A city-centre classic with stunning views from its rooftop pool
City | Food & wine | History & culture | Short break
A privately run hotel in the centre of Barcelona, just yards from the Ramblas, this elegant stay has hosted luminary guests such as Ernest Hemingway, Joan Miró, Liza Minnelli and even The Beatles.
Found right among Barcelona’s historic centre, the Avenida Palace is within walking distance of such city highlights as the Gothic Quarter and the Arc de Triompf. Of course, Gaudi’s iconic architecture is just around the corner. And the hotel blends into it all – a 19th-century classic of marble frontage and stone detailing. It’s found on the Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, a leafy, prestigious address shared by theatres and the University of Barcelona.
The neoclassic charm of the hotel’s façade continues into the extravagant lobby whose detailed columns are wrapped with yet more of that veined marble. It’s the site of the famous Casa Libre tea room and restaurant – the building’s guise until its 1952 conversion. This brought luxury rooms that have hosted such luminaries as Ernest Hemingway, Joan Miró and the Beatles. There’s even a suite themed around the Fantastic Four. Elsewhere, rooms add in a more contemporary touch with bright, spacious layouts – of 25m2 – that host generously sized queen beds. Upgrades mix in city views and suite layouts.
In keeping with the building’s gastronomic origins, the Casa Libre lives on. Here, generous breakfast spreads are served, often alongside cava, and you’ll be treated to a range of hot and cold offerings. The scrambled eggs are particularly good. For dinner, you can expect more traditional offerings, with menu highlights including the mushroom ravioli and the spinach cannelloni. You’ll also have all of Barcelona’s foodie delights on your doorstep; there’s everything from Michelin-starred fine dining to authentic favourites.
An extensive renovation has recently added a spectacular rooftop area with sweeping views of the city. It’s a 120 metre squared space complete with sun terrace, heated swimming pool and fitness room, itself furnished with state-of-the-art equipment. In all, it’s an ideal place to relax with a drink with a seasonal bar often set up. Further amenities include complimentary, high-speed WiFi and room service that matches the smiles of the doormen.
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