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Grand Hotel Central Talk of the (old) town featured

The heart of Barcelona beats long and loud. Fortunately, for those in need of respite but unwilling to head to the city’s hinterlands, there’s the Grand Hotel Central. Standing tall, slap-bang in the middle of town (practically shacking up with the Old Cathedral and Barri Gòtic), it’s 10-stories of calm in the eye of the Catalan capital’s storm.

All kinds of impressive from the outside, the imposing (and original) 1920s facade gives way to an unfussed and elegant modern interior. The rooms continue in the same vein, with mute colors, warm lamp-lighting and sleek, voguish furniture. Stylish understatement ends at the wood-bedecked roof terrace, however, where bolder signs of luxury—namely, an off-the-chain infinity pool and epic panoramic views of the old town—have space to flourish.

Back downstairs, the Ávalon restaurant serves up a bevy of excellent Mediterranean-inspired dishes, under the watchful eye of double Michelin-starred chef Ramón Freixa. If you’re looking to sample a little Catalan nightlife too, GHC’s City Bar is a decent place to start, sipping a flawlessly mixed Mojito or an experimental Gin & Tonic. And should you have one too many? No problem. Their righteous morning coffees set even the staunchest hangover straight.

El Palauet Ice queen

White. It’s not just a colour, it’s a lifestyle darling. That is what El Palauet would have you believe anyway. It’s truly difficult not to be taken in by the icy splendor of these enormous apartments.

If you want to indulge your inner diva this is the perfect stage. Fancy waking up to the smell of homemade breakfast caressing your nostrils? No problem! Each suite comes with its very own PA who is at your every beck and call. Make sure you ask them for a tailor made tour of Passeig de Gracia, the only shopping avenue where you can get a side of Gaudi with your Givenchy.

The Urban Suites Urban minimalism

Thankfully devoid of frantic lobby areas and long check-in queues, Urban Suites offers affordable, self-contained and, above all, private accommodation perfect for anyone in town on business or small families.

Though not smack bang in the city center, the complex is short metro ride away from the buzz of Las Ramblas. Urban Suites features 20 rooms suitable for 2 to 4 people. The spartan white of the interior may lend a slightly uniform bent to the overall sense of minimalist decor here, but the list of features will quickly have you feeling at home. Each apartment boasts a fully equipped kitchen bath and shower, satellite, flatscreen TVs and free wi-fi and there is also a selection of rooms apt for disabled people.

The shared terrace is the ideal spot to unwind or meet fellow guests or you can guarantee complete privacy by requesting a rooms with a private terrace.

The exceptionally friendly staff will also cheerfully regale guests with their extensive knowledge of the city as well as provide helpful tips and free maps.

Hotel 1898 Independent luxury

While luxury may come at a price, the type of luxury offered by Hotel 1898 is worth splurging on. Like being in the heart of the action? Look no further. Located on the buzzing Las Ramblas, the hotel has soundproofed all its windows, letting guests soak in the street’s energy while still maintaining a peaceful atmosphere.

Named for the year in which the final Spanish colonies—Cuba and the Philippines—gained independence, the decor incorporates a contemporary twist on colonial-chic. Heavy on striped patterns and dark woods, the building was the former headquarters of the Compañía de Tabacos de Filipinas.

If your nights out on the town are taking their toll, head to one of the hotel’s two pools (outdoor or indoor, take your pick) or one of their two libraries. Not enough? Try a spa treatment.

Hotel Cram Anything but crammed featured

This four star hotel features 67 rooms, each decorated with designer fabrics, mattresses, pillows, showerheads, flat screen televisions and partitioned lighting arrangements. Beatriz Cosials’ interior design compliments architect Joseph Rui’s vision for the hotel on the whole, orienting functionality foremost, while incorporating historic elements such as the building’s original 1892 facade with creative modern installments of light, water and color moving through the common areas.

The hotel’s restaurant, GAIG (honored with one Michelin star), offers guests excellent Mediterranean fusion cuisine from renowned chef Carles Gaig. The Mareva Lobby Cocktail Bar is a serene setting to relax with a drink, or consider the humidor for a fine selection of cigars. If it’s fresh air you prefer instead, lounge by the hotel’s outdoor swimming pool.

Hotel 54 Make the harbor your home

Hotel 54 offers fantastic views of Barcelona’s coastline thanks to its stellar location along the Barceloneta harbor. This also places the hotel in close proximity to Las Ramblas and the city’s seemingly infinite stretch of beaches.

A standard room essentially includes air conditioning, as well as a wi-fi connection and satellite TV. The added touch: the capacity to control the color of the room’s lighting. Necessary? No. Fun? Yes. And therein lies the spirit of Hotel 54, a great place to bolster easy going enjoyment during your stay in a fun-loving city.

Hotel Majestic The art of rest

The glass-fronted entrance to this imposing neoclassical building is flanked by designer boutiques. The large chandelier that hangs in the cream marble lobby welcomes guests to a stay of elegance and luxury. The public spaces, all displaying contemporary artworks, bustle with corporate guests arriving or leaving for meetings.

On the roof of the hotel guests will find a small pool and plenty of sunbathers. The roof overlooks the city, offering excellent views, particularly of the spires of La Sagrada Família. The poolside bar leads to a health club with cardiovascular machines, resistance machines and free weights. For wellness lovers, there is also a sauna and steam room.

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