Fodor's Expert Review Hotel España

Sant Pau 9–11, 08001, Spain

This beautifully renovated Art Nouveau gem is the second oldest (after the nearby Sant Agustí) and among the 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 1900–1904 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 "Sala les Sirenes" breakfast room by Ramon Casas, a pioneer of Modernisme and co-founder of the art salon Els Quatre Gats. Guest rooms are arranged 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 wood floors, comfortable desks, and office chairs. Bathrooms have double vanities and Rituals toiletries.

PROS

  • Near Liceu opera house and La Rambla
  • Alabaster fireplace in the bar lounge
  • Lavish breakfast

CONS

  • Lower rooms facing Carrer Sant Pau get some street noise
  • Could use a refresh
  • Rooftop has restricted views

QUICK FACTS

Hotel
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HOTEL INFO

Phones: 93-550–0000

HOTEL DETAILS

82 rooms
Rate Includes: No Meals