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.

Inside BCN Holiday apartments

Unlike single location hotels, Inside BCN boasts three separate buildings throughout the city, each hosting numerous apartments in modern youthful stylings.

Two of the vacation rentals are located in centric Born, offering studios, apartments and lofts with both one and two bedrooms. While you won’t hear someone rapping at your door at eight in the morning yelling out, “house cleaning!” (for better or for worse), you will feel comfortably pampered nonetheless. Each apartment is fully equipped, whether you want a kitchen for cooking, satellite TV and DVD player for relaxing after a day of city exploration or Wi-Fi for plugging into the world you swore you were unplugging from (or just checking Unlike for a dinner recommendation), you won’t be disappointed.

In the heart of Barcelona, just a few minutes walk from the beach and Las Ramblas, Born is where the historic and the modern intertwine, catering to food lovers, followers of fashion and culture vultures.

The third apartment complex is located in Sants—next to the Carrer de Sants, the city’s longest shopping street—and houses the most thoughfully decorated dwellings. Not directly near the beach, staying in this area has other pluses like its proximity to the trade center or the relatively easy stroll to Las Ramblas and Plaça Catalunya.

Granados 83 Old world pillars in a modern mold

Subtle elegance and refined taste from the ‘Design Hotels™’ roster. Granados 83 explains itself as “a stunning experiment in remixed Neo-classical architecture”, located on the historic site of the old Pujol i Brull clinic. The design takes its influence from Asian art, and boasts the luxury of open space; exemplified by the central courtyard lobby under an exposed glass ceiling. Original colonnades are still visible in renovated architecture, reinforced with steel, red marble, glass and iron, and specialty materials like zebrano wood found in the halls.

Aside from the 77 rooms—some of which are duplex lofts—decked out with leather sofas, white marble, flat screen satellite cable televisions and Internet, the hotel offers plenty more pleasure and comfort at its two restaurants and bars, one specializing in Mediterranean fusion and the other, “La Terraza del Factory”, offering seasonal Asian inspired cuisine alongside the hotel’s stunning swimming pool.

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