Situated just a hop, skip and jump from Plaça Catalunya, and within easy reach of the city’s Gothic and El Born quarters, Hotel Pulitzer Barcelona is a design-conscious delight. From the ornate front desk – made from gilt-edged panels taken from a Sicilian church – through to the Asian-inspired themes in the communal areas, and even the simply framed artworks in all the rooms, a laid-back, arty feel pervades throughout.
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A welcome glass of wine or cava and homemade cookies
We love the Pulitzer Extra rooms, which have the feel of an architect’s studio. The starkness of their design means that touches such as the high-gloss black doors, which come with English-style brass knockers, and hinged headboards upholstered in vertical black pinstripe really stand out. They also come with their own seating areas.
There is no swimming pool at Hotel Pulitzer Barcelona – all guests, however, can use the facilities at the nearby Holmes Place Fitness Centre for a small fee.
Balenciaga finery for swanning around the rooftop terrace bar on warm, sultry nights.
The hotel offers a programme of live music during the summer months.
Kids are welcome, though Pulitzer doesn’t consider itself to be a family hotel. Children’s facilities are at a minimum, though babysitting with a local nanny is available from €10 an hour.
The large, banquet-style table in the centre of the room is great for big, noisy groups. But let's face it, you're in Barcelona: the atmosphere's going to be great anywhere.
Loose, open-necked shirts for him; smart shoulder-revealing dresses for her. With a stylish rooftop bar just a lift ride away, you’ll want your evening attire to take you effortlessly into the night.
A green haven in the heart of the city, tropical plants and potted palms abound in Pulitzer's new Greenhouse Restaurant. Large glass windows enhance the effect of being in a gardener's potting shed and the menu prides itself on market-fresh produce. Organic wines from small vineyards cap of the earthy, bucolic feel. The weekly-changing lunch menu features many tasty dishes like roasted pork loin with hazelnut vinaigrette.
On winter weekends, the hotel throws on laid-back, afternoon sessions at its sixth-floor Pulitzer Vermut terrace, with cocktails, music, newspapers and blankets, plus a tapas selection of Catalan-style patatas bravas (potatoes), croquetas and more. Come summer, the blankets get thrown off, and the party really gets started, with DJs, bands and acoustic sets drawing a young, fashionable crowd. If you're looking for a more sedate drink, the open-to-all Lobby Bar throws on a mix of lazy couches, delicious cakes and coffees, with cocktails and a chilled-out, Shazam-worthy soundtrack.
The Greenhouse Restaurant serves weekday lunches from 1pm-4pm; the sixth-floor Pulitzer Vermut bar opens on winter weekends (October-April; noon-4pm); the Pulitzer Terrace from 6pm-12am (May-September).
Guests can order from a comprehensive menu of snacks and light meals between 7am and midnight.
The nearest airport is Barcelona’s El Prat, roughly 20 minutes away by car. A taxi will cost €30. Trains run from Terminal A to the city centre every 30 minutes, and there’s also a shuttle service, which leaves the airport every 15 minutes. Hop out at the Plaça Catalunya station, which is conveniently close to the hotel.
The closest station, Plaça Catalunya, is a leisurely five minutes’ stroll from the hotel. The majority of metro and bus routes pass through the station, linking it with all of the districts of Barcelona. Take Line 1 or Line 3 on the metro to get to the hotel. If you’re thinking of venturing outside the city, you can get to Madrid, Valencia, Zaragoza or Bilbao by train from Barcelona’s main railway station, Estació de Sants.
The hotel is central, so stick to metro and bus routes for travel around the city. If you do decide to drive, the hotel offers parking for around €25 a day. If you’re coming from France, take the AP-7 from the French border down to Barcelona. Driving from Madrid will take a bit longer: six hours on the A2, via Zaragoza.
