By The Scoop Staff
El Palauet translates to the “little palace,” an apt name for the petite hotel, boasting just six luxury suites and a rooftop spa with killer views across the metropolis. Each suite is a tad different, some with large terraces and others with more ample floor plans, but all feature two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen, and enough space for the whole family to spread out and relax.
There are plenty of four-star and five-star hotels to choose from in Barcelona, so why stay at Palauet? The short answer is because it’s unique. Housed in a modernista mansion dating back to 1906, Palauet’s curvaceous and swirl-filled facade was designed by Pere Flaqués, a contemporary of Antoni Gaudí. When the owners remodled the property in 2010 they wisely chose to preserve many of the building’s original details: ornate moulded ceilings, intricate brass accents, and a wooden elevator oozing antique charm but equipped with 21st-century safety features. Being a guest at Palauet is to step back in time without having to sacrifice contemporary comforts; it truly is the best of both worlds.
During our visit to Palauet, we stayed in the Mezzanine Suite, an ample 150m2 space considerably larger than many people’s apartments in Barcelona. Upon entering, we found a modern kitchen stocked with drinks, local snacks, espresso, and plenty of stemware for Catalan cava. A table for five sits adjacent to the kitchen and it is here each morning that staff prepare and lay breakfast (lunch and dinner are also available). Heavy sliding doors provide privacy while separating the kitchen and dining room from the main living room, an open area painted white and fitted with sofas and reading nooks. Furnishing in Palauet’s suites include pieces by notable 20th-century designers, including Eames, Jacobsen, and Starck, but it was not the furniture our eyes were drawn towards. It is hard to know just where to look in the living room—up at the ornate ceiling preserved from 1906, or out the balcony doors and onto the bustle of Passeig de Gràcia, the city’s most opulent drag.
To the right and left of the Mezzanine Suite’s living room were two sumptuous bedrooms, each with its own bathroom (one with a shower and the other with a shower and tub). Showers are made from curved glass, a spiral shape that echos the many modernista twists and whorls found throughout the mansion’s interiors.
Whether soaking in the bathtub or standing under the rain shower feature, guest can tap into a color therapy lighting experience in both bathrooms. We loved the sleek Corian vanities and the plush robes and slippers provided, and while we didn’t use it, we noticed the walk-in closet with plenty of room for even the most energetic over-packer.
Truthfully, the suite was more space than we needed and we didn’t even use one of the bedrooms, but it’s clear that it would be an excellent option for a family or two couples, or friends traveling together. Palauet’s suites live like apartments, but with all the perks you miss if you stay in a self-catering vacation apartment instead of a hotel. Again, it’s the best of both worlds.
Palauet does not offer a restaurant (just the aforementioned catered meals), so we ventured out for dinner in the nearby Gràcia neighborhood. Apart from the building and the interior design, location is one of Palauet’s top attributes. Some of Gaudí’s most famous works are a quick five-minute walk from the hotel, as is arguably the best shopping in the city. Restaurants, bars, and cafes abound. While Palauet is officially in the Eixample area of Barcelona, it hovers near the border with Gràcia, a low-key, somewhat bohemian ‘hood with lots of quirky boutiques and plazas filled with kids and bench-warming grandmas. From Palauet you can easily experience Barcelona’s glam side and its more residential, family-focused face. Not to belabor the point, but it really is the best of both worlds.
We enjoyed our stay and recommend this hotel. Tips? Get an interior or Tibidabo-facing suite for a quieter stay. Suites looking out onto Passeig de Gràcia tend to be noisier—despite noise-canceling windows—because they face one o the city’s busiest streets.
Need to know:
Rate: $500 per night aprox
Address: Passeig de Gràcia 113, Barcelona
*We were guests of El Palauet, all opinions are our own.