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Hotel Bagues, Barcelona, Spain
This highly original 31-room boutique hotel housed in a building dating from 1850 was once the headquarters of Art Nouveau jewellers Bagues-Masriera, and in homage has a small museum with displays of jewellery and other items from the collection. It's located on Barcelona's famous boulevard La Rambla, but its restful lounge and rooftop pool area provide a peaceful retreat from the hubbub. There's a sauna and gym area, and a bar, as well as an impressive breakfast offering. There are lots of original design flourishes too, often echoing Art Nouveau and Modernist styles, and impressive use of materials such as ebony and rosewood, gold leaf, and stones such as Indian slate - chosen for its large quantity of silver light-reflecting pyrites.
The famous La Boqueria open food market is almost next door, great for a quick tapas, or a seafood takeaway.
The Cathedral of Barcelona is a six-minute walk from the hotel, as is the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art.
By plane: there are direct flights from London (2 hours 5 mins), Manchester (2 hours 20 mins) and Edinburgh (2 hours 40 mins). The hotel is a 20-minute drive from El-Prat airport. skyscanner.net
Style & Character
The guests here tend to be tourists, mainly from the UK and US. We love the many original features, such as two ornate Venetian glass lamps in the lounge, or a huge golden sculpture in the interior of the main stairs.
Service & Facilities
The best thing about the hotel is the staff's friendliness, helpfulness and enthusiasm. Smaller pets are allowed (€30 per night) and beds, toys and treats are provided.
- Swimming pool
- Free Wi-Fi
Room 204 is a Superior double room, i.e. the cheapest option, but it feels roomy and bright and has a fabulous view of La Rambla to allow you to watch the world go by. This is great for people-watching but can be noisy - luckily the soundproofing is good.
Single, Superior, Deluxe rooms, Jewel Suite
Facilities include: ensuite bathroom, White Company toiletries, Bluetooth speaker, Smart TV, free Wi-Fi, Nespresso machine
Food & Drink
The breakfast spread is varied and of excellent quality. The Iberian Bellota ham Gran Reserva Arturo Sanchez is especially tasty.
The Bar: breakfast and cocktails later on. Open daily 7-10.30am and 12-11.30pm.
The Terrace: spectacular views. Open during summer.