed to offer the maximum comfort and the best experiences. If you want to make sure of this, you just need to stay at one of its rooms next to Plaza España or to enjoy its swimming pool in the terrace roof.
This type of accommodations (most of them 4-5 stars) are a not very affordable, but you should also check the prices in relation to the quality: we often get swept up in the offer, thinking of a low cost accommodation… and then we end up writing a bad review about a hotel for which we had many expectations and have paid too little.