Top 12 cool and unusual hotels in Barcelona

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 – 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!

Room Mate Emma – futuristic 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.

Silken Diagonal Barcelona – unique contemporary chic

The Silken Diagonal Hotel 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 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. 

Praktik Rambla – wonderful Art Nouveau boutique

Praktik-Rambla

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 €80 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 Barcelona hotel location 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.

Ohla Hotel – hip Neoclassical-style hotel

The staff at this trendy upscale Neoclassical-style hotel 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 €190 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for Ohla Hotel

Hotel DO Placa Reial – old school boutique opulence

This place is a gorgeous gastro boutique hotel housed in a stunning gothic palazzo (located on Placa Reial) which 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!

Hotel Acta Mimic – trendy 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 €90 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for Acta Mimic Hotel

Hotel Neri – unique luxurious boutique

Hotel-Neri

Housed in a beautifully renovated 12th-century building, the gorgeous 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 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 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

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 €125 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 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 €170 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for Hotel 1898

The Mercer Hotel – luxurious historic boutique

The history of this hotel was enough to get me interested. The gorgeous, avant-garde 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 €295 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 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 €90 a night
  • To book, check prices or availability for Villa Emilia

Hotel Pulitzer – Avant-Garde opulence

This Avant-Garde inspired sophisticated 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 €145 a night
  • To book, check prices or availability for Hotel Pulitzer

Market Hotel – sleek contemporary 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 this 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 €99 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 €100 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 €99 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 €75 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 €65 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for the Ravel Rooms

More unique hotels in Barcelona

Park Guell, Barcelona on GlobalGrasshopper.com

  • Hotel Espana – Said to be the jewel in the crown of Catalonian Modernism from €90pn
  • Hostal Gat Raval – Sister hotel of Gat Xino, very cheap but still trendy from €35pn
  • Hotel Ciutat Vella – Hip and modern budget hotel centrally located near Las Ramblas from €50pn
  • Hotel Confort – Great value large leisure hotel in a central location €53pn
  • Axel Hotel – Voted the world’s premier gay boutique hotel from €115pn
  • EddyRooms – Historic budget boutique hotel with a real ‘local’ feel from €40pn
  • 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
  • California Hotel – Small and slightly kitsch budget hotel near La Ramblas from €52pn
  • Hostal Goya Barcelona – A popular boutique hostel in a central location from €55pn
  • Monument Hotel – Stunning luxury design hotel in the heart of the city from €200pn
  • Hosteria Grau Hostal – Charming boutique hotel/hostel hybrid from €60pn
  • MybedBCN – budget guesthouse for those on a very tight budget from €38pn

Born in England, with a few family roots from Bavaria, and a heart in Scandinavia I’ve always been a bit of a restless soul. My first true adventure began as a six month voyage around South East Asia as a fresh faced backpacker and ever since I’ve lived a semi nomadic existence, clocking up over 40 countries on trips and living in Dublin, South East Asia and Australia. I’m a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, easy-on-the-eye travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds and all things Scandinavian – from cloudberry liquors to Scandi Noirs. When not wandering the world, you’ll find me walking my rescue dog in leafy South West London, strolling around the Brighton Laines on random day trips, hunting for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about returning to my all time favourite places in the world; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Thailand and the frozen landscapes of a wintry Iceland. Follow Becky on Twitter and Google+.

11 Comments

Leave a Reply