Reviewed by Michelle Duguid
PRICE: DOUBLES FROM £160, room only
HOTEL LOCATION: BARCELONA
ADDRESS: La Laietana, 30, 08003 Barcelona
TYPE OF HOTEL: MINIMALIST | DESIGN | LUXURY
TYPE OF BREAK: ROMANTIC | CITY BREAK | ROMANTIC | LUXURY
HOTEL STYLE: ART DECO | CHIC
The Grand Hotel Central Barcelona is both very grand and very central. A stylish five star urban retreat, with rooftop bar, above, and infinity pool, it stands between the buzzy centre of the Catalan capital and the winding alleys of the Gothic Quarter.
Originally a set of glamorous office blocks designed by famed architect Adolph Forensa, the inspiration for the building stemmed from the Art Deco wave that swept through Chicago in the 1920s. And while the offices gave way to the current hotel in 2004, the building has retained an elegant sense of halcyon grandeur, along with a host of original features; including elaborate bronze doors, which guard the hotel's reception, its walls covered with paintings from local artists.
The style of the rooms favours cool, European understatement over lavish, 20s' showiness, the palette a mixture of cream, white and wood tones, and bathrooms all black tiles with chrome fixtures, free-standing baths and rainforest showers.
- The rooftop infinity pool is the swimming spot in the city, especially during the evening, when you can watch the sun set over the gothic rooftops
-The rooftop bar for drinks, tapas and a fun crowd.
- The breakfast buffet, which includes pastries from the hotel's in-house bakery and produce from nearby Santa Catarina market
What's not? Pool bar closes from October - April - but then it can get a bit nippy up there
Need to know?
Number of rooms: 147
Swimming pool: Yes, on the roof
Eating and drinking
At the hotel's City Bar & Restaurant, market-fresh Mediterranean fare and a perennially popular burger menu (with a vegan option) is served up in a sleek setting. The adjoining bar is where the cool crowd like to kick off their weekends with craft cocktails and DJ sets, and the upstairs Sky Bar is the place to be seen on warm Barcelona nights.
The Grand Central faces the Cathedral and Gothic Quarter, just minutes from the buzz of Las Ramblas and other hotspots.
It's an easy 20 minute taxi ride from Barcelona's El Prat airport, but the hotel is on the same street as the Juame 1 Metro station.