A fabulous travel destination, especially for arty types, the Catalonian capital has been at the forefront of many a design movement – such as Modernism and Avant-Garde – over the centuries. With its tireless commitment to creativity, Barcelona now has some of the most interesting and innovative architecture in Europe – not forgetting its eye-watering collection of hip bars, designer boutiques and world-famous nightlife. Mindful of its high proportion of youthful visitors, many of Barcelona’s hotels are unique, ultra-cool and can also be surprisingly affordable. Here is our favourite collection of unusual and cool and hip hotels in Barcelona (in no particular order)…
Chic & Basic Hotel – gorgeous avant-garde chic
In keeping with the city’s magnificent Avant-Garde ambience, the popular design hotel Chic and Basic Born Hotel perfectly blends modern decor with unique and interesting features. I loved the way the century-old building has been transformed into a bright and light contemporary hotel and stand-out features include the 22 foot high ceilings, the gorgeous marble bannisters, elegant tiled floors and the bedroom light system which transformed the room according to my mood at the time. The name is something of a misnomer really as this Barcelona hotel is anything but basic, just an all-round wonderful place!
- Prices from €75 a night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Chic and Basic Born Hotel
Room Mate Emma – futuristic, fun and funky
Room Mate Emma Barcelona is a fun and futuristic design hotel, located only a short distance 100 from Barcelona’s Diagonal Metro Station and designer shops galore. I marvelled at the LED illuminated corridors, fell in love with the funky and stylish rooms and had some fun chats with the friendly staff. The decor is bright, minimalist with dramatic splashes of colour and a fabulous use of lights. Also expect free Wi-Fi, digital radio and LCD TV with satellite channels and that all-important air conditioning – a must for any funky Barcelona hotel, especially if you’re visiting during the summer months.
- Prices from €50 a night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Room Mate Emma Barcelona
Gates Diagonal Barcelona – unique contemporary chic
The Gates Diagonal Barcelona enjoys a privileged location on the largest avenue of Barcelona, right next door to the Agbar Tower and only 10 minutes from the main city beach. I was in awe of the striking designer lobby which was the brainchild of Juli Capella – a talented architect hailing from the city – and outside, the hotel’s exterior was no less hip with a monochromatic facade made to resemble a piano keyboard – very Barcelona! There was an outdoor pool located the rooftop terrace and all rooms offer mod-cons with a dramatic black-and-white decor and glass-fronted bathrooms. Upgraded rooms at this hip Barcelona hotel feature panoramic windows with views of the vividly lit Agbar Tower and opt for one of their luxurious suites and you’ll find separate living rooms and whirlpool tubs too.
- Prices from €60 a night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Gates Diagonal Barcelona
Praktik Rambla – wonderful Art Nouveau boutique
Located in the heart of the Modernism district (one of my favourite areas in Barcelona) the Praktik Rambla is a designer three-star Art Nouveau inspired boutique hotel which still offers affordable room rates – very unusual indeed! Housed in a stylish townhouse hotel with a Gothic facade, I loved that it still retained its beautiful original features such as mosaic floors and moulded ceilings. I was also mightily impressed by other aspects of the hotel too, including the terrace complete with modernist fountain, sun loungers and sofas – a peaceful area to relax on a sunny day. Breakfast and bike rentals were available for a little extra, all in all, a fabulous all-rounder!
- Prices from €60 a night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Praktik Rambla
Violeta Boutique – chic, elegant and homely
In a vibrant city like Barcelona, the clever peeps behind Violeta Boutique have made their hotel a home away from home – a charmingly elegant opportunity to take time out from the constant whirl of one of Europe’s most dynamic cities. Housed in a 19th-century building with unique details, a homely boutique feel and super-smart styling it has established itself among the city’s beautiful corners with lots of tranquil elements. The two-bedroom family rooms also offer terraces, there’s a stylish attic apartment with a separate living room, a private rooftop terrace and from the peace and quiet it offers, you’d never guess you’re only a five-minute walk from the famous Las Ramblas.
