Spain: Barcelona: Where to stay
Posted On: 28/12/2014
By: Scouse Bird
Chain hotels are all well and good but if you want a trip abroad where every aspect is memorable, including the hotel, then boutique is the way to go. My first stay in a boutique hotel was on a trip to Malta and I still miss the quirky rooms and bed that dreams are made of - when planning a trip to Barcelona, I couldn't be more excited about trying out not one, but two such hotels, both as individual as each other.
"Boutique hotel is a term popularized in North America and the United Kingdom to describe hotels which have typically between 10 and 100 rooms, but can be as small as 2 rooms in a commercial setting (as opposed to rooms for rent in private residences), and often contain luxury facilities in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Boutique hotels began appearing in the 1980s in major cities like London, New York, and San Francisco. Typically boutique hotels are furnished in a themed, stylish and/or aspirational manner. Boutique hotels are often individual and focused on offering their services in a comfortable, intimate, and welcoming setting, so they are very unlikely to be found amongst the homogeneity of large hotels." - Wikipedia
Hotel Sixty Two
Set bang in the middle of Paseo de Gracia the main shopping street - where you'll find your Chanel and Louis Vuitton stores - and a 1 minute walk from the famous Gaudi Casa Batllo this is a fantastic location if you're coming to Barcelona to shop shop shop! The famous bar and restaurant hot spot of Las Ramblas is only a straight 10 minute walkaway too. If you visit the Louis Vuitton shop there's a replica of Gaudi's lizard made entirely out of handbags and purses which is a tourist attraction within itself.
Walking into reception through an oversized front door you're greeted immediately by friendly staff who informed us that between 6 and 6.30pm there are free drinks available in the hotel bar. That's the sort of welcome I like. Little touches like a bottle of chilled cava waiting as you walk into the room, lollipops on the pillow and free umbrellas in reception if it starts raining makes sure you feel every inch the valued guest.
Hotel Sixty Two is definitely geared towards the romantic getaway. You can order a 'sexy' package to your room containing cava, chocolate covered strawberries and a range of massage oils for... wait for it... €69. I like to think they're in on the joke.
Get a room on the 5th floor and you'll have your own outdoor terrace area overlooking the Paseo de Gracia & Casa Battlo - perfect for summer sunbathing or a bit of alfresco drinking.
Room facilities include mini bar (the cheapest minibar I've ever come across!), monogrammed towels, hairdryer, dressing gown, sewing kit, razor, toothpaste as well as all the other toiletries you'd expect as standard.
Breakfast caters to everyone. You can go for a full fat sausage and bacon number or if you're watching the weight after Xmas or during bikini season there's an egg white omelette - which I think contains minus calories or something.
Hotel Barcelona Catedral
I can't stress how close this hotel is to the huge gothic Barcelona Cathedral, a 5 second walk outside the front door finds you in its shadow and in the middle of the traditional market place. Don't get the cathedral mixed up with Gaudi's La Sagrada Familia, they're both amazing buildings, both in completely different parts of the city. This hotel sits in the heart of the gothic quarter, this is where the original Roman settlement began and from where the city first sprawled from in the middle ages so if you want to wander down tiny back streets and feel like you've stepped back in time then the gothic quarter is perfect. Most of the 15th century buildings are still intact.
The jewel in the crown of Hotel Barcelona Catedral apart from it's proximity to the tourist attractions is of course the rooftop pool and terrace. Visiting in December it was a little chilly for a swim but I can certainly imagine myself sipping a cocktail and reclining on a sun lounger come the sunnier months. To top it off the whole area is decorated in a vivid pink. Swoon.
Like with any boutique hotel, it's the little things that matter. Not only do you have the dressing gown and chilled cava on arrival but there's little decorative touches such as vintage telephones in the rooms and reception offer a free guided walking tour of the gothic quarter every Wednesday and Sunday evening for guests - it was boss, do it.
Overall I'd recommend Hotel Sixty Two for shopping and Hotel Barcelona Catedral for sightseeing (although both are in the city centre so you cn do either at either).
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What to do in Barcelona... Coming soon
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