Top 10 cool and unusual hotels in Barcelona

A fabulous travel destination, especially for arty types, the Catalonian capital has been leading the way in many design movements such as Modernism and Avant-Garde over the centuries. With its tireless commitment to creativity, Barcelona now has some of the most interesting and innovative architecture in Europe – not forgetting its eye watering collection of hip bars, designer boutiques and world-famous nightlife. Mindful of its high proportion of youthful visitors, many of Barcelona’s hotels are unique, ultra-cool and can also be surprisingly affordable. Here is our favourite collection of unusual and cool and hip hotels in Barcelona (in no particular order)…

Chic & Basic Hotel – avant-garde chic

In keeping with the city’s magnificent Avant-Garde ambience, the popular and unique design hotel Chic and Basic Born Hotel perfectly blends modern with unique and interesting features. I loved the way the century old building has been transformed into a bright and light contemporary hotel and stand out features include the 22 foot high ceilings, the gorgeous marble banisters, elegant tiled floors and the bedroom light system which transformed the room according to my mood at the time. The name is something of a misnomer really as this Barcelona hotel is anything but basic, just an all round wonderful place!

Room Mate Emma – futuristic and funky

Room Mate Emma Barcelona is a fun and futuristic design hotel, located only a short distance 100 from Barcelona’s Diagonal Metro Station and designer shops galore. I marvelled at the LED illuminated corridors, fell in love with the funky and stylish rooms and had fun chats with the friendly, hip staff. Decor is bright, minimalist with dramatic splashes of colour and a fabulous use of lights. Also expect free Wi-Fi, digital radio and LCD TV with satellite channels and that all important air conditioning – a must for any funky Barcelona hotel, especially if you’re visiting during the summer months.

Silken Diagonal Barcelona – unique contemporary chic

The Silken Diagonal Hotel enjoys a privileged location on the largest avenue of Barcelona, right next door to the Agbar Tower and only 10 minutes from the main city beach. I was in awe of the striking designer lobby which was the brainchild of Juli Capella – a talented architect hailing from the city – and outside, the hotel’s exterior was no less hip with a monochromatic facade made to resemble a piano keyboard – very Barcelona! There was an outdoor pool located the rooftop terrace and all rooms offer mod-cons with dramatic black-and-white decor, glass-fronted bathrooms. Upgraded rooms at this hip Barcelona hotel feature panoramic windows with views of the vividly lit Agbar Tower. Opt for one of their luxurious suites and you’ll find separate living rooms and whirlpool tubs too. 

Praktik Rambla – elegant Art Nouveau boutique

Praktik-Rambla

Located in the heart of the Modernism district (one of my personal favourite areas in Barcelona!) the Praktik Rambla is a designer three star Art Nouveau inspired boutique hotel which still offers affordable room rates – unusual! Housed in a stylish townhouse hotel with a Gothic facade, I loved that it still retained its beautiful original features such as mosaic floors and molded ceilings. I was also mightily impressed by other aspects of the hotel too, including the terrace complete with modernist fountain, sun loungers and sofas – a peaceful area to relax on a sunny day. Breakfast and bike rentals were available for a bit extra – fabulous! 

  • Prices from €80 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for Praktik Rambla

Casa Camper – the trendy trainer brand’s very own hotel

I loved the fun contemporary vibe full of rich colours and design quirks at the Casa Camper – a Barcelona hotel by the famous shoe brand. My room was big and spacious and looked out over the vertical garden which is a totally brilliant concept to improve an otherwise uninspiring view of the neighbouring building! I had a comfy couch, balcony and a hammock.. yes a hammock… which was ideal for a siesta when the afternoon sun got too hot! The communal spaces were great too, especially Bar Dos Billares which was a chilled out, hip setting to enjoy a game of snooker and a tasty cocktail. The way this trendy Barcelona hotel mixes the historical gothic exterior with a laid back modern hipster interior is really clever and the location is just perfect. The 24 hour buffet where guests can go and help themselves to free snacks and soft drinks was another really fab feature!

