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Hotel Highlights

  • Peaceful, city-centre location, just off Passeig de Gràcia
  • Minimal-chic rooms with luxe marble bathrooms and smart design details
  • Cracking cuisine and cocktails, including home-made limoncello

Overview

Elegant Alma Barcelona boutique hotel in the upscale Eixample district is a stylish little number, wrapping its minimally chic interior within a fab Forties building. Design fans will go ga-ga for the pared down but poised assets of this Barcelona beauty, from its sculptural staircase to its sexy rooftop bar with Gaudi-glam views.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Alma Barcelona with us:

A bottle of cava and cupcakes

Facilities

View Gallery
Hotel Alma Barcelona - Barcelona - Spain

Need To Know

Rooms

72, including two suites.

Check–out

2pm, but flexible subject to availability. Until 3pm, a charge of 50 per cent of the room rate applies; after 3pm, you'll be charged for an extra night. Check-in, 12pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $237.61 (€190), excluding tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €2.48 per person per night on check-out.

More details

Breakfast is extra, at €25 a person.

Also

If famed minimalist sculptor Donald Judd turned his hand to spa design, the result would probably look like Alma's sleek offering. The day-bed-flanked pool is a cool aquamarine rectangle in a serene cream space, and the treatment rooms are cutting edge and calming. There's a sauna, a small fitness room (with a static bike, treadmill and TRX suspension-training equipment), and a range of massages, reiki, reflexology and immersive sensory experiences are all offered. The Alma is also putting the final touches to its romantic roof terrace, handy for lofty views of the area's gawp-worthy Gaudi architecture.

At the hotel

Lounge, gardens, free WiFi. In rooms: Loewe flatscreen TV, red Punkt phones, free minibar, Bulgari toiletries. Executive Suites offer iPod docks.

Our favourite rooms

All Alma's abodes are subtly masculine, with clean-lined contemporary furniture, a neutral palette of greys, browns and sky blues, simple shutters and smart mood lighting, prettied up with white marble bathrooms. Many of the Grand Deluxe rooms flaunt views of Gaudi's iconic wavy-stone La Pedrera building, so make sure you request one. We like the futuristic fingerprint-activated door 'keys' – so James Bond.

Poolside

There's a long heated pool in the spa, a stylish and serene space to swim a few lengths in.

Packing tips

Bring your iPod if you've booked a room with a dock, but leave space in your case for your shopping booty, as you're just a sashay from fashionable boutique-lined Passeig de Gràcia.

Also

Smoking is allowed in outdoor areas only.

Children

Welcome, but Alma is more of a sophisticated adult retreat. Baby cots can be provided for free and extra beds for kids are available in Executive Suites only, for €60 a night. Babysitting with a local nanny can be arranged, and there's a children's menu.

Read more

Food & Drink

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Hotel Alma Barcelona - Barcelona - Spain

Hotel Restaurant

Helmed by chef Sergio Humada, relaxed Alma restaurant dishes up delectable mod-Med food, which you can munch indoors or out in the swish garden. We can recommend the salmon tartare, Dover sole à la meunière and the chocolant fondant, all of which arrived looking dreamily decorative – or if you fancy something local, order the burnt butter spaghettini with Catalan butifarra (black sausage) and egg. Don't leave without trying the heavenly home-made limoncello. Beautiful blooms throughout are picked by the hotel's green-fingered gardener.

Hotel Bar

Adjoining the open-plan restaurant, Alma's bar offers cracking cocktails, including a moreish kiwi Bellini, with a bespoke soundtrack of chill-out and acoustic tunes. There are plenty of pews for two, or grab a stool at the bar itself to watch your drink being shaken and stirred.

Last orders

This is Barcelona, remember, city of night owls, so dinner is served until 11pm, and the house bar keeps pouring until 1am.

Room service

24-hour room service is yours to command, with à la carte offerings available from the restaurant menu.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Stylish yet subtle threads will sit well with Alma's low-key allure. If you're hitting the bar, a cocktail dress won't go amiss, but bring a cardy for alfresco evenings.

Top table

Snaffle one outside on the terrace or in the garden to make the most of the Spanish sun. Tables are scattered around, so choose your own seductive spot amid the foliage.

Local Guide

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Hotel Alma Barcelona - Barcelona - Spain
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

If you can tear yourself away from Alma's elegant garden and rooftop terrace, just a short stroll away you'll find Gaudi's undulating stone-clad dwelling La Pedrera (www.lapedreraeducacio.org), aka Casa Milà, at the corner of Passeig de Gràcia at Carrer de Provença 261–265. You can tour a period apartment inside, but leave time to check out the kooky rooftop, which flaunts multi-coloured chimneys as well as a bar in summer. Other Gaudi must-sees in the area include modernist-marvel Casa Batllò (www.casabatllo.es), further south at Passeig de Gràcia 43 (go inside or just admire the rainbow-tiled façade), spire-toting Sagrada Familia (www.sagradafamila.cat) further east at Carrer de Mallorca 401, and fantastical Parc Güell, a metro or taxi ride north of neighbouring Gràcia.

