Barcelona is a city that bewitches visitors with its breathtaking architecture, thanks in no small part to the art nouveau masterpieces crafted by modernist visionaries like Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner at the turn of the 20th century.
There’s the phantasmagoric facade of Casa Batlló, covered in shimmering shards of ceramics. The Palau de la Música Catalana, which boasts a stained glass ceiling so captivating it can be hard to concentrate on the operatic action on stage. Not too far away, the gothic spires of the Sagrada Familia pierce the skyline as deep, shifting shadows move across its imposing stone walls.
The Deluxe Room at The Barcelona EDITION offers a tranquil contrast in a city that pulses with architectural zeal. Conceived by Ian Schrager, the man who quite literally invented the concept of the boutique hotel, this sanctuary combines chic, minimalist elegance with accents of warmth and bursts of boldness. The cream-themed room with walnut-panelled feature walls and brushed herringbone flooring basks in the glow of natural light, before shifting into a space of subdued, moody illumination as dusk falls.
Look carefully and you’ll find subtle local touches, from bathroom shutters reminiscent of the nearby Gothic Quarter’s narrow alleys to a curvaceous slender-legged chair by Spanish architect Oscar Tusquets (it’s hailed as “iconic” by the hotel). Each room features a small gold-framed black-and-white photograph by the surrealist photographer Chema Madoz, with a tiny ball of mossy dianthus green trick adding a subtle pop of colour to the space.
When you first walk in, a faux fur throw lays sprawled out over the bed – at turndown they stash it away in a cupboard, but we suggest immediately redeploying it, perhaps in the reading nook by the window where you can luxuriate while looking out over the city’s pretty rooftops. The room’s curtains and ambient lighting are fortunately all controlled by electronic panels beside the bed, which avoids awkward fumbles in the dark.
The bathroom, clad in white Sivec marble with contrasting brass fixtures, features rich, musky black tea-infused Le Labo bath products that will make you want to wash at least four times a day, even though the room’s air conditioning comfortably banishes the sometimes searing Barcelona heat.
The shower itself is mightily powerful, though its temperature controls require a delicate touch – and remember to adjust those bathroom-to-bedroom shutters into the appropriate position to avoid surprising your travel companion, unless, of course, that was your plan.
The Deluxe Room at The Barcelona EDITION is slightly on the compact side (larger suites are available, including a penthouse with its own terrace) – but then who goes to Barcelona to sit in their hotel all day? When you’re staying in Schrager’s chic and minimalist creation, it’s only courteous to pay a visit to the masterpieces of Gaudí and Montaner too.