Worth getting out of bed for
The most celebrated of Barcelona’s food markets, Mercat de la Boquería, just off Las Ramblas, is the best place to stock up for a Catalan picnic. Find jamón ibérico, manchego cheese, membrillo (quince preserve) and Manzanilla fino sherry in troves, or mingle with locals at the market’s various tapas bars. Bar Pinotxo is one of the most popular counter bars, due to it’s exceptional daily specials, such as squid and bean stew, and fresh sharing platters – arrive early to avoid the queues. Barcelona has a strong artistic legacy: visit Antoni Gaudi’s iconic Sagrada Família (still under construction, after all these years), and wander through Unesco-protected Park Güell to see Gaudi’s characteristic, irregularly laid trencadis tiles. Glimpse the works of Spanish greats – including the headline acts – at the Museu Picasso and Fundació Joan Miró. Sun-worshippers can soak up the rays on Barceloneta beach, or a row a boat on the lake in Parc de la Ciutadella – also home to the Trevi-inspired Cascada fountain.
With an enviable beachside location, much of Barcelona’s dining scene celebrates fresh and flavourful seafood; head to Botafumeiro on Carrer Gran de Gràcia for some of the best spiney lobster, seafood cannelloni and locally caught fish. Further afield, seaside Agua has a delightful terrace for alfresco dining and a tempting tapas menu. Blow the budget at Via Veneto, which has an exceptional wine cellar and delightful modern cuisine. For addictive, high-quality tapas we like Tapas24, headed up by acclaimed chef Carles Abellan, who crafts a mix of classic favourites, such as ibérico croquettes, and changing specials.
Those seeking sweet treats should head for Farm Viader where Cacaolat, Catalonia's own drinking chocolate, and crema Catalana (a Spanish crème brûlée) are the order of the day.
Spanish bar culture partners moreish snacks with delicious sangrias, sherries and spirits; try Gimlet on Calle Santaló for killer cocktails, or Can Cisa Bar Brutal, a tavern-style bar with a lavishly stocked wine cellar, offering more than 300 bottles, and traditional tapas. Toast the city sights at Sky Bar on the roof terrace of Grand Hotel Central – sip a Central Tonic (the hotel’s own take on a G&T) while gazing over El Born’s rooftops.
We have quite the trip planned. Not the usual Mr & Mrs Smith weekend away: but a whopping 600km holiday spanning Spain and France. Jealous? Wait until you get a real flavour of our Spanish sojourn. The amuse bouche to this travel banquet? A spell at the Hotel Pulitzer Barcelona. After landing from New York, my wife and I head straight to the Pulitzer in our rented Mini Cooper Cabriolet – our spin down Carrer de Bergara certainly whets our appetite for adventure.
Parisian-style Hotel Pulitzer Barcelona is located on a quiet side street juxtaposed with the busy Cataluña Square off La Rambla. Any post-transit hunch in my shoulders relaxes the moment we enter Pulitzer's calming, open and airy reception: perhaps it’s the clean lines and peaceful ambience, or maybe it’s the artiness. Floors of rich mahogany support leather couches, mid-century chairs, ottomans and natural plants – it’s all utterly modern but not intimidatingly contemporary.
Welcomed by the friendly Amanda at the front desk, and hearing that our room is not ready so early in the morning, we collapse in the comfortable lounge. Striking splashes of red and white and Rothko-esque pieces adorning every wall make this bar area buzz with creativity. I order water (sin gas, if you’d like the details) and for Mrs Smith: a combination of homemade chocolate and coconut gelato (a dose of food porn to keep your interest piqued). Sinking into oversized white leather sofas, we feel immediately at home. What a great way to begin these American Smiths' 10 days in Europe...
Our serotonin levels soon get another boost. Having booked a superior double, the treat of a suite – room 516 – is excellent news. Another hit of happy hormones comes with a step past our large wooden door and thanks to the sight of a four-poster bed dressed with fresh white linens. In front is a large modern desk with connections and outlets that make sense, even to Americans. To the left of the bed is an Arne Jacobson-style egg chair. But most beguiling are the huge sliding glass doors that lead to a big potted-plant-studded terrace. Two large awnings shade us from that midday Spanish sun at the touch of a button. An outdoor shower is there, meanwhile, to promise exhibitionists an extra thrill. A couple of inviting chaise longues and a big square teak table with four chairs indicate that more reclining is likely to be on the cards – and this suits us just fine.