For a modern art hit, make for Fundació Antoni Tàpies (Carrer de Aragó 255; www.fundaciotapies.org), which showcases work by the famous Catalan abstract artist. Music lovers should immerse themselves in a performance at Palau de la Música Catalana (further south at Carrer de Palau de la Música 4–6; www.palaumusica.org), a magnificent modernist concert hall by Lluís Domènech i Montaner.

Shopping more your speed? Then pop into Passeig de Gràcia's many chichi boutiques, including Spanish labels Zara for catwalk looks (number 16; www.zara.com), Camper for shoes (64; www.camper.com/en), Mango for high-street fashion (65; http://shop.mango.com), and Loewe, for leather handbags and accessories (91; www.loewe.com). Adolfo Dominguez (Carrer de Balmes 170; www.adolfodominguez.com), near Diagonal metro station, will appeal to men in search of sophisticated threads. Vinçon (Passeig de Gràcia 96; www.vincon.com) is a tantalising temple of edgy Spanish and global design, selling everything from gift-friendly stationery to kitchen kit and homewares.

Local restaurants

Alma Barcelona is surrounded by tempting tapas treats. Refuel mid-Gaudi tour at De Tapa Madre (Carrer de Mallorca 301; +34 (93) 459 31 34; www.detapamadre.cat), handily located between La Sagrada Familia church and La Pedrera. Also nearby is Tapas, 24 (Carrer de la Diputaciò 269; +34 (93) 488 09 77; www.tapas24.net), a popular pitstop that's worth queuing for. Expect new-wave tapas and playful snacks by chef Carles Abellen, who heads up a clutch of culinary hotspots in town.

Local bars

Time-travel back to the cocktail's Fifties heyday at Dry Martini (Carrer d'Aribau 162–166; +34 (93) 217 50 74; www.drymartinibcn.com), conceived by cocktail-slinger Javier de la Muelas. The bartenders are the business at this sexy spot, which is pulling a stylish crowd. Sashay to clandestine sister restaurant Speakeasy, at the same address, for intimate bites afterwards.

Local cafés

Wander north to the chic adjacent neighbourhood of Gràcia, known for its graceful squares ideal for sipping coffee out in the sun – or quaffing a cool Estrella Damm at night. Try Plaça de Ruis i Taulet, Plaça del Sol, Plaça de la Revolució de Setembre de 1868 or Plaça de la Virreina. This once fiercely independent district, which resisted being amalgamated into the city of Barcelona, will feel far less touristy than downtown Barri Gòtic. Alternatively, stock up on picnic supplies near the hotel at Delishop Eixample (Carrer de Mallorca 241; +34 (93) 215 15 46; www.delishop.es) and chow down in a sunny spot. It's also fab if you fancy taking home quality Catalan produce, such as jars of lip-smacking local olives.

+ Enlarge
A pace from Passeig de Gràcia

Alma Barcelona

Mallorca, 271, Barcelona, 08008

Alma Barcelona is centrally located on Carrer de Mallorca, just off Passeig de Gràcia, in the swanky Eixample district.

Planes

Fly into Barcelona El Prat Airport, 12 kilometres south-west of the city centre, which handles international and domestic flights. From there, it's a 15-kilometre taxi ride to the hotel. Some Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) flights touch down at Girona-Costa Brava or Reus airports further afield, from where you'll need to take a train, bus or taxi into Barcelona.

Trains

RENFE (www.renfe.com) runs trains into nearby Passeig de Gràcia station from all major Spanish cities. The nearest Metro stop to the hotel is Diagonal, on lines L3 and L5. Once there, take the exit marked Passeig de Gràcia.

Automobiles

If you've hired your own wheels, the hotel offers parking for €30 a car a day.

Reviews

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Hotel Alma Barcelona - Barcelona - Spain

Anonymous review

by Oscar Udeshi , Snappy dresser

‘When the first thing you see is a palm tree, you know you’re in for some fun.’ Mrs Smith’s wise words as we step out of Barcelona Airport. Sun beating down, we hop into a cab to take us the Alma in the upscale Eixample district. Driving down the Diagonal, the main boulevard running through the city, we spend the next 20 minutes admiring the architecture and how masterfully…
Read more

Alma Barcelona

Anonymous review by Oscar Udeshi, Snappy dresser

‘When the first thing you see is a palm tree, you know you’re in for some fun.’ Mrs Smith’s wise words as we step out of Barcelona Airport. Sun beating down, we hop into a cab to take us the Alma in the upscale Eixample district. Driving down the Diagonal, the main boulevard running through the city, we spend the next 20 minutes admiring the architecture and how masterfully this city throws in modern with 19th century.

