Barcelona, Spain

Antiga Casa Buenavista

Price per night from$120.33

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (EUR111.36), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Contemporary Catalan crashpad

Setting

El Raval-ation

Barcelona is no slouch when it comes to looking sharp, from the bells, whistles and loud sirens of the Modernista icons, to the Gothic Quarter’s spires and reliefs, and contemporary structures resembling spacecraft. And, chic city-pad Antiga Casa Buenavista has straightened up its collar and polished its brogues, with a modernist look of textured glass, industrial ironwork, exposed brick and Catalan floor tiles, plus highly prized furnishings (the Mies Van der Rohe Barcelona chairs are a nice touch). But, it’s designed for living – and very well too – with warm service, a vast lounge with spaces for tapping away at a laptop or murdering a bottle of rioja, a just-for-guests rooftop pool and sociable bistro, plus all of El Raval’s revelry right on your doorstep.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

Local products from Cataluña, including two bottles of vermouth (one red, one white) and a bag of gourmet crisps

Facilities

Photos Antiga Casa Buenavista facilities

Need to know

Rooms

43, including three suites.

Check–Out

12 noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Prices

Double rooms from £109.22 (€122), including tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €3.80 per person per night on check-in.

More details

Rates don’t usually include the buffet breakfast (from €30 a person).

Also

There’s a lift at the property, accessible public areas and one specially adapted room, with grab rails and a shower seat in the bathroom and lowered switches, for guests with mobility issues.

At the hotel

Roof terrace, lounge with a co-working space, laundry service, free WiFi. In rooms: TV with Chromecast, Nespresso coffee machine, Sans & Sans teas, minibar, desk, free bottled water and La Roche-Posay bath products.

Our favourite rooms

Rooms have a sophisticated look with captain’s mirrors, mid-century pieces, stained glass that subtly nods to art nouveau, Catalan tiles, and rich woods. But, the Superior Room with Terrace has all the goodies: a Marshall Bluetooth speaker, honesty bar, furnished outdoor space overlooking the city and an alfresco soaking tub for two.

Poolside

We like the discrete unheated rooftop pool (open 8am to 8pm), which is an intimate size with just a handful of loungers and feels far removed from Raval’s urban bustle. Sunk into the terrace, it has wide entry steps and a leafy border to shelter you from any errant winds, and staff will bring drinks to you.

Spa

The hotel have teamed up with a local spa if you're in need of some pampering.

Packing tips

Working on holiday may put the ‘bleh’ in ‘bleisure’, but the hotel’s lounge is so stylish and snug that you won’t mind tending to a few emails here and there (or maybe working on that novel), so slide that laptop into its carrier.

Children

Kids don’t really fit in with the aesthetic here, and, while they can stay, there are no extra beds, so you’ll need to book a second room.

Sustainability efforts

The hotel holds itself ecologically accountable, recycling, sourcing local ingredients for its menu, installing water-saving systems, low-energy lighting and solar panels. And it’s proudly paperless. They host a gathering of local businesses once a month in their lobby meeting space to see how they can best work together and be part of the El Raval community. And they work with Children for Raval, an organisation that helps to feed low-income families.

Food and Drink

Photos Antiga Casa Buenavista food and drink

Top Table

Tucked away at the back of the restaurant is an eight-top which can be curtained off for privacy. Or, watch the comings and goings of lively Plaza Muntaner from the front.

Dress Code

Build your outfit like a Modernista marvel, with Liberty prints, sensual curves, every colour of the wheel and all the adornment you can muster.

Hotel restaurant

Casa de Comidas may be laidback, but it looks the part, with spiffy checkerboard flooring, black-leather banquettes, plenty of bronze, Deco lighting and a long marble bar to anchor the action. Plus, there’s a small interior courtyard with a few tables. The hotel’s still cooking up its ideas for a tempting menu, but dining will be typically Catalan in style, with tapas and sharing plates.

Hotel bar

There’s no dedicated bar, but Casa de Comidas has a wine list that uncorks Spain’s most fruitful terroirs: Catalonian syrahs, Madrileño tempranillos, Andalucían sherries and a big hearty glug of rioja. The lobby is a little more private (for guests only) and has secluded ante-rooms and ample mid-century seating – fittingly, there are a few Mies Van Der Rohe Barcelona chairs. And, you can ask for drinks to be delivered to the suntrap poolside terrace on the top floor.

Last orders

Breakfast runs from 7am to 11am, lunch from 1pm to 3.30pm, and dinner from 8pm to 10.30pm.

