Hotel España: a modernist treasure hidden behind the Ramblas
Located beside the Ramblas, the Hotel España will take you back in time to 1900s modernist Barcelona.
Carrer Sant Pau 9-11
metro: Liceu (L3)
every day of the year
from 130 euros
for its central location
for its modernist charm
The España is an exceptional 4 star hotel. A fully fledged masterpiece, it is a perfect example of faithful conservation of a grandiose art nouveau decor and adaptation to modern needs.
The Hotel España, a historical building
The España has survived through the ages: it has been a convent, a hospital, a restaurant and a hostel, before becoming a hotel.
Elements of its decoration date from 1900 and bear witness to Barcelona’s characteristic modernism. They have been conserved or restored to give guests the most authentic experience possible.
The Hotel España offers beauty and grandiosity at first sight of its impressive decor.
Now the specifics! The hotel’s walls are covered in little messages sculpted in stone, wishing you one by one “welcome”, “enjoy your meal”, “rest well”, “goodnight”, or “goodbye”. Have fun looking for them as you walk through!
The common areas of the Hotel España
The roof terrace and bar
The España is certainly historical but it is also firmly rooted in this era! The roof terrace proves this brilliantly with its little pools, Jacuzzi, deck chairs, shaded couches, and stylish chairs…everything you need to relax!
There is also a bar on the terrace offering snacks and drinks which can be enjoyed to live music on certain nights of the week.
An impressive restaurant
A restaurant has existed at the heart of the hotel for over a hundred years and the decoration has remained almost the same since 1900, making it luxurious, harmonious, unique, charming…and modernist of course!
You will find a varied menu offering dishes from the various regions of Spain, all composed by chef Martín Berasategui who has a total of 7 Michelin stars.
Expect to pay around 15-20 euros for a starter, 15-25 euros for a main course, and around 10 euros for a dessert. During the week you can enjoy a set menu of starter, main course and dessert for 30 euros between 1pm and 4pm and 8pm and 11pm. The set menu price goes up by a few euros at the weekend and it is not available on Sunday evenings as the restaurant is closed.
The Arnau bar
The Arnau bar is open when the roof terrace bar is closed. It offers the same menu but in a different, cozier atmosphere. At the back of the room is a sculpted fireplace representing the cycle of life. It is still there today because it was painted black to help hide it and prevent it being stolen during the civil war.
The mermaid room
This is where breakfast is served. For less than 15 euros you can enjoy a copious cold buffet, and hot meals are also offered à la carte.
The mermaid room owes its name to the etchings that adorn its walls. The etchings are period, as are the various pieces of wood protruding form the walls that look a little like coat hooks. They are actually hat hooks and they were very fashionable at the beginning of the 20th Century.
Strange ball-shaped lights fit in perfectly with the room’s underwater feel.
Rooms at the Hotel España
The rooms at the España are not very large but they are bright, modern and nicely decorated. One nice little detail is that each of them has a headboard that represents a details of the hotel’s decoration.
The “standard” rooms are the least expensive. The “executive” rooms cost a little more as they have a balcony. The deluxe rooms and the suites are the largest.
Some useful information
- Some rooms are specially designed for people with reduced mobility.
- All rooms are fitted with air conditioning and heating.
- Check-in is from 2pm, and check out is before 11am.
- A free luggage service is available.
- The hotel has room service.
- The terrace is open from midday to 2am during the Summer months.
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About the author
Pauline loves books, food and new discoveries. For her articles, she loves finding original and authentic places which are a treat for both the eyes and the tastebuds. Her favourite thing to do in Barcelona? Getting lost in the Old Town and soaking up its unique atmosphere... whilst enjoying the appetising smells emerging from restaurant kitchens! Is there anything better than that?