A city full of possibilities: Barcelona at sunrise.Photo: Pol Albarrán/Getty Images
Casa Bonay is always busy: its chic bars, reasonably priced rooms and restaurants – just a stone’s throw from the city’s imposing Arc de Triomf – are a draw for visitors and locals alike. With mosaic tiled floors, striking sliding doors and plenty of natural light, the sleeping quarters here are an oasis of cool and calm, complete with Mubi streaming and yoga mats. The roof is divided between a seasonal dining area and an urban garden that is only accessible to guests. Downstairs there is a restaurant, coffee bar and a vibrant cocktail bar open until the early hours. Moreover, bicycles to explore the city are free.
Rooms from £117, casabonay.com
In the lively Poble Sec district, away from the tourist crowds, the 20-room Brummell is an intimate affair. The Sri-Lankan and Scandinavian interior is cool and informal, while the extensive garden is complete with a 24-hour sauna and plunge pool. Yoga classes are free for guests. From the high vantage point, many rooms have beautiful views over Barcelona, or over the lush Parc de Montjuïc. Take the nearby Telefèric de Montjuïc cable car to the top, then descend on foot past the 19th-century cemetery and 1992 Olympic Park to the Joan Miró Foundation, where the excellent Miró-Picasso exhibition is on display until the end of February (visitbarcelona. com).
Rooms from £90, hotelbrummell.brummellprojects.com
Hotel Casa Sagnier
This 51-room boutique hotel at the top of Barcelona’s famous La Rambla was once the family home and studio of iconic Catalan architect Enric Sagnier and pays tribute to his life and legacy. The building is steeped in history, yet the bedrooms are bright and contemporary with parquet floors and modern furnishings. Ask for a room with a terrace or balcony overlooking the busy street. Enjoy the welcome drink with tapas upon arrival, and find a fridge full of complimentary drinks and snacks on the private sunroof. Grab an outdoor table at the hotel’s restaurant, Cafè de l’Arquitecte, and people-watch for hours.
Rooms from £174, hotelcasasagnier.com
Stepping into Hotel Pulitzer, just off the bustling Plaça de Catalunya, you will experience a sublime and stylish tranquility as you step into the city center. The rooms with balconies offer panoramic views of the hustle and bustle; upstairs there is a popular roof terrace and bar. There is no shortage of restaurants right on your doorstep, and the food at La Esquina, just a few doors away, is well worth sampling. Be sure to book a table at Bandinis and take the 20-minute walk to Sant Antoni, where Swedish chef Povel serves delicious sharing dishes with Scandinavian and Catalan influences, in addition to friendly service, natural wines and a lively crowd.
Rooms from £101, hotelpulitzer.es
The Poblenou area was once the city’s industrial zone and is now one of Barcelona’s most popular. Hostal Poblenou is an ideal place to explore both the urban areas and the coastal areas. Reasonably priced rooms are neat, light and airy in this high-ceilinged 1930s building, not that you’ll spend much time indoors: the beach is just a three-minute walk away. Towels available at reception. Walk along the promenade towards the city center and then head to La Plata, a small bar in the Gothic Quarter, serving cask wine, bottled beer and the city’s best pescaditos fritos (fried fish).
Rooms from £65, hostalpoblenou.com
If an apartment appeals to you, book with Destination BCN, which has twenty stylish accommodations spread across three central locations. The majority are housed in a building conveniently located near the Universitat metro station, each with its own name and stylishly decorated. Take a look at the one-bedroom Naoko, with a spacious private terrace, living area and a cozy bath where you can relax and unwind. To make use of the kitchen, which is conveniently stocked with basic ingredients, you can sample the delicious offerings of the nearby Mercado de La Boqueria just a 10-minute walk away. Any questions? The corporate office is located on site.
Apartments from £160, minimum 2 nights, Destinationbcn.com
Looking for luxury in the city center? Look no further than Almanac’s 91 rooms and suites with elegant interiors and city views. Just off Passeig de Gràcia in the exclusive Eixample district, there are restaurants and shops galore, plus some of Antoni Gaudí’s most iconic modernist buildings. When you’re ready to relax, find a spot on the roof garden (the bar is open until after midnight), where the breathtaking Sagrada Família is in full view. For a change from tapas, treat yourself to a table at the Virens restaurant downstairs, where Michelin-starred chef Rodrigo de la Calle puts vegetables front and center.
Rooms from £254, almanachotels.com
Antiga Casa Buenavista
This impressive building on the gray Ronda de Sant Antoni used to be a family business. Today, the owner’s descendants run this newly opened boutique hotel. Original features go hand in hand with modern design in both the 43 rooms and public areas, with plenty of natural light coming in through the large windows. There is a small swimming pool for the summer months. Hungry? Wander through Mercat de Sant Antoni and grab a bite, then head to the new Señora Dolores, where Parisian chef Matthieu serves a mix of innovative fried and raw treats. You’ll be dreaming of potato churros for weeks to come.
Rooms from £140, hotelcasabuenavista.com
One of three offerings from Barcelona-based Yurbban, at the Trafalgar outpost, bright and modern rooms have an industrial touch. The breakfast buffet is served in the sister restaurant next door. Ask at reception for opening hours for wine and cheese. There is free wine for guests every evening in the lobby. Sights such as the Picasso Museum, Barcelona Cathedral and the Moco Museum are all within walking distance, and there is plenty more to discover in El Born. When you get hungry, head to the newly opened Bar Pimentel, where traditional tapas are elevated with modern touches, top-class ingredients and knowledgable, welcoming staff.
Rooms from £95, yurbbantrafalgar.com
With 146 rooms, Casa Gàrcia has a social appearance; the combination of dorms, rooms and apartments to suit every budget makes it a great option for solo guests looking to meet fellow travelers, or for groups who need a place that can cater to a crowd. The rooms are neatly decorated, while the communal areas, including the library, terrace and lounge, have a relaxed, relaxing atmosphere. There are free yoga classes on weekday mornings at 9am and walking tours from reception at 10am throughout the week. Get out and see Gaudí’s masterpiece, La Pedrera-Casa Milà, just a few hundred meters down the street.
Dorms from £15 and rooms from £48, casagraciabcn.com.