Barcelona’s Kimpton Vividora Hotel lets you mingle with the locals over daily free aperitivo hours and in chatter-field eateries and bars. And this dedication to Spanish living goes deeper: slickly styled rooms are furnished by noted native artisans; cuisine favours traditional dishes from country and coast (calamari stuffed with morcilla, cuttlefish rice with monkfish cheeks); and coffee hotspot Café de Finca have brought in their brews. And, you’re at the heart of the Gothic Quarter, so you can see both Barcelona’s past while living in its dazzling now.
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A room upgrade (subject to availability), late check-out until 2pm and a welcome gift
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm. An express service is available too.
Double rooms from £193.30 (€225), including tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of €3.30 per person per night on check-out.
Rates do not usually include the hotel’s healthy buffet breakfast (€24 an adult, €12 a child), but you get a yoga mat in your room, and Tokyobikes and long-boards to borrow free.
Inspired by Spanish meriendas (small snacks with drinks), from 5pm to 6pm in the lobby, guests can have a free glass of wine or vermouth and small bites at the Kimpton Social Hour. The hotel’s co-working space (open 7am to 1am) has Café de Finca coffee and Mediterranean small plates.
At the hotel
Co-working space, pantry with free coffee and tea, fitness centre, library, concierge, laundry service, Tokyobikes and long-boards to borrow, free WiFi throughout. In rooms: Smart TV, Vifa Bluetooth speaker, yoga mat, mini fridge, tea- and coffee-making kit, locally made bespoke bath products and air-conditioning. Suites have terraces, soaking tubs, and a few extra goodies in the minibar.
Our favourite rooms
Set in a corner at the top of the hotel, Suite De Vivi is the hotel’s showstopper. There are two balconies overlooking the city’s prettiest bits, a bathroom with a deep soaking tub and plenty of space to play in. It truly does feel like your own Spanish apartment after it’s been given the once over by a savvy interior designer. Of the lower categories, choose a Superior King Balcony with a view of the Cathedral.
In summer (from June, 8am to 10pm) the hotel’s unheated rooftop infinity pool offers cooling dips and bird’s-eye views of the Gothic Quarter. Plants aplenty add a fresh dash of green, there are soft shaded sunloungers and day-beds aplenty, and the bar is just steps away, but cocktails can be delivered to you if you ask nicely.
There’s no spa, but the fitness centre is kitted out with weights, bikes, rowers, cross-trainers and hula hoops. If you want to join in yoga sessions, you’ll find a mat in your room.
Load up on Spanish labels – Mango, Loewe, some Manolos – to fit in with the chic city crowd.
The hotel has five spacious, specially adapted Standard King rooms for guests with mobility issues, with accessible bathrooms, grab handles and emergency cords, flashing alarms, and a seat in the shower. Plus there’s a lift to all floors.
Pets of all sorts can stay for no extra charge (as long as they fit through the room door). Furry friends are welcomed by name; food, water bowls, mats and comfy beds are added to your room; the concierge has a list of parks, groomers, pet shops and more. See more pet-friendly hotels in Barcelona.
Children are welcome, but there’s little for them to do in this sophisticated stay. Under-12s stay free, baby cots can be added to any room type, and there are a limited number of connecting rooms for families.
Immerse yourself in the action and lively chit-chat by taking a table in the centre of the room at Fauna.
Tailoring, form-fitting ensembles and sparkling accessories will suit here.
Catalan flavours come to the fore in the hotel’s two culinary offerings. Fauna is a local homestead in spirit, with just-like-mamá-made meals of Ibérican pork, saffron-spiced veal sweetbreads and the signature dish of Criollo Octopus with Canarian potatoes and green mojo. The dining room is lined with Talavera-style tiles (some mismatched as a nod to the restored homes in the Gothic Quarter). It has mood-lighting at night and intimate private spaces too. Cafè Got on the ground floor, is more casual, with platters of Spanish cheeses and charcuterie washed down with Café de Finca coffee; kids have their own healthy menu, too. After dark, it’s a great night-starting spot with a long list of natural wines and vermouths.
Top-of-the-world bar Terraza de Vivi sits alongside the pool on the roof, where the Old Town is laid out below like a map. It’s decorated with mint-green graphic tiles and wicker seats, with a profusion of potted plants and ferns. Cava flows freely and the cocktails are deliciously complex, such as the Brass Funky Monkey with dark rum, Fernet Branca, banana, maple syrup and chocolate bitters; or the Omakase with gin, shiso, kumquat, matcha and lime.
Terraza de Vivi opens from 12 noon to 1am; Café Got from 7am to 1am; and Fauna serves breakfast from 7am to 11am (till 11.30pm on weekends), lunch from 1pm to 3.30pm and dinner from 7pm to 10.30pm. The hotel’s co-working space has food from 11am to 7pm.
Get burgers, pizzas, salads and sandwiches delivered to your door from 12 noon to 11pm; overnight (from 11pm to 7am) there's a select edit of wraps, cheese plates and such.
Surrounded by the cultural institutions and peaceful plaças of the Gothic Quarter and the Old Town, the hotel is on partly pedestrianised Carrer del Duc.
Barcelona El Prat Airport (AKA Josep Tarradellas) is the closest to the hotel, just a 30-minute drive away. Flights arrive here direct from major hubs throughout Europe. The hotel is on a partially residential street, so ask your taxi driver to stop on Via Laietana. The hotel can arrange transfers from €95 one-way.
