El Palauet’s city-central suites are bright white beauties; housed in a 1906 art nouveau building with soaring ceilings, stained glass windows, opulent frescoes and a rooftop spa. Each suite is assigned its own personal assistant, who will help you unwrap Barcelona, barrio by barrio.
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A small bottle of Spanish wine and a city guide to Barcelona
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability (no extra charge). Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from £382.40 (€459), including tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €2.25 per person per night on check-out.
All rates are per apartment, which sleep up to four, and include a personal assistant, access to the hotel's spa, and WiFi. A 10 per cent discount applies to stays of four nights or more. Breakfast is not included, and costs €19-21 a person.
Make sure you’re privy to ‘El Palauet recommends’, part of the concierge service, which has weekly tips on what to do and where to go, along with VIP access. Request a PlayStation at no extra cost.
At the hotel
Spa and free WiFi throughout.
Our favourite rooms
The best (and most expensive) of the Tibidabo suites which overlook the mountains is Principal Tibidabo, which has a beautiful semi-circle seating area, a stained glass window in half of the dual lounge and a small balcony. This suite feels light and airy, and also boasts some beautiful frescoes. Passeig de Gràcia apartments overlook the front of the building; we like Principal Passeig de Gràcia best because of its large terrace. (Both Principal Passeig de Tibidabo and Principal Passeig de Gràcia were once the building's main living quarters, hence the names and their lashings of space.)
No pool, but be sure to make use of the waterbeds, sauna and massage room on the terrace.
Don’t worry if you forget anything – your concierge will replace any items that are AWOL during your stay.
Each apartment comes equipped with a personal assistant, who will happily organise any extras during your stay. Whether you crave a massage, a haircut, a make-up consultation, a babysitter or just some recommendations, let your PA take charge.
Small dogs can come too for free, but you’ll need to bring everything they need with you – nothing is provided. Bear in mind that the apartments are all white and rather fancy; messy dogs may mean headaches. See more pet-friendly hotels in Barcelona.
Very welcome. Cots can be added to rooms free; the chef can whip up a children’s menu. Babysitting with a local nanny can be arranged (€42.35 an hour) with a days' notice.
Your favourite spot in your apartment, but probably by the stained glass windows.
Treat the apartments like your home, and dress accordingly. That said, to look good in your photos, sport saturated pops of colour and floral/digital prints (look to Erdem and Mary Katrantzou for inspiration) to stand out against all the white.
Speak and ye shall find: if you want a private chef, a fully stocked fridge, a delivery of organic treats or a PA-prepared breakfast each morning (Continental for €19 a person, Full Catalan for €20, and à la carte from €6) just let the property know. They can even whip up kid-friendly breakfast fare. You won't miss having a formal restaurant.
No bar, but there's a curated collection of Spanish wines, cava and champagne in suites, and with Barcelona on your doorstep, you won’t go thirsty.
Whether you want a drink, snack or full-blown three-course meal, there’s a 24-hour room service available from the concierge. Mediterranean and Japanese menus round off the traditional and more exotic options.
Barcelona’s El Prat airport is served by British Airways (www.britishairways.com) and Easyjet (www.easyjet.com). The hotel is 10 miles away.
Passeig de Gràcia station is 1km from the apartments, with services connecting to the major Spanish cities including Madrid, Valencia and Saragossa (www.renfe.com). Book ahead as trains get busy. A free shuttle bus connects the airport to the station. Ask the hotel to arrange a taxi from the station.
Girona is an hour and a half away by car. Hotel parking is €2.75 an hour.