Hotel DO Placa Reial – old school opulence

This is a truly impressive unique gastro boutique Barcelona hotel in a stunning gothic palazzo on Placa Reial which just exudes old time luxury and opulence. The carefully designed interior at Hotel DO Placa Reial is beautifully restored to showcase original wood panel walls and hardwood floors, beautiful rugs and classic leather furniture in earthy tones and tactile fabrics. The stunning historic feature such as the wonderful white spiral staircase was breathtaking. I stayed in a superior double room which was a gorgeously cool and classy oasis of calm looking out over the Placa. There are three delicious eating places on site too but my favourite by far was a chilled out tapas and an afternoon cocktail on the Terrasse, watching the world unfold around me.

Hotel Acta Mimic – trendy minimalism

Centrally located with a trendy minimalist monochrome design, the Acta Mimic Hotel is a great choice for appreciators of both design and good value – the kind of place you wished existed in every city! All of the 89 creatively designed rooms contain contemporary furnishings along with forward-thinking facilities such as Chromotherapy. This alternative therapy device will allow you to change the colour and intensity of the lights in your room according to your mood and I just loved playing around with this feature! Other stand out amenities include a hip restaurant, a terrace bar and a rooftop patio which has some pretty awesome city views. Oh and kids under eight and under stay free with an adult, so it’s a very family friendly place too.

  • Prices from €90 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for Acta Mimic Hotel

Hotel Neri – unique luxurious boutique

Hotel-Neri

Housed in a beautifully renovated 12th century building, I found the gorgeous Neri Hotel in the heart of the city’s elegant old Jewish quarter. I absolutely adored the combination of rustic stone architecture with a contemporary finish resulting in one of the most elegantly beautiful hotels in Barcelona. All rooms are sumptuously designed and there’s also an onsite luxe lounge bar, polished library and an intimate rooftop terrace. Although it’s the attention to detail that’s the real key to this wonderful boutique hotel – personal touches include a butler service, in-room massages, personalized drinks, fresh flowers delivered to your room everyday and even a choice of pillow filling – now you can’t get much better than that!

  • Prices from €200 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for Neri Hotel

Hotel 1898 – a contemporary colonial masterpiece

It was the history that attracted me to this hotel which is housed in the old General Philippines Tobacco Company Headquarters in the very heart of Barcelona. As soon as I entered Hotel 1898 the bright and airy colonial style lobby, stunningly renovated by Núñez i Navarro I knew I was going to love it! Full of gorgeous colonial flair with a contemporary twist, from the gorgeous marble floors to the striped walls and carved stone arches the place is a masterpiece! The Hotel had a choice of two pools, one in the cool basement under brick archways and one on the roof looking out over the city. My luxuriously furnished room was a delight and came complete with a wonderful blue marble bathroom that made me feel a bit like Ariel under crystal waves. The staff were attentive and kind and the location was ideal. This hotel is going to be really hard to beat…can I move in please?

  • Prices from €170 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for Hotel 1898

The Mercer Hotel – luxurious historic boutique

The history of this hotel was enough to get me interested. The gorgeous, avant-garde Mercer hotel occupies a collection of medieval buildings built atop the ancient roman walls on Carrer Lledo and much of the original architecture has been artfully exposed during the renovation – including the wonderful medieval stone arches which offer a cool calm solidity to this boutique gem. I stayed in a deluxe room with a view out at the innovative vertical garden, it was cool and spacious, decked out in tranquil neutral tones that made it feel restful and uncluttered. The hotel was so beautiful I spent a lot of time making the most of all it had to offer including a gorgeous rooftop pool and an atmospheric cocktail bar sandwiched between the ancient stone walls of the basement. There was loads of tasty food too… I loved the avant garde take on simple dishes that was served up in the restaurant and the laid back Tapas in Le Bouchon. The orange tree courtyard was great respite after a long day of sightseeing and the friendly staff contributed greatly to the perfectly balanced atmosphere of refined/relaxed. I’ll be back!

  • Prices from €295 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for The Mercer

Hotel Pulitzer – avant-garde opulence

This avant-garde inspired sophisticated hotel is the perfect mix of class, comfort and fun. My room at Hotel Pulitzer was beautiful and spacious with all the creature comforts I could hope for, egyptian cotton sheets, exposed wooden floors and tasteful furniture in warm tactile fabrics and loads and loads of natural light. There were live DJ sets on the rooftop bar every night which was a great opportunity to meet people in a really gorgeous setting. The food choices ranged from casual to fine dining and everything I ate was lovingly prepared from fresh local produce which was wonderful. I found the staff helpful and attentive to my needs although the hotel is so lovely I didn’t really have any! My favorite thing though was hiring a cool fold up Brompton and peddling around the vibrant city streets knowing I would go back to a cool, comfortable and deliciously luxurious room to soak in the bath in my big black and white marble bathroom….simply divine!

