Alamy
Toni Garcia
January 14, 2015

The term "boutique hotel" is relatively new in Barcelona, a city that's changed quite a lot in the past 25 years when it comes to lodgings and restaurants. But now everyone here is familiar with the boutique concept, and there are establishments all over the city that have adopted this approach to hospitality.

To create this list of Barcelona's best boutique hotels, I kept in mind not just quality, but properties that offer the best value for their prices. I also highlighted places that strive to maintain a sense of authenticity—very important in this city that sometimes loses itself in layers of design while forgetting about the deeper experience.

One thing most of Barcelona’s boutique hotels have in common are small guest rooms (and similarly small common spaces). So I wouldn’t recommend them for families; they're better suited for couples who plan to spend most of their time outside the hotel, enjoying the city. Despite their size, the hotels on my list offer their guests high-quality concierge services—like excellent recommendations for the best local restaurants and clubs—and splendid breakfasts that are usually included in the room rate.

Hotel Boria

One of my favorite boutique hotels in Barcelona, this place makes you feel like family. Nice rooms, an excellent location, and above all, a truly personal relationship with guests. It’s a small place (11 rooms and suites) where you can choose from a simple room to a huge apartment. A warning: make reservations well in advance for your room here; they get booked quickly.

Hotel Murmuri

This is my top recommendation on this list. The hotel is beautiful; every detail has been thought out carefully, the breakfast is wonderful and the service is unbeatable. Also, the location on Rambla Catalunya is near-perfect and the rooms are relatively large (the best is the one in the attic). A two-minute walk will bring you to Petit Comité, possibly the best Catalan restaurant in the city: don’t miss having a meal here.

Cassa Camper

This is the hotel that started the boutique hotel movement in Barcelona, in my opinion; Camper is a famous Spanish brand of shoes, and the owners decided to extend their eco-friendly philosophy to the operation of a hotel. Nice rooms, a perfect location, and a very young clientele, along with a healthy obsession for recycling and environmental consciousness make this place worthwhile.

Room Mate Emma

The Spain-based chain of Room Mate hotels is famous around Europe for their combination of good design and affordable pricing. This is the first establishment the brand opened in Barcelona: it’s a boutique hotel with a high level of personal service. That being said, the best thing about this hotel is the rooms themselves: a perfect size with fantastic bathrooms.

Villa Emilia

This is a great four-star hotel in a nice location in the center of the city. I personally appreciate the décor, which is both very modern and very homey); I also like the layout of the guest rooms, the lobby design, and the bar, but above all I love the terrace. The rooftop is cozy, full of big pillows, where you can go to read or have a drink in a very quiet environment. Of course, summer and spring are the best seasons to do so.

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