The best place to be in Barcelona is the Eixample district, which wears its 100-odd years with elegance. These rectilinear streets, akin to Manhattan’s city blocks, teem with chic offerings from Le Creuset and other, as well as a vast range of tapas bars (both hole-in-the-wall and gourmet).
A perfect place, then, for a hotel. The building the Alexandra sits in is emblematic of the district – a storied Modernisme villa once occupied by a wealthy family. Choose a room with a balcony overlooking the junction of Calle Mallorca and the pedestrianised Rambla de Catalunya to fully envelop yourself in the atmosphere of the area.
Simple mid-century pieces enliven minimalist bedrooms, while a gloriously verdant patio with outdoor pool offers guests an ideal place to breakfast.
In the same place at night, the romantic Solomillo restaurant caters to carnivores, offering steak and sauces, Iberian ham and Catalan sausage. A short stroll to the Diagonal Metro stop lends access to the rest of the city, with a range of sights just outside one’s doorstep.
The Eixample district of Barcelona is like a meal of never-ending architectural tapas, with each dish more delicious than the last. There are, of course, the famous houses by Antoni Gaudí and his unfinished Sagrada Família cathedral. Also look for the work of Lluís Domènech i Montaner – such as the Hospital de Sant Pau, and buildings by Josep Puig i Cadafalch.
From the concierge
Ruben Fernandez, guest relations
Casa Vicens is the first important commission Antoni Gaudí received, and sowed the seeds of all his architectural modernist work. It has been open to the public for just three months.
A little bit outside the centre, this neighbourhood has managed to keep its local charm. A relaxed and bohemian atmosphere makes you want to spend hours walking around, discovering the alternative side of Barcelona. Gràcia is trendy but it still holds a charming, village-kind feel.
WORDS: Christopher Beanland