One of the other true pleasures of this particular suite is the indulgent closet space. There are four large hanging wardrobes; the fact that my wife did not have to request additional hangers was certainly a first. The next wow for this pair? The bathroom – care of a super-sized shower and Madagascar flooring and wood panelling. A separate bath, uncharacteristically roomy for Spain, and dedicated speakers piping soothing music makes it like having our own spa. But enough about how the hotel looks – our next encounter proves that it’s more than just a pretty place.
Ever professional, patient and helpful, the front staff and their recommendations are outstanding. While I studied Spanish for a decade, my lack of practice in recent years, and the specificity of Catalan Spanish, has me a little challenged. However, the staff of the Pulitzer make me feel comfortable with my less-than-perfect speak and dialect, and I even get the occasional congratulation on decent conjugation and my attempts at the lazy ‘ch’ that those Castellans utter so sexily.
In summer, this hotel buzzes more than ever – and we’re not just talking about those giant insects that hum their way through the city in hot weather. We'e referring to the rooftop bar, with its oversized rustic wicker furniture, iron daybeds and hundreds of verdant potted plant. Pulitzer's terrace plays host to the city’s cocktail-quaffing beautiful people. But it’s not just a spot for night owls – for us, breakfast at the Pulitzer is a highlight. There's a feeling of dining with nature, while at the same time experiencing something fully contemporary. The restaurant, Visit, is located in a spacious room that opens onto a courtyard where the clear-panelled ceiling has retractable shades. As for the spread it includes that famous ibérico ham, eggs, yoghurts, cheeses, freshly squeezed pear, peach and orange juices. My top tip? The wholewheat mini baguette – one of seven different types of bread.
Now that I’ve done my job describing the look and the feel of the place, let me mention Pulitzer’s location also hits just the right spot. It’s ideally situated for a walk to Passeig de Gràcia, the Madison Avenue of Barcelona, as well as all the must-see sites – Gaudì’s magnificent Sagrada Familia, La Pedrera and Parque Güell and Casa Batlló. Between the hotel and Castle Montjuïc to the south, is also one of the most delicious and stimulating markets that we have visited. It is here at La Boqueria that we discover another best-kept secret: Pinocchio. At lunchtime this unassuming tapas bar at the head of La Boqueria is in fact given some love by the world-renowned chef of El Bulli. An extraordinary meal of gambas (prawns), mejillón (mussels), navajas (razor clams) and lobster are of course accompanied by small mountains of bread with Spanish olive oil. If you’re not salivating reading this then I haven’t done my job.
After gorging on the many tantalising sights and tastes of this exciting Spanish city, we finally brace ourselves to continue our journey north. As we begin prising ourselves from our terrace, a frond sways with the wind, and reflects the sun in a way that I’m sure is nature’s way of beckoning us to come back again soon. To be honest, if I hadn’t the lure of driving our Mini up the Costa Brava towards sun-drenched S'Agaró, I might not be able to leave this very special find in the midst of bustling Barcelona. That’s the pull of Pulitzer.
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 Hotel Pulitzer Barcelona’s Guestbook below.
The room was calm and comfortable. A perfect oasis in the busy city. The bathroom was perfect with beautiful tiling. The room was quiet and ideal with natural light. The breakfast was superb and the lobby/bar seating areas were very relaxing.
A spa or pool. That is the only thing missing at this hotel.
Stayed on 27 Dec 2019
Without a doubt, one of my favorite hotels I stayed at in Europe! Upon arrival we were warmly welcomed by the staff and general manager. The staff were extremely friendly, the restaurant very flexible and the bar staff were amazing. The food was excellent. We had four and then two great evenings here, which obviously added up to the experience. Extremely clean and beautifully designed rooms. My 9 years old daughter was treated as a VIP. Everyone tried to help with advice about where to go and what to see. They helped us to book the best tickets to see La Sagrada Família, as well as Güell Park. Whenever we left they provided water for us without us asking them. The atmosphere is so special that it really felt like home to us. All respect for the general manager who does a great job here; a true sample of excellent hospitality!