  • Prices from €145 a night
  • To book, check prices or availability for Hotel Pulitzer

Hotel Curious –  quirky modern budget

A chic, good-value hotel with a fabulous location just 50 yards from the ever popular street Las Ramblas. Each floor at Hotel Curious is themed by one of the four elements of nature – water, air, earth and fire. Rooms on the ground floor (water) are decorated with blue shades while rooms located on the ‘fire’ floor are enhanced with bold red tones – I liked their thinking! All rooms feature wooden floor, giant photos of Barcelona’s major attractions and modern amenities such as flat screen TVs, satellite, Wi-Fi and air conditioning. A thoughtful budget hotel with a difference!

  • Prices from €75 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for Hotel Curious

Hostal L’Antic Espai – antique boutique

Hostal-LAntic-Espaid

The antithesis of the modern design hotel, the Hostal L’Antic Espai perfectly captures the essence of a bygone era. The acclaimed boutique hotel was inspired by its surrounding neighbourhood, which was at the forefront of the Art Nouveau (Modernism) movement. Filled with valuable pieces of antique furniture, once inside the unassuming doorway a visual feast of old-style design and decor awaits. A popular guest house and one of Barcelona’s most unique places to stay.

Hostal Gat Xino – hotel/hostel hybrid

More of a concept than a hotel, GAT accommodation offers comfortable rooms with a trendy urban design but with very reasonable rooms rates. The GAT Xino is a trendy two star hotel/upmarket hostel with a difference, for starters it somehow manages to pull off the lime green decor, neon-lit areas and futuristic looking furniture – not an easy feat! The friendly staff provide lots of useful local information and the Xino is conveniently located within a handy reach of all the main sights including the main city beach. A savvy choice for those on a tight budget.

  • Prices from €65 a night.
  • To book, check prices or availability for GAT Xino

More unique hotels in Barcelona

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  • Hotel Espana – Said to be the jewel in the crown of Catalonian Modernism from €90pn
  • Hostal Gat Raval – Sister hotel of Gat Xino, very cheap but still trendy from €35pn
  • Market Hotel – Sleek and chic budget family friendly boutique hotel in a good location from €50pn
  • Hotel Ciutat Vella – Hip and modern budget hotel centrally located near Las Ramblas from €50pn
  • Hotel Confort – Great value large leisure hotel in a central location €53pn
  • Axel Hotel – Voted the world’s premier gay boutique hotel from €115pn
  • Raval Rooms – Funky budget hotel/hostel hybrid from €60pn
  • EddyRooms – Historic budget boutique hotel with a real ‘local’ feel from €40pn
  • Hotel Jazz – Centrally located trendy cosmopolitan hotel from €150
  • Hotel Granados – Swanky art deco design hotel with rooftop pool from €130
  • Charmsuites Paralel – Central well-equipped stylish apartments from £119
  • Hotel Omm – Serene and zen like designer hotel from €200pn
  • California Hotel – Small and slightly kitsch budget hotel near La Ramblas from €52pn
  • Hostal Goya Barcelona – A popular boutique hostel in a central location from €55pn
  • Monument Hotel – Stunning luxury design hotel in the heart of the city from €200pn
  • Hosteria Grau Hostal – Charming boutique hotel/hostel hybrid from €60pn
  • MybedBCN – budget guesthouse for those on a very tight budget from €38pn

Born in England, with a few family roots from Bavaria, and a heart in Scandinavia I've always been a bit of a restless soul. My first true adventure began as a six month voyage around South East Asia as a fresh faced backpacker and ever since I've lived a semi nomadic existence, clocking up over 40 countries on trips and living in Dublin, South East Asia and Australia. I'm a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, easy-on-the-eye travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds and all things Scandinavian - from cloudberry liquors to Scandi Noirs. When not wandering the world, you'll find me walking my rescue dog in leafy South West London, strolling around the Brighton Laines on random day trips, hunting for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about returning to my all time favourite places in the world; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Iceland, Thailand and the frozen landscapes of a wintry Iceland. Follow Becky on Twitter and Google+.

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