There’s a station on the west side of El Prat’s terminal 2, from which you can travel to the Passeig de Gràcia stop, a 10-minute walk from the hotel. And, if you’re travelling around Europe, trains from France and other major cities in Spain travel to Barcelona Sants train station, a 20-minute walk from the hotel.
You won’t really need a car in Barcelona, and it’s especially hard to park in the Gothic Quarter (although there is a car park near the Cathedral). If you need wheels, pick them up at the airport and take the Castelldefels motorway (C-31) towards Barcelona through Ronda Litoral, until you reach Via Laietana.
Worth getting out of bed for
Pick up a few Spanish phrases for hotel hangs, you may well get friendly with some locals while picking up a coffee from the lobby’s pantry, mingling during the daily aperitivo hour or while clinking cervezas and cocktails in the rooftop bar. Work won’t be high on your agenda, but if you want to spend a few quiet hours tapping out your novel or just check emails, there’s a lively co-working space. Yoga sessions take place by the pool during summer, and local artists, musicians and DJs frequently stop by to show off their talents, too. But, the city beckons – you could easily explore on foot, but the hotel’s free Tokyobikes and longboards to borrow might be more fun… Staff have maps for running routes too.
Climb to the top of Barcelona Cathedral for breathtaking views and get to know the locality a little better at the Historic Museum of Barcelona, then stroll past its magnificent edifices, eye-catching street art and through its charming plaças. Some of the most notable are Plaça Reial, whose street lamps were designed by Gaudí, no less, and which leads onto Las Ramblas; in Plaça del Pi you can see Barcelonian artists at work; and Plaça Sant Jaume is where the City Hall and other grand official buildings sit. Keep your eyes peeled for the often-Instagrammed Pont del Bisbe along nearby Carrer del Bisbe. And, there are hidden treasures to be found while navigating the labyrinth of alleyways that make up the evocative Jewish Quarter.
Marvel at the work of Spain’s old master at the Picasso Museum and listen to traditional symphonies in the glorious Art Deco hall of the Palau de la Música Catalana. It’s well worth heading north to see Gaudí’s greatest works: the still-unfinished Sagrada Familia and the fantastical Park Güell. In El Raval, MACBA showcases the work of new creative movers and shakers in the city. Then chase your day out with a stop at Catalan jazz joint Razzmatazz. And, if you simply want to flop and drop, Nova Icària, Bogatell and Barceloneta beaches are all around a 15-minute drive away.
The hotel has several dining options, but you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to dining out, whether you want to pick at tapas, sup on seafood or treat yourself to a special date-night meal. If you want a fantastical night with some Gaudí-esque flair thrown in, El Bosc de les Fades is styled to look like a woodland glen, with fairy-lit trees and hidden waterfalls. El Salón (6 Carrer de l'Hostal d'en Sol) has fine French-bistro fare in a library-style setting, Can Culleretes is one of the city’s oldest restaurants (still going strong) and Els Quatre Gats was a young Picasso’s stomping ground – he held one of his first shows here and even drew the menu cover. Picnic does imaginative brunches and dinners, with plentiful vegetarian options. Try Myanmar pickled-tea-leaf salad, fried green tomatoes with feta, grilled kangaroo with relish and clams sautéed with chorizo. Barraca specialises in seafood by the beach, and Smith stablemate Casa Bonay’s rooftop restaurant Chiringuito opens each spring for barbecues, tapas and glasses of chilled natural wines.
Scarlet-lit and lined with religious icons and thrift-store paintings, Sub Rosa is a quirky and fun cocktail bar close to Plaça Reial; they’re best known for their daiquiris of many flavours. Chic and artsy Ocaña is a multipurpose arts space that also serves a fine line in gins, vermouths and cocktails, say the Piña Colada Old Fashioned or the Quince Sazerac. And if you’re seeking out suds, Bodega Fermín La Barceloneta is renowned for its range of craft brews.
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 feels-like-home luxury hotel in Barcelona and unpacked their bottle of vermouth and wedge of manchego, a full account of their ramble through Las Ramblas and beyond will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Kimpton Vividora Hotel in the Gothic Quarter…
Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter is one of its most ancient at over 2,000 years old; the Romans built temples here, it hosted the courts of the Catalan and Aragonese monarchs, and stood through the Spanish Civil War – and it served as the stomping ground for Picasso, Hemingway and other bohemian sorts. But, it’s not stuck in the past, and you can experience both the city’s antique treasures and forward-looking dynamism at Kimpton Vividora Hotel. The Kimpton group has teamed up with design studio El Equipo Creativo to infuse the feel of a particularly style-conscious local’s apartment. Furnishings have been made by native artisans (Nanimarquina rugs, Vibia lighting, Viccarbe seating…), rooms use colours inspired by the city’s coastal setting, and boldly patterned mayólica and Talavera tiles add a lick of Spanish attitude – they’re even mismatched in Fauna restaurant to evoke one of the restoration features typical to the neighbourhood. And, this sense of place is celebrated in more sociable ways: guests are invited for tapas and a vermouth at a daily free aperitivo hour; locals come in to use the buzzy workspace – and you can help yourself to coffee from beloved local café Nømad in the lobby’s pantry. So, lean in to living like a Barcelonian: put some time in at the rooftop pool, borrow a longboard for exploring and eat as though you’ve been adopted by an Iberian family, with meals of pork trotters stuffed with prawns and asparagus, octopus in green-mojo sauce, or a huge sizzling pan of truffled rice and ribs. Bienvenido a casa.