Room service

If you’re in the Superior Buenavista with Terrace, you can choose from the special in-room dining menu (from 7am to midnight) for a feast in your pyjamas.

Location

Photos Antiga Casa Buenavista location
Address
Antiga Casa Buenavista
Ronda de Sant Antoni 84
Barcelona
08001
Spain

Antiga Casa Buenavista sits on a street lined with elegant, balcony-clad townhouses on bustling street Ronda de Sant Antoni at the border of the El Raval and Eixample neighbourhoods. Sites such as Plaça de Catalunya and Las Ramblas are nearby.

Planes

The Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat airport is the closest international hub, just a 20-minute drive from the hotel. It’s well served, with flights arriving from all over the world, and the casa’s staff will happily arrange transfers.

Trains

Trains from across Catalonia pull into the Plaça de Catalunya station, which is just a five-minute walk from the hotel. It also lies on the L1 (red) and L3 (green) lines of the Metro, so you can zip across the city with ease. And, if you’re arriving from the airport, you just need to hop on the L9 (orange) line and change to the L1 at Torassa. If you’re chugging in from other major cities in Spain, most routes terminate at Barcelona-Sants a 15-minute drive away.

Automobiles

Make life easier for yourself and invest in a Hola BCN pass, which allows you to hop on and off public transport. Car hire is easy, but parking can be hard to find, plus the hotel is in the ZBE (low-emission zone), so you’ll have to register your vehicle and pay a charge of a few Euros. If wheels are essential, there’s no parking at the hotel, but several charged garages close by.

Other

Ferries run back and forth between Barcelona and the Balearics; from Menorca the trip is six hours, seven hours from Mallorca and nine hours from Ibiza.

Worth getting out of bed for

El Raval had a bit of a bad-boy rep back in the day, with thieves, street walkers and bohemians all getting up to no good (there are still a few light-fingered sorts, so keep an eye on your belongings), but it’s largely redeemed itself and is now rather erudite and cultured, with a nightlife scene that still rouses the rakes. The Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (the largest of its kind in Spain) informs and engages through film, art, workshops, debates, concerts and festivals. It’s programme is wildly diverse, but there’s always something going on, whether it's a debate about threats to global journalism, exhibitions about political use of masks or proposals for public lighting using luminescent bacterium – it’s meaty stuff. The Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona houses a collection of very important artworks (by the likes of Man Ray, Miro, Calder, Beuys…) from 1929 to now in a building by Richard Meier that’s quite the looker itself. And housed in a baroque palace along La Rambla is La Virreina Centre de la Imatge, whose shows of contemporary art get stuck into ideological quandaries. And, the Gran Teatre del Liceu is very gran indeed, with its garnet-velvet upholstery, gilded curves of tiered seating and frescoed ceilings. And, while Barcelona isn’t exactly lacking in monumental buildings, El Raval can claim its oldest church, 10th-century Sant Paul del Camp (Saint Paul of the Country), named thusly because it was originally outside the city walls. It’s also home to Palau Güell, Gaudí’s medievalist masterpiece, that’s not quite as fanciful as his other structures, but still a stand-out. For his more famous works – Sagrada Familia, Casa Milà, Casa Batlló – and other Modernista marvels (say, Cadafalch’s Casa Amatller), then cross the border into the Eixample. While you’re over there, check in at toy factory turned co-working space Fàbrica Lehmann to see if they’re holding an arts and crafts market in their courtyard. Rummage through treasured trash at Mercat Els Encants (the city’s largest flea market), then get caught up in the colours and scents of Boqueria food market. Assemble a picnic from your finds and head to the Joan Miró park to enjoy it and see some of its namesake’s large-scale sculptures.

