One of Barcelona's most popular hotels, the Condes de Barcelona is perfectly placed for exploring the sights (and shops) of the city's most fashionable quarter, and—for the priveleged location—offers exception value. The building dates to 1891; the columns and courtyard are original. Rooms are decorated in contemporary neutral tones, with hardwood floors; superior doubles have CD players, espresso machines, huge keyhole-shaped baths and multi-jet shower cabinets. The
newest rooms have hot tubs and terraces overlooking interior gardens. An affiliated fitness club around the corner offers golf, squash, and swimming. Chef Martín Berasategui's two restaurants, Lasarte and Loidi, are among Barcelona's most sought-after dining spots. Reserve rooms well in advance—demand is high, and early reservations score bargain rates.