- Prices from €85 a night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Violeta Boutique
Casa Camper – the trendy trainer brand’s very own hotel
I loved the fun and contemporary vibe full of rich colours and designer quirks at the Casa Camper – a 4-star designer Barcelona hotel located between Las Ramblas and MACBA art gallery founded by the owners of the famous trendy shoe brand. My room was big and spacious and looked out over the vertical garden which is a totally brilliant concept to improve an otherwise uninspiring view of the neighbouring building. I had a comfy couch, balcony and a hammock…yep a hammock…which was ideal for a siesta when the afternoon sun got too hot! The communal spaces were great too, especially Bar Dos Billares which was a chilled out setting to indulge in a game of snooker (very retro cool!) and a tasty cocktail. A laid-back, modern hotel perfect for hipsters looking for a fab central location.
- Prices from €150 a night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Casa Camper Barcelona
Ohla Hotel – hip Neoclassical-style hotel
The staff at this trendy upscale 5-star Neoclassical-style Ohla Hotel pride themselves on the details and the delivery of a truly unique experience for everyone that stays. They provide a personalized service to each of their guests, providing expert advice on nearby tourist activities while also offering unrivalled gastronomy founded on locally sourced produce and recipes. They believe that the space they’ve created for their guests – from the wellness centre and fabulous terraces – complete with unusual rooftop pool design and loungers – to the comfortable rooms with exceptional cityscape views, will ensure an unforgettable Barcelona stay!
- Prices from €160 a night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Ohla Hotel
Hotel DO Placa Reial – old school boutique opulence
This gorgeous gastro 5-star boutique hotel is housed in a stunning gothic palazzo (located on Placa Reial) and exudes old-time luxury and opulence. The carefully designed interiors at Hotel DO Placa Reial are beautifully restored to showcase original wood panel walls and hardwood floors, beautiful rugs and classic leather furniture in earthy tones and tactile fabrics. The stunning historic features such as the wonderful white spiral staircase is just wonderful. If you can, opt for a superior double room which is a cool and classy oasis of calm looking out over the Placa. There are three delicious on-site places to eat to choose from but my favourite by far was the chilled out tapas bar on the Terrasse, a place to also grab a cocktail and watch the world unfold around you – wonderful!
- Prices from €200 a night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hotel DO Placa Reial
Hotel Acta Mimic – fun and funky minimalism
Centrally located with a trendy minimalist monochrome design, the Acta Mimic Hotel is a great choice for appreciators of both design and good value – the kind of place you wished existed in every city really. All of the 89 creatively designed rooms contain contemporary furnishings along with forward-thinking facilities such as soothing Chromotherapy. This alternative therapy device will allow you to change the colour and intensity of the lights in your room according to your mood and you’ll love playing around with this feature! Other standout amenities include a hip restaurant, a terrace bar and a rooftop patio which has some pretty awesome city views. Oh and kids under eight stay for free with an adult, so it’s perfect for families too.
- Prices from €60 a night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Acta Mimic Hotel
Hotel Neri – unique luxurious boutique
Housed in a beautifully renovated 12th-century building, the gorgeous 5-star Neri Hotel is located in the heart of the city’s charming old Jewish quarter. You’ll love the combination of rustic stone architecture and contemporary up-scale decor which results in one of the most elegantly beautiful hotels in Barcelona. All rooms at this intimate gorgeous hotel are sumptuously designed and there’s also an onsite luxury lounge bar, a polished library and an intimate rooftop terrace. Although it’s the personal touches that are the real key to this hotel’s success and they include a butler service, in-room massages, personalized drinks, fresh flowers delivered to your room every day and even a choice of pillow filling – now that’s attention to detail!
- Prices from €200 a night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Neri Hotel
ABaC Hotel – plush, modernist and zen-like
The 5-star highly rated ABaC seems to have it all – gastronomy, architecture and a beautiful contemporary design. The modernist designed bedrooms have an ample supply of light and space and the owners also – rather fabulously – offer uniquely designed packages on different themes – gourmet, relaxation, finding your zen and sightseeing with a professional photographer on hand so you can really make the most of your trip. The hotel itself is a fusion of two-period buildings which have been refurbished to a very high standard but have also been declared a listed monument by the Barcelona City Council in honour of its historical and cultural importance to the city. Overall a seriously unique, wonderful and stylish experience!
