Hotel España

Carrer Sant Pau 9–11, Barcelona, Catalonia, 08001, Spain

This recently renovated Art Nouveau gem is among the oldest and best of Barcelona's smaller hotels. Abutting the Liceu opera house and 100 yards from the middle of La Rambla, the España dates to 1857 but was renovated in 1904 by architect Lluís Doménech i Montaner, who also designed the Palau de la Música. The decorative and sculptural detail is remarkable: don't miss the alabaster fireplace in the bar lounge, by Eusebio Arnau, and the undersea motif murals in the breakfast room by Ramon Casas, a pioneer of Modernisme and co-founder of the art salon Els Quatre Gats. Some guest rooms are ranged around a breathtaking top-to-bottom skylit corrala (central gallery) with wrought-iron railings and sgraffito-carved walls. Accommodations are a bit small, but are handsomely decked out in grays and dark browns, with iPod docks, wood floors, comfortable desks, and office chairs. There's a keyboard provided, for the Internet-capable TV. Bathrooms have double vanities and Rituals toiletries.


  • strategic location
  • steeped in artistic history
  • friendly staff
  • excellent restaurant ($$)
  • good value


  • lower rooms facing Carrer Sant Pau get some street noise despite double-glazing
  • rooftop terrace has small pool, no views
  • bed lighting could be improved


Phones: 93-550–0000


81 rooms, 2 suites
Rate Includes: No meals