Worth getting out of bed for
At the weekends, follow the locals to Ciutadella Parc, where drummers play. Look out for street entertainers (and pickpockets) in Las Ramblas. Antoni Gaudí left an incredible mark on Barcelona, from his undulating apartment block La Pedrera to his swan song, the Sagrada Família, still under construction – go out and admire his legacy. The city pays tribute to other great artists with the Museu Picasso (+34 (93) 319 63 10) and Fundació Joan Miró (+34 (93) 443 94 70). The Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona focuses on 20th-century Catalan artists (+34 (93) 412 12 70). The Gran Teatro de Liceu is up there with Europe’s great opera houses (+34 (93) 485 99 00). Stroll down the Passeig de Gràcia – it has some of the city’s most expensive boutiques so may be best for window-shopping. You’ll find boutiques and more unusual shops in the El Born area. The best place to stock-up on foodie souvenirs is Colmado Quílez Avinyó on Rambla de Catalunya. Explore the dramatic Gothic quarter or take in some sea air on one of the beaches. Barceloneta’s stretch of sand is a short metro ride from the city centre, or just a 20-minute walk. Rent a boat on the lake in Parc de la Ciutadella and eat on the water or in the park itself. The hotel can arrange gourmet outings to La Boqueria market and beyond after-dark tours of the Old Town too, when it's at its most romantic.
7 Portes on Passeig d’Isabel II (+34 933 193 033) is the oldest restaurant in Barcelona and serves authentic Catalan fare in a formal setting with a pianist from 10.30pm. For an avant-garde take on tapas, head to Comerç 24 on Carrer Comerç (+34 933 192 102), a modern restaurant decked out in bold shades of aubergine and mustard yellow. Models, footballers and discerning tourists head to Monk Bar (+34 933 184 252) on Pau Claris for its elegant Japanese, Mediterranean and French cuisine. Agua (+34 932 251 272) on the beachfront is fab for seafood. Grab a shady spot on the outside terrace if the sun’s beating down. Rouged-up hilltop restaurant Martinez(+34 931 066 052) will attract you like a bull to a toreador's cape, with gasp-worthy views and allegedly the best ham croquettes in the world. Suquet de L'Almirall serves fabulous fishy dishes alongside Sant Sebastià Beach.
The small, cute Creps a Barcelona café (+34 933 015 401) serves – unsurprisingly – crepes and gallettes in sweet and savoury combos, with a range of teas and infusions. Look out for heavenly Caelum in the heart of the Gothic Quarter. Stylish café and shop combined, it’s the perfect place to stock up on yummy Spanish goodies (marzipan, nougat, brownies…)
Charm your way into Mutis, a candlelit, velvet-clad speakeasy in a residential apartment building next to Bar Mut, between Diagonal and Pau Claris avenues. Bookings are essential so ask the concierge to organise (+34 934 158 515).Bar Mut itself is worth trying – people eat late here and it’s on the expensive side but the fish-focused tapas are delicious. Try the scallops or the carpacio huevos fritos. Dimly-lit, atmospheric Andu on Correu Vell is a real local’s haunt and well off the tourist trail. If you're eager to try a few judicious shots of the local Vermouth, Quimet y Quimet (+34 934 423 142) on Poeta Cabanyes is the place to go.
Mr & Mrs Smith have just returned from a stay at this Barcelona boutique hotel, and as soon as they've unpacked their chorizo and cava, a full account of their UK luxury city break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick snapshot of El Palauet in Spain…
El Palauet’s Spanish apartments are a designer's dream: housed in an elegant 1906 art nouveau building, with opulent original features present and correct (frescoes, architraves, stained glass windows and high ceilings). Then there’s the modern minimalist interiors, decorated in bright white with shots of grey; kitted out with fabulous furniture courtesy of top talent – steel wire Platner chairs, Saarinen dining tables, Jacobsen egg armchairs and Mies Van der Rohe leather seats – and all the mod cons: projector screens, iPod docks, sound system and satellite TVs.
The concierge service is exemplary; each apartment accessorised with its own fabulous assistant. Then there are plenty of extras: PlayStations, music library, space for four-legged friends, the ravishing roof terrace with its spa, sauna, massage room and relaxation area, and the chance to claim a private chef, grocery delivery or PA-prepared breakfast. Unsurprisingly, given the apartments’ city-central location on the bustling Passeig de Gràcia, rooms have colour-rich views of Barcelona street life and Tibidabo mountain; pick the day’s destination over breakfast.
Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in El Palauet’s Guestbook below.
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