- Prices from €180 a night
- To book, check prices or availability for ABaC Hotel
Room Mate Pau – fun and friendly with a unique design
Room Mate Hotels are always a funky and cool place to stay and Room Mate Pau in Barcelona is no exception. The ethos centres around the concept that the best way to travel is with friends, so they conspire to make their hotels as personable and friendly as possible. The hotel is situated just steps away from the main shopping district and cultural centre so also has a great location too. Here you can relax in the company of contemporary art installations in the eclectically decorated rooms or the panoramic restaurant after a day of discovering the street artists, food stalls, cocktail bars and eateries, all of which reside in just a stone’s throw of the hotel.
- Prices from €70 a night
- To book, check prices or availability for Room Mate Pau
Hotel 1898 – a contemporary colonial masterpiece
It was the history that attracted me to this hotel which is housed in the old General Philippines Tobacco Company Headquarters in the very heart of Barcelona. As soon as I entered the 4-star Hotel 1898 the bright and airy colonial style lobby, stunningly renovated by Núñez i Navarro I knew I was going to love it! Full of gorgeous colonial flair with a contemporary twist, from the gorgeous marble floors to the striped walls and carved stone arches, this place is a masterpiece! The Hotel had a choice of two pools, one in the beautiful basement surrounded by brick archways and one on the roof looking out over the city. My sleek and modern room was a delight and came complete with a wonderful blue marble bathroom (just think of Ariel under crystal waves). The staff were attentive and kind and the location was ideal. This hotel is pretty hard to beat…can I move in, please?
- Prices from €140 a night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hotel 1898
The Mercer Hotel – gorgeous historic boutique
The history of this hotel was enough to get me interested. The gorgeous, avant-garde 5-star Mercer hotel occupies a collection of medieval buildings built atop the ancient roman walls on Carrer Lledo and much of the original architecture has been artfully exposed during the renovation – including the wonderful medieval stone arches which offer a cool calm solidity to this boutique gem. I stayed in a deluxe room with a view out at the innovative vertical garden, it was cool and spacious, decked out in tranquil neutral tones that made it feel restful and uncluttered. The hotel was so beautiful I spent a lot of time making the most of all it had to offer including a gorgeous rooftop pool and an atmospheric cocktail bar sandwiched between the ancient stone walls of the basement. There was loads of tasty food too…I loved the Avant Garde take on simple dishes that was served up in the restaurant and the laid back Tapas in Le Bouchon. The orange tree courtyard was great respite after a long day of sightseeing and the friendly staff contributed greatly to the perfectly balanced atmosphere of refined/relaxed. I’ll be back!
- Prices from €220 a night.
- To book, check prices or availability for The Mercer
Villa Emilia – upscale boutique hotel with a fab rooftop
As soon as you set foot inside the stylish and centrally located 4-star Villa Emilia you’ll be struck by the warm and friendly welcome you’ll receive. The owners aim to facilitate two worlds inside their walls, a space for relaxation and winding down while also incorporating lively music and exceptional bistro food to make your stay in Barcelona a particularly fabulous one! The rooftop bar is cosily lit with lanterns and peppered with cushions while the bedrooms are spacious and bright. What strikes most visitors about their stay is the attention to detail, the carefully prepared food and vibrant vibe, all of which are the perfect accompaniment to the wonderful holiday atmosphere!
