It is almost impossible to exaggerate the pleasure of a visit to Barcelona, one of the great Mediterranean cities and Europe’s top weekend destination. It combines tradition, modernity, style, art, architecture, a bustling street life that turns into an all-night party—and weather that is seldom less than ideal. While other European city-dwellers are gritting their teeth in midwinter rain and sleet, Barcelona is already sparkling in spring-like sunshine, autumn sunshine continues well into November, and even in the heart of winter there is little rain.
So, where to stay? If you want to be at the heart of the city, and enjoy the best food in Barcelona, the Monument Hotel—formerly Hotel Condes de Barcelona—is right there on the shop-filled Passeig de Gràcia in the Eixample area, across the street from Gaudi’s Pedrera and with three Michelin Star restaurant Lasarte. What was once half of Hotel Condes de Barcelona re-opened as a separate entity after a revamp. In a city famous for architectural gems, Monument Hotel has no trouble holding its own. This stylish 84-room design hotel effortlessly embodies Barcelona’s cosmopolitan charm.
The neo-gothic building, the former home of industrialist Enric Batlló (his brother commissioned Gaudí to design Casa Batlló), has 84 bedrooms with exposed brick walls, oak floors, leather headboards and slate-grey hexagonal-tiled bathrooms. The best have LEDs resembling stars in the ceilings above the beds and tiny terraces overlooking Passeig de Gràcia and Gaudí’s La Pedrera. The main palace was once Casa Batilo, and the neo-medieval façade shows strong Gaudí influences in its intricate wrought-iron balconies, swirling marble staircases and colourful tiles. Modern attractions include comfortable and elegant guest rooms with swish marble bathrooms with spa baths, reproductions of Spanish paintings and soundproof windows.
Another attraction here is the rooftop terrace, swimming pool and bar, which look out over Gaudi’s strange extraterrestial sculptures atop the Pedrera; this is the perfect spot for a cocktail as the sun sets over Barcelona, and supper on the roof may be accompanied by live music as well as great views of floodlit Barcelona.
The real draw here is the Michelin Star cuisine. Basque-born chef Martín Berasategui, with 12 Michelin stars to his name, heads up the hotel’s three-Michelin-starred gastronomic paradise, Lasarte.
Recently refurbished and now sporting a bright modern look, the restaurant features a semi-private dining room plus an exclusive eight-seat chef’s table. The food is totally, and consistently sublime. Lasarte is renowned for dishes such as chargrilled pigeon and fennel risotto with lobster, as well as a 500-strong wine list (ask the sommelier to show you his little black book with special bottles not on the list). Then there’s the hotel’s Michelin Star Oria bistro, also overseen by Berasategui, with more wallet-friendly prices.
All in all, Monument has established itself as one of the brightest stars on the Barcelona hotel scene. As Conde Nast Traveler’s reviewer urges, ‘Book a stay here and you will not be disappointed!’
Members enjoy exclusive Club rates at this stylish hotel, starting at £252 for two sharing. Please call Member Services on 020 7399 2960 or follow the link below.
Passeig de Gràcia, 75.