These luxury accommodations, voted World’s Best by T+L readers, occupy buildings with remarkable past lives.
Many of the top hotels in Barcelona are infused with the Catalan capital’s rich and varied architectural history. This is, after all, the city of Gothic cathedrals and Gaudí, of medieval fortifications and the Modernisme movement. And today’s traveler can choose between a luxury suite in a former office building or a room in an ultra-contemporary high-rise overlooking the Mediterranean.
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as city or resort based on their locations and amenities.
Related: The 2018 World's Best Awards
Built in the first decade of the 20th century, the 105-room Casa Fuster on Passeig de Gràcia is, according to one reader, “a grand old Modernista mansion in one of the best locations in Barcelona.” With its wrought-iron balconies and a wedding-cake façade, it’s a must-visit for fans of the city’s more ornate architecture. A rooftop terrace features a pool and views across the city, and the hotel’s beloved café hosts jazz performances every Thursday evening. The 83-room Cotton House Hotel, part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, occupies the former headquarters of a textile foundation — the architectural highlight is undoubtedly a dazzling (and dizzying) six-story spiral staircase suspended from above. A bespoke shirt-tailoring package, featuring a fitting by a designer from one of the city’s most prestigious ateliers, nods to the building’s past.
Once a private residence, Hotel 1898, on La Rambla, has rooms that bring colonial style up to date. It also has a guests-only spa, with a pool set in an evocative grotto. “Hotel 1898 has everything,” comments a reader. “The quiet rooms have large marble baths and a view of the action below from the French balcony. The Sunday brunch is the best ever, with local meats, cheeses, pastries, and cava.” The Hotel Arts, operated by Ritz-Carlton, is a striking contemporary alternative — a glass-and-steel tower with views of the city and the sea. But the showstopper might be the extensive grounds, which include gardens, an infinity pool, and a Frank Gehry sculpture.
Read on to see which hotel T+L readers voted the best in Barcelona.