Local restaurants

Sharing is caring in Catalan dining culture, where meals consist of a scattering of tapas plates and family-style mains. But, the food in Barcelona is also excellent, so you may find yourself feeling rather territorial about your boquerones. At Bar Cañete you’ll be batting hands away from lobster croquetas, crispy Iberian pork jowls and chicken and foie gras cannellonis. Sit up at the long, elegant counter to watch chefs carve slivers of jamón and sear freshly hauled-in shellfish. And, if there’s a pecking order among the city’s chefs, then those who’ve done a stint at Ferran Adrià’s legendary El Bulli sit at the top. Chef François Chartier runs Dos Palillos (two chopsticks), a pan-Asian tapas joint, where tasting menus run to 28 courses with some ‘won’t know you like it till you try it’ surprises, such as chicken sashimi, served rare. A gamble for sure, but we assume it hasn’t done anyone in, because he also runs experimental tapas bar Dos Pebrots, where you’ll try morsels such as spider crab in almond cream, leeks steeped in beer, and lemon sorbet with olive oil. He’s earned a Michelin star for both. And Disfrutar is helmed by not one but three ex-El Bulli head chefs (Mateu Casañas, Oriol Castro and Eduard Xatruch). Its name means ‘enjoy’ in Catalan, and enjoy you will, with dishes such as fluffy buns filled with sour cream and caviar; passionfruit, rum and mint ladyfingers; ceviche ice-cream and deconstructed whisky tarts, and a theatrical dining experience where some dishes are hidden in secret table compartments. And leading the way in restaurant design is Lázaro Rosa-Violán, who turned a carpark into El Nacional, an extremely glamorous food hall, with four restaurants, an oyster bar and counters dedicated to beer, wine and cocktails. And, he styled Boca Grande using warm polished woods and hammered gold plating. Get attuned to the opulence, then order up the steak with foie gras, king crab and wild-pigeon risotto with Idiazabal cheese.

Local cafés

Caravelle has style, with its black-and-white floor tiles and Scandi furnishings, but  from 10am to 4pm, we only have eyes for the brunch menu. With the likes of poached eggs and roast pumpkin with whipped feta and za’atar, pulled-pork Benedict and Bircher muesli with hibiscus and cherry, it's a sexy read, and if you have room when lunch kicks in at 1pm, order the smoked-chicken sando with guac, jalapeños and American cheese, followed by the labneh cheesecake with tahini crumble and poached plums. And, Dalston Coffee is a slender spot with punchy brews – put their trusty espresso machine and Moccamaster to work.

Local bars

When it comes to nightlife, Raval still has a hangover from its bohemian days. Hemingway, Picasso and other libertines downed absinthe in Bar Marsella (65 Carrer de Sant Pau), which is still going as strong as the green stuff, but it’s kept its charming 19th-century decor. And Modernista Bar Muy Buenas deserves its boastful name for its vintage style, art nouveau woodwork, scalloped podium bar, and flowery floor tiles, plus a list of cocktails mixed with only Catalan spirits. La Casa de la Pradera (‘the Little House on the Prairie’) is extremely modern minded, welcoming all members of the LGBTQ+ family, and attracting one of the funnest crowds in the city. And over in Eixample, we’re surprised Bar Mut’s walls of wine don’t look emptier – punters enthusiastically down plenty. Partake with gusto, and treat yourself to the spectacularly rich lobster in brandy. And, prepare to give up some personal space for a lot of very good natural wine at Gresca (230 Carrer de Provença), whose pink-marble-lined interior is slim and lined with stools. The list has been stringently sipped and savoured by wine-obsessive owner Rafa Peña, so you can be confident in your choices, but it’s worth putting yourself in the barkeeps’ hands.

Reviews

Photos Antiga Casa Buenavista reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this casa-sweet-casa hotel in the El Raval neighbourhood and unpacked their kilos of vintage clothing and bottle of vermut, a full account of their by-design break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Antiga Casa Buenavista in Barcelona…

Antiga Casa Buenavista might translate to ‘antique house with a beautiful view’, but don’t let that fool you; it’s fully present, with design that subtly draws in Barcelona’s diverse architectural styles. Florid Catalan floor tiles, windows stained with delicate mint panels, large industrial-style windows and mid-century statement pieces tie together a few centuries of spot-on set dressing, but nothing feels too precious – you would just as happily admire the textures, symmetry and silhouettes with an aesthetic eye, as you would rumple up the duvet, kick off your shoes and sit cat-like on one of the lounge’s Barcelona chairs and generally make yourself feel at home. After all, the hotel takes the ‘casa’ part of its name very seriously. Rooms, suites, the guests-only rooftop pool, and a vast lounge with secluded antechambers – perfect for digital nomads to camp out in – are all set aside from the buzzy bistro (which you can spy on from above), giving them an exclusive feel, and service is discrete and dictated by guests’ needs. And, about that ‘buena vista’? Well, the hotel sits at the fabulously central border between El Raval and Eixample, close to all the big-hitter sights and a vivacious nightlife scene, so from the poolside or from the suites that have hot-tub-topped terraces, you get an eyeful of the city’s grid of terracotta roofs and bright blue sky – a view that’s neither ‘antiga’ or ‘nueva’, but timeless.

Price per night from $120.33

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