Stayed on 26 Jul 2019
The central location, close to Plaça de Catalunya including the Metro station/airport link bus (minutes away). Also, the proximity to cafes, bars, restaurants and tourist hot spots. The hotel has beautifully considered interior design, cocktail bar, roof terrace with DJs (and not until super late), and a mega buffet breakfast. The staff were super helpful and accommodating in moving us to a different, quieter room when requested (due to unforeseen roadworks), and were also available to meet our needs. It was great to see electric scooters and Brompton bikes were available but we didn't use them on this holiday. There was good WiFi throughout the building and we felt super safe, even though there was public access to the roof terrace.
100 per cent peace and quiet – it's a very busy city and you're right in the centre of it all. Also, the hairdryer was terrible (as with most hotel hairdryers) so bring your own if that's important to you.
Stayed on 25 Jul 2019
I loved that it was in the heart of everything and yet felt secluded when you needed to catch your breath. The room was amazing - the balcony really added to the experience of being in Barcelona. The staff were helpful and cheery.
I have nothing bad to say. if I'm staying in Barcelona, I'll stay here.
Stayed on 16 Jun 2019
The room was lovely, spacious and nicely decorated. The hotel staff were welcoming. The rooftop bar was very popular, with a good atmosphere for some drinks before dinner.
Quiet afternoons - we stayed on the 4th floor and could easily hear the music from the rooftop bar. The hotel staff pre-warned us it might be noisy and it didn't really disturb us but something to be aware of.
Stayed on 14 Jun 2019
The location is excellent, very central but not on a busy road. The staff were courteous and helpful. Breakfast was very good and the restaurant and lounge areas had nice design touches which made the place feel modern, inviting and comfortable.
Our room only had a shower in a bath. The restaurant was not open in the evening but you could get some food in the lounge and there are plenty of local places to eat. The hotel is in a busy area so dont expect total quiet at night but it is convenient to get back after a night out and it is on a quiet road.
Stayed on 21 Mar 2019
Perfect hotel in every way. We were made to feel very welcome and were lucky enough to get a room before the usual check-in time. It was a lovely room. Staff are this hotel's assets, from reception at check in to the wait staff at breakfast (fantastic by the way) were so helpful, efficient and friendly with nothing too much trouble. Great location in this busy city allowing quiet nights. The toiletries were of great quality which I love. We were delighted with the Mr and Mrs Smith cookies but never did get the cava! We had a such a great time, we will definitely stay again and recommend it.
Stayed on 7 Mar 2019
The hotel is located right is the middle of the hustle and bustle of Barcelona. Great value for money and the rooms were well equipped. The hotel has a brilliant roof top bar which is great for an afternoon drink with some lounge music in the background.
The restaurant didn't serve dinner on the nights we stayed (Friday, Saturday). The breakfast was okay and we would recommend giving it a skip and checking out some of the local brunch spots.
Stayed on 30 Nov 2018
Wonderful, attentive management and front desk staff; central location; rooftop bar.
Big rooms or a lot of amenities, but it is a perfect city-center hotel to have as a home base for wandering Barcelona.
Stayed on 31 Aug 2018
Hotel was very clean and well kept. Staff very inviting and helpful with all needs. Situated in the heart of Barcelona's downtown with easy access to everything. Shopping and restaurants are within minutes of the hotel.
Large rooms or complete quiet. Complementary breakfast with hotel stay.
Stayed on 28 Jun 2018
The hotel allowed me early check in which was very kind. The reception always welcome me returning to the hotel. Next to the reception the bar or tearoom always have stylish looking people and theres a taxi stand right opposite the hotel which is very convinient. The bathroom has great decoration and color.