El Palauet Living Barcelona, Spain

The stylish Gràcia district is the city’s showcase of Modernista architecture — a lively enclave of foodie haunts and chic boutiquesFriday, November 4, 2016

By National Geographic Traveller The Collection

The stylish Gràcia district is the city’s showcase of Modernista architecture — a lively enclave of foodie haunts and chic boutiques. It’s also home to El Palauet Living Barcelona, five storeys of decadent suites, where historic architectural features blend seamlessly with 21st-century luxe and pieces from cutting-edge designers.

The destination
Barcelona’s sun-drenched beaches back onto tree-lined streets brimming with architectural treasures, from remnants of the ancient city walls and soaring temple columns in Roman-era Barcino, to the shadowy Gothic Quarter, a tangle of medieval lanes worth getting lost in for their beautiful 14th-century cathedrals and tucked-away plazas.

The capital of Catalonia, Barcelona lures culture buffs to its array of art-rich museums and galleries, housing masterpieces by the likes of Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dalí, among other artists said to have been inspired by the city’s charms.

Wedged between the old city and what used to be surrounding small towns, the stylish district of L’Eixample (‘lay-sham-pluh’) showcases Modernista architecture, including Gaudi’s unfinished La Sagrada Família, amid a thriving foodie scene, high-end boutiques and vibrant cocktail bars.

The hotel
Just off the exclusive Passeig de Gràcia — one of the city’s major shopping streets — El Palauet Living Barcelona houses five storeys of luxurious suites for travellers to retreat to after getting their fix of the city’s charms.

Built in 1906, the palatial mansion is an example of Modernisme — the Catalan version of Art Nouveau — designed by Pere Falqués. The Catalan architect is also known for his ornate lampposts that jut out from ceramic tile benches along the boulevard, and El Palauet’s elaborate cream-hued facade is a nod to the unbridled creativity and imaginative designs
of the early 1900s. The works of his contemporary, the famous Spanish Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi, can be found nearby, including the undulating Casa Milà, which is three blocks away.

Meaning small palau, or palace, in the Catalan language, El Palauet sits on a charming street next to sculpture-filled gardens. Visiting the hotel in mid-August gives guests the chance to see a local neighbourhood festival, with typical native traditions including the correfoc (fire run) and human towers.

Design
The original Modernisme features of this beautifully preserved 1906 townhouse are infused with 21st-century decor. Behind carved wooden doors and stained-glass windows, guests will discover elaborate mosaic tiles, wrought-iron ornamentation, dramatic staircases and surfaces illuminated with decorative patterns echoing the original motifs — even the traditional elevator has been restored. The 45 original ceilings, decorated with ornate moulding designs, have been listed as historic treasures by the Town Hall of Barcelona.

These classic features are mixed with contemporary pieces from award-winning designers, including Charles and Ray Eames, Ero Saarinen, Warren Platner and Antonio Citterio.

Suites
Featuring full-length glass windows or doors, six apartment-style suites sprawl across a space of 1,615sq ft, taking in two en suite bedrooms as well as a kitchen, dining room and lounge area with low-slung sofas and curving metallic lamps.

The Passeig de Gràcia Suites open onto an ornate metal balcony overlooking the leafy boulevard, while the Tibidabo Suite features a small private terrace with views across the Monastery of Pompeya, and beyond, the forest-blanketed Tibidabo mountain.

Each whitewashed suite is decked out with all the latest mod cons, including smart televisions and an iPad Mini with which guests can control the mood lighting, sound system and room temperature.

Bathrooms are stocked with organic Aveda products and feature a large rainfall shower, while a separate room with chromotherapy lighting is dominated by a vast bathtub. The suites are ideal for families, with children of all ages welcome.

Relaxation
A trip to El Palauet wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the rooftop spa, complete with Finnish sauna, whirlpool bath, treatment room for massages and beauty therapies, outdoor terrace — and, of course, panoramic city views.

It’s here that guests can stretch out with an al fresco yoga or Pilates class, or simply bask in the rays while sampling a selection of Spanish wines and beers at the rooftop bar.

Services
Each suite is assigned a personal assistant to help guests make the most of their stay, providing insider insights about the local area, such as the best places in the city to head for everything from art and culture to shopping
and food.

The assistants can also help stock the suite’s kitchen with regional ingredients if guests are keen to cook Catalan specialities, while private chefs can rustle up lunches and dinners for those who’d rather leave it to the experts.

Don’t miss

On a balmy Barcelonan evening, enjoy drinks on the private rooftop terrace with sweeping views of the glittering cityscape

Need to know

Key Facilities

• Rooftop terrace
• Finnish sauna
• Treatment room for beauty and massage treatments
• Waterbeds

Contact Information

elpalauet.com
T: +34 932 18 00 50
E: info@elpalauet.com

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