This super small boutique may only have 18 rooms, but this historic spot boasts one of the best locations right atop the uber-popular Plaça Reial. The building dates to the mid-19th Century and the original columns, and stonework can still be seen today. But let’s get back to that location. Plaça Reial is a stunning square that’s a popular meeting spot and filled with restaurants, nightclubs, and cafés (including this hotel’s) with swaying palm trees and lampposts that were designed by Antoní Gaudí. Inside the hotel, you’ll be treated to high-end luxury with spacious, unique rooms, a great rooftop, and a high level of service.
There is a wide range of room categories (surprising because of how small the hotel is) and all are unique in shape and size because of the original building’s layout and government restrictions on how much you can renovate heritage sites. What is typical for all of them is parquet floors, high ceilings, terraces that face the square, and modern pop art on the walls. Everyday, you’ll discover free goodies like sweets and fruit and there’s a pillow menu to help with optimal sleep. If you stay in one of the suites, your minibar is also free (not including alcohol).
YOU SHOULD KNOW The square can get a little loud at night as clubbers flock in and out of the venues and along Las Ramblas on the other side of the hotel.
Bathrooms have wood floors and counters and feature marble rain showers. There’s an excellent amenity kit in case you left any toiletries at home and bath products are by Molton Brown. Some rooms have a bath, but make sure you request this if that’s a need.
The circular lobby is bathed in yellow tinges with hardwood floors, leather couches, Oriental rugs, and mirrored ceilings. Large windows look out onto the square and provide loads of natural light. The space is a little tight, so don’t be surprised by the size when you arrive.
The tiny, square-shaped rooftop pool is a summer-only spot with blue tiles and a few white loungers for sun bathing. During summer months, there’s a full bar while in the winter guests can order coffee and other items from a room service menu.
There’s not a full spa, but there is a very small and tight sauna that’s open from 9 am to 9 pm. Reserve ahead of time for space.
La Terrassa del DO is the best dining outlet at the hotel as it has tables and chairs set up outside right on the square. Here you can order Mediterranean cuisine made from all local products for lunch and dinner. In the basement of the hotel is La Cuina del DO, where you can get breakfast, lunch, and dinner under the arched ceilings and pillars from the building’s origins. The menu is the same at both restaurants.
Breakfast is always included with your room, so get your day started right by gorging on ham, cheese, and pastries.
There’s a full bar in the lobby and the rooftop is a nice summer perch for late day drinks. But really, the best drinking spot is at the café, where you can sip on Spanish wine and people-watch the square.
The hotel is in the Gothic Quarter but only steps from Las Ramblas where you can access many other neighborhoods within minutes. Las Ramblas is the busiest pedestrian street in the city (watch your wallets) and you’ll discover loads of great restaurants, bars, and attractions up and down the street. Taxis are easy to flag here, and the closest metro is only a couple minutes up the street.
Fonda España (4-minute walk) is the Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant inside Hotel España and serves piping hot paella and other Catalan specialties. For a little of everything, head across the street to La Boqueria (4-minute walk), where more than 200 food stalls and restaurants dish out the best that Spain has to offer.
Right on the square are two big clubs Karma and Sidecar (1-minute walk) if you want to be out until 5 am. If you’re more into live music, check out Harlem Jazz Club (5-minute walk) for, you know, jazz.
WHY WE LIKE IT
The best part about this hotel is that there are only 18 rooms and with that comes a high level of personalized service. Everyone will literally know your name here and make sure you have the best time during your stay. Beyond service, the hotel’s location is incredible. Plaça Reial is a stunning square and you’ll have a front row seat from the outdoor café whenever you want. There’s not a lot more to this tiny spot, but the rooftop is lovely (especially in the summer), and the cuisine is surprisingly good. Sure, there’s club noise at night, but you’re in the busiest part of the city, so you have to know that going in.