- Prices from €70 a night
- To book, check prices or availability for Villa Emilia
Hotel Pulitzer – Avant-Garde opulence
This Avant-Garde inspired sophisticated 5-star hotel is the perfect mix of class, comfort and fun. My room at Hotel Pulitzer was beautiful and spacious with all the creature comforts I could hope for, Egyptian cotton sheets, exposed wooden floors and tasteful furniture in warm tactile fabrics with lots of natural light. There were live DJ sets on the rooftop bar every night which was a great opportunity to meet people in a really gorgeous setting. The food choices ranged from casual to fine dining and everything I ate was lovingly prepared from fresh local produce which was wonderful. My favourite thing though, was hiring a cool fold up Brompton Bicycle and peddling around the vibrant city streets knowing I would go back to a cool, comfortable and deliciously luxurious room to soak in the bath in my big black and white marble bathroom….simply divine!
- Prices from €110 a night
- To book, check prices or availability for Hotel Pulitzer
Market Hotel – neoclassical design hotel
Located in the heart of Barcelona owes its namesake and inspiration to the one of the icons of Barcelona – the Sant Antoni Market. The interior styling of the Market Hotel stands out from its contemporaries with stylish eateries, a sumptuous rooftop experience and delectable bedrooms complete with wonderful four-poster beds. The juxtaposition of the neoclassical design with a cosy, welcoming atmosphere not to mention its prime central location, makes it the perfect option for Barcelona visitors looking to add a bit of style and substance to their trip.
- Prices from €40 a night
- To book, check prices or availability for Market Hotel
Praktik Vinoteca – wine-themed boutique hotel
The Praktik Vinoteca Hotel is dedicated to the wine drinking experience, from the complimentary glass you receive on arrival to the 900 or so bottles on show in reception. An expert sommelier also is on hand to advise at dinner time and they provide a shipping service so you can bring the taste of your holiday home with you. For those of you looking for a private wine tasting, they’ll organise that too! Located in the heart of the city amongst beautiful Art Nouveau and modernist architecture, this truly is the perfect foundation for an adult holiday, especially if you enjoy a tipple…
- Prices from €50 a night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Praktik Vinoteca
Hotel Brummell – chic and arty set in a 1870 building
Hotel Brummell is the epitome of cool, delivering a clever juxtaposition between a modern approach to light and space with an all-encompassing respect for the traditional (the hotel is housed in a beautiful 1870 building). With a timeless and ethereal atmosphere, each room also acts as a showcase for local artists and makers as contemporary projects are regularly installed throughout the elegant building. The welcome pack includes a printed tote (to help carry your souvenirs home), free yoga classes (to relax your aching muscles after all that sightseeing) and a half day free city bike (to help you explore the vibrant city in style)!
- Prices from €75 a night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hotel Brummell
Hotel Curious – quirky modern budget
A good-value hotel with a fabulous location set just 50 yards from the ever popular street Las Ramblas. Each floor at Hotel Curious is themed by one of the four elements of nature – water, air, earth and fire. Rooms on the ground floor (water) are decorated with blue shades while rooms located on the ‘fire’ floor are enhanced with bold red tones. All rooms feature wooden floor, giant photographs of Barcelona’s major attractions and modern amenities such as flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi and air conditioning. A thoughtful budget hotel with a difference!
- Prices from €50 a night.
- To book, check prices or availability for Hotel Curious
Raval Rooms – hotel/hostel hybrid
More of a concept than a hotel, the funky Ravel Rooms offers comfortable rooms with a trendy urban design but with very reasonable room rates. This place is a two-star hotel/upmarket hostel with a difference, for starters it manages to pull off trendy decor on a budget, and the neon-lit areas and futuristic looking furniture and other fun designer features show that this place really makes an effort. The friendly staff provide lots of useful local information and it’s conveniently located within a handy reach of all the main sights, including the main city beach. A savvy and sociable choice for those on a budget!
- Prices from €40 a night.
- To book, check prices or availability for the Ravel Rooms
More unique hotels in Barcelona
- Axel Hotel – Voted the world’s premier gay boutique hotel from €115pn
- Hotel Jazz – Centrally located trendy cosmopolitan hotel from €150
- Hotel Granados – Swanky art deco design hotel with rooftop pool from €130
- Charmsuites Paralel – Central well-equipped stylish apartments from £119
- Hotel Omm – Serene and zen-like designer hotel from €200pn