Live like a local in the Catalan capital.
Three new attention-grabbing hotels in Barcelona's less-fêted neighbourhoods have drawn inspiration from the home-sharing ethos rather than on-trend design principles. Both hip and homely, they cater for travellers more interested in living like locals than jetsetters.
Casa Bonay is a converted 19th-century mansion in the peaceful Dreta de l'Eixample neighbourhood, a 10-minute walk north-east of El Born, the first barrio built beyond Barcelona's medieval boundaries. Co-owner Inés Miró-Sans, who cut her teeth at Ace Hotel New York, calls her new venture a "house of friends" rather than a hotel. Opened in February, the restoration features "simplicity, with open spaces, natural light and fresh air", says Miró-Sans. It's the local partnerships, though, that define the hotel. Working under the same roof are designers, yoga instructors, coffee roasters and a cold-press juice maker.
In the once-seedy neighbourhood of Poble Sec, a 15-minute walk from the city centre, Hotel Brummel has a similar ethos. Billed as "casual luxury" and surrounded by small bars and new eateries, the 20-room hotel, opened in April last year, eschews typical room service and doormen for personal, local services. Guides are updated daily for guests, and they're encouraged to join yoga classes and a running club.
A few months later Margot House, at the flash end of Passeig de Gràcia, nailed the domestic-chic trend. Located in a discreet first-floor apartment, this nine-room property is more home than hotel. The "lobby" is the apartment's former living room; there's a help-yourself open kitchen and an honesty bar.