A former Forties’ apartment block, Alma’s façade is discreet, reminiscent of a townhouse off Madison Avenue in NYC. Past elegant black wrought-iron gates, the grey wash is accented by perfectly sculpted topiaries. Snappily dressed staff await and we’re greeted warmly. Mrs Smith muses that they’re all perfect these Stepford-esque men or women, whose etiquette, knowledge, English – is all perfect. Without skipping a beat, these flawless folks even know my name. Talk about a nice ego boost – and that’s before they’ve indulged us further by bringing over some bubbles.

I’ll be honest, check-in takes a few minutes: but that’s understandable when your fingerprint scan serves as your key. Hey, I’m fine to linger sipping bubbles and reclining like James Bond… especially when there’s even a Moneypenny standing by to predict my next need. If only I had an Aston Martin. I am sure that could be arranged.

After ascending a small flight of stairs we enter a internal courtyard that has a ceiling height of 10 stories. It’s grey, it’s stone, it’s glass – it’s minimalist. In my mind somewhere in the background Darth Vadar’s themesong is playing; I fully expect to see Princess Leia turn the corner. Mrs Smith is standing in awe. ‘Do you think we can use the word ‘orgasm’ in this review? Because if we can, then I’m having one – an architectural orgasm. I’m never leaving. Have my mail forwarded and bring me more bubbles.’ Beyond this impressive atrium, rooms resonate with clean-cut contemporary style, some boasting views of Catalan architect Gaudi's monumental La Pedrera building.

Fingerprints zapped, the door to our room opens. ‘It’s the little things,’ she says, the interior designer in her scrutinising all the little details, such as room number displays inspired by graphic typewriter keys. I, on the other hand, notice that everything is spacious. The shower comprises its own room. You simply walk in. No need for glass, no need for a curtain – the rainspout showerhead doesn’t stand a chance of getting the floor wet, it’s that big. ‘Ooh,’ she squeals. ‘They even have bath products from our fellow New Yorkers Malin + Goetz.’

After surveying our home for the next three days, we grab a late lunch (normal time for Spain) at Bar Mut just around the corner, where they have an extensive selection of cava, wines and a few delicious plates of whatever is fresh that day. Next we hit the main Fifth Avenue equivalent, the Passeig de Gràcia, and we window-shop our way down to the Gothic Quarter, where the labyrinth of alleyways is like a life-size Pac Man game. Before you know it, we are at the port and heading to 7 Portes, a Barcelona institution for more years than I’ve been alive. A classic version of what the Wolseley or Balthazar is now, this restaurante is the real deal.

As it starts to rain the next day, we shelter in the hotel. We hit the spa and head for the wet steamroom, which revives and thaws our wintery bones. There is a new 18-metre two-lane waist-deep lap pool too. Warm and people-free, I relish the rare chance to swim uninterrupted laps. A basic gym has most things one actually needs, so after a splash, for New York second I think about a workout. But come on, who are we kidding? That would interrupt the fantastic late breakfast we’ve ordered via room service. We head back to the room and luxuriate in showers under a rain-style downpour so generous it could irrigate the whole of the south coast of England.

Dinner is served in a streamlined restaurant and bar area beside the lobby, with a small, carefully curated menu that is served by a genuinely sincere and enthusiastic bartender. You see, it really is like having your own personal Jeeves at your fingertips. Each course, as much of a cliché as it sounds, is delicious. Portions are sensibly sized and we manage four courses with ease. Mod-Med food, and a taste of local cuisine care of spaghettini with Catalan butifarra (black sausage) and egg is accompanied by a bottle of their very reasonably priced wines (€20–€30); afterwards we enjoy whiskies and a cigar in the serene courtyard. In warmer months this must have quite the scene.

Now, you can image as time to leave approaches, Mrs Smith has decided that she does not want to leave – after all, Alma hotel has all the convenience, comfort and accommodation of home. And more. When I raise this with the receptionist, she just smiles, then says: ‘Maybe you could move in with the gentleman we have had living here for six months...’
 

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel with us, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Alma Barcelona's Guestbook below.

 

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Comfortable hotel, great location, quiet rooms. Staff extremely, helpful and friendly.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

I loved the fabulous service, great setting lots of space… and the giant, very comfortable bed! The staff was great with excellent tips on places to eat.

Don’t expect

The pool needs a bit more interes – it's small so needs some water jets. The price for breakfast is silly.

Rating: 10/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Quiet room despite being on first floor in centre of the city. There were children in the next-door room but we didn't hear them at all. Lovely friendly staff who were keen to help whenever necessary and without being overbearing. Beautiful, well-appointed room with a lovely garden.

Don’t expect

Breakfast menu could have given the opportunity to order individual items rather than as a whole.

Rating: 9/10 stars

BlackSmith

Stayed on

We loved

Everything! Hotel was beautifully appointed, suite was gorgeous with wonderful bathroom fab Bulgari toiletries. Very comfy bed! Service was outstanding. A hotel where the staff really made you feel special!

Don’t expect

Nothing!

Rating: 10/10 stars