Barcelona's Hottest, Trendiest Hotels in the Downtown Core and around the City

Barcelona’s hotel scene is as diverse as the tourists who frequent the city and as eclectic as the ex-pats who choose to stay. It’s a city with everything from chic, avant-garde accommodations to simple, affordable hotels and everything in between. Barcelona is renowned for its state-of-the-art architecture and design, and many of the hotels are actually situated in heritage buildings full of history and detail from the past.  For example, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel used to be a bank and when you walk into their Banker’s Bar on the first floor, you can still see the old metal security boxes embedded in the walls above the bar. Many of the hotels are also located in buildings designed by famous architects such as Antonio Gaudi, Lluis Domenech i Montaner, and their contemporaries during the Modernist period.

In addition to the wonderful architecture, Barcelona's hotels sport gorgeous terraces, many with outstanding, 360 degree views of the city. The 1898 and the Majestic in particular have great rooftop views and even if you're not booked into a room, guests are allowed to use the bar and lounge in the comfortable patio furniture. The Arts Hotel and the W have idyllic terraces overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and sometimes showcase electronic music outside, during the summer months. 


W Barcelona

The views alone are worth the stay at the W. Whether you--re sipping pricey (yet innovative) cocktails in Eclipse, the 26th floor club, or chilling by the wet bar in the pool, pretty much anywhere you set foot you--ll have prime seats overlooking the Mediterranean as well as Barcelona--s beautiful coastline. The longer you stay at the hotel the more you--ll notice the incredible attention to detail. From the --pillow guide-- by your bedside table (explains the physical makeup as well as the pros and cons of each of the pillows on your bed) to the quirky expressions all around the hotel (ex: the sign on the way down to Bliss Spa reads: spahhhhhh), there is a noticeable touch of design, art and fashion throughout. This is a top of the line hotel, yet there are a few rooms that might not break the bank and still offer incredible sea views from the comfort of your bed.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: A posh hotel located directly on the Mediterranean Sea. Each room has floor to ceiling windows

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Hotel Arts Barcelona

The Arts embodies the terms class and luxury. Ask for one of their Club Rooms, which come with its own private butler. The hotel's located along the beach overlooking Frank Gehry's famous Flying Fish and is only a short trek from the downtown core. It's a nice getaway from the noise of Barcelona's Old City and when you're on their rooftop terrace chilling in the pool or on the hammocks, you feel like you could be anywhere in the world. It's about a 30 minute walk to the downtown core or a short 5 minute cab ride, and the views of the water are worth the short trek.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: An elegant and classy hotel situated on the water with beautiful views and top notch service

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Hotel 1898
Photo courtesy of Hotel 1898

Boasting 360-degree views of the entire city, the 1898's rooftop terrace is one of a kind. With its medium sized pool and plenty of deck space, it's ideal for cocktails and early evening tapas. Have breakfast in their downstairs restaurant adjacent to the lobby, while watching the street performers entertain the tourists on La Rambla, directly across the way. This is an elegant, edgy hotel in the city center and a favourite pick by 10 Best. The terrace is open to the public and is highly recommended seeing if for the city views alone. They also serve a mean brunch in the summers.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: One of the nicest hotels in the city center with excellent 360 city views from the rooftop terrace

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This is not the cheapest of the bunch, however the hotel has excellent deals and special rates throughout the year. It's perfectly situated between the Gothic Quarter and Barceloneta neighborhoods and it has a small but quaint and relaxing rooftop patio, perfect for dining or having a few aperitifs while overlooking the port. The Duquesa is a quaint hotel, small but full of all the amenities you'd need to make your stay a wonderful experience. It's a close walk to the port as well as the Gothic Quarter and the beaches of Barceloneta. From the terrace you have excellent city views.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: A stylish, boutique hotel near the port and a short walk from the Gothic Quarter and Born

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Majestic Hotel & Spa Barcelona

It's hard to beat the Majestic's location; situated on Barcelona's trendy Passeig De Gracia, surrounded by modernist masterpieces, including Casa Batllo and La Pedrera and a short stroll to Gracia and Plaza Catalunya, the Majestic is a luxurious and high quality hotel with a killer spa. They also have a large terrace with excellent city views which is open to the public. The Majestic has both apartments for large groups or families who want to stay together, or the hotel. Both are wonderful and have excellent service. They also have conference rooms for business meetings if you choose to stay there for professional reasons.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: Located on the best shopping street in the city, a stunning hotel with a great terrace

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If you're looking to stay slightly outside of the city center, yet still want to be close and within walking distance of great shopping and major attractions, then the Alma is a great choice. It's incredibly romantic, with the outdoor garden and rooftop terrace with 360 degree views of the entire city. The rooms are large and fully equipped, ideal for a honeymoon vacation or one where you'd rather spend more time in the room than out of it. The hotel restaurant is quaint and elegant and if you'd like to eat out there are plenty of classy and intimate places to dine around the Passeig de Gracia area and the Eixample neighborhood.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: A minimalist boutique hotel right outside the downtown core in a gorgeous shopping area

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ABaC Restaurant & Hotel

Perhaps the only questionable detail about this hotel is the location, as if you're looking to be in the city center then it's a bit of a trek. Other than that, Abac embodies the essence of gastronomy, architecture, design, romance and boasts a truly avant-garde experience. Situated atop Tibidabo, the panoramic city views are incredible, providing for an exceptionally romantic feel. If you don't mind a short drive or taking a quick train ride into the city center, then it's an ideal place to stay. Their spa is a treat and worth checking out if you're seeking some R&R and wellness healing, or an exciting couples massage.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: You can't get nicer than this hotel. Luxury with gorgeous panoramic city views

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Old Town
Hotel Neri
Photo courtesy of Sam Mednick

One of the Gothic Quarter's most charming and elegant hotels, this boutique accommodation caters to those who want to mix culture with luxury. It's a tiny hotel, with a small staff and the rooms aren't huge, however they're very tastefully decorated and quite classy. The restaurant downstairs is an intimate and relaxing place to dine and in the summer the outdoor patio is perfect for a few drinks, while overlooking the Plaza Sant Felip Neri. There is also a quiet and hidden rooftop terrace where you can nap under the trees or sit in the hammock and read a book.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: A beautiful boutique hotel in the most historic neighborhood in the city

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Situated in Barcelona's posher neighborhood, the Barcelona Princess is ideal if you want a luxurious yet quieter stay. Check out their N1 Restaurant and customize the menu for private parties or business dinners. The hotel is close to the Forum and a quick hop on the metro or bus will take you right into the heart of the city. This is outside of the city center so it's both quiet and a great way to see another side of the city, the less touristy one. The concierge service is excellent and they're very helpful in showing you how to get around the city and ordering taxis for you as well even late into the evening.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: A great option if you're looking for a quieter stay and a more local vibe

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Port Vell-old Town

This is a classy, yet unassuming hotel in the heart of the city. What used to be a 19th century palace has become one of Barcelona's finest, most elegant and ideally situated places to stay. Walk out the front doors and you're on the famous La Rambla, a stone's throw from the Old City as well as a short stroll to the beach. The Montecarlo is a classy hotel that's not over the top but at the same time perfect for those looking for an elegant stay in the city center. It's a quick walk to Plaza Catalunya as well as Gaudi's gorgeous buildings.

Recommended for Best Hotels because: A central and unpretentious hotel in the city center with all the amenities

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Meet Sam Mednick

Sam’s passion for the sea and mountains makes Barcelona the optimal living destination. 

Sam's love for traveling has taken her to Africa, the Middle East, Europe and South America. Before...  More About Sam