Why just look at those amazing buildings when you can stay in one? El Palauet Living’s listed building was designed in 1906 by Pere Falqués, one of the leading exponents of modernista – or Catalan Art Nouveau – architecture. It’s got some truly jaw-dropping decorative features, from the fabulous dome and chandelier on the ground floor to the beautiful stained-glass windows and mosaics, and everywhere you look there’s ornate ironwork, cornicing and carpentry.
El Palauet is made up of six ‘suites’, which are actually rather spacious apartments, with views of the Passeig de Gracia or Mount Tibidabo behind the city. Each has two double bedrooms, a large living room and a very well-equipped kitchen. Everything is white, apart from the soothing grey tones of some of the designer furniture.
Although it all sounds a bit pristine and showroom-ish, the spaces are very well put together and extremely comfortable – whether you want to work at the large desk, loll around reading on the round sofa or watch a movie projected onto your own screen. Gadgets there are aplenty, too: you can either pop your own iPod into the dock or choose from the Palauet’s music library; a touch screen panel allows you to control heating, air-conditioning and lighting, while WiFi is free and fast.
There are two full bathrooms in each of El Palauet’s suites, with chromotherapy lighting to suit your mood and ultramodern Japanese-style toilets with heated seats. Shower heads are the size of dustbin lids and will blast you straight back to life no matter how weary you are when you arrive.
- The great location
- Stunning Catalan Art Nouveau architecture
- Excellent personal service
- It’s not cheap
- Even the geekiest guest risks suffering gadgetry fatigue
Need to Know: El Palauet Living
Number of rooms: 6
Check-in/check-out times: 2pm and 12pm (But it’s not set in stone – it’s all about what suits you)
Room service: Yes
Swimming pool: No
Spa: There’s a sauna and Jacuzzi on the roof terrace. In-room massages and other treatments are available on request, as well as hair and makeup services.
Dogs welcome: Yes – small, well-behaved dogs are welcome, and your assistant will even walk your little darling for you.
Rates: From £630-£915 - for a minimum two-night stay in a two-bedroom apartment
Eating and drinking: There’s no bar or restaurant. But you can cook for yourself in the covetable kitchen, arrange to order dinner in, or even have a chef come and prepare whatever you fancy. All this and anything else you might need will be taken care of by your designated personal assistant, who will also come and make your breakfast if you so wish.
Near to? If you actually lived in Barcelona – a scenario you will be imagining if you stay here – this is where you would want to be. It is just about the smartest address in town. A stiletto’s-clack from the designer boutiques on the lower section of the Passeig de Gracia and along the Avinguda Diagonal, it’s also right by the Gracia neighbourhood which is packed with groovy bars and shops.
Getting there: Barcelona El Prat airport is about 25-30 minutes away by cab and Sants train station is 10-15 minutes’ away.