High-end hotel with ultra-stylish contemporary interiors
Set in Barcelona's trendy and buzzing Eixample neighborhood
2014-updated rooms have high-tech lighting and good soundproofing
Most rooms open to tiny balconies, some to large terraces
Rooftop terrace with small pool and restaurant
Michelin-starred restaurant run by celebrity chef
In-room massage services available
Free and fast Wi-Fi throughout
On-site parking available (fee)
Some bathrooms showing signs of wear
Breakfast not included as standard
Entry-level rooms are small
No gym or dedicated spa
Totally refurbished in 2014, Cram Hotel is an upscale design-focused boutique set in the heart of Barcelona's vibrant, gay-friendly Eixample district. While typically small, its 67 rooms are elegantly decorated with jazzy remote lighting and excellent free Wi-Fi; most also extend to a tiny balcony or larger terrace. A panoramic rooftop pool terrace isn't the only highlight, as the hotel also offers Michelin-starred dining run by a celebrity chef. It's certainly one of the city's more on-trend offerings, though there are no dedicated spa facilities (in-room massages are available). It's worth comparing rates with the nearby Axel Hotel, which has a wellness center and serves a free breakfast.
Ornate, historic facade belying swish modern boutique with artsy edge
While an original facade dating to the late 19th century -- complete with ornate stonework and wrought-iron railings -- certainly creates a fine first impression, that's where the property's period features end. Although the hotel first opened in 2005, a top-to-bottom refurbishment in 2014 updated the interiors with a bold, artsy, and uber-contemporary new look. Mirrored paneling, strip-light art installations, and a sleek red-on-black color scheme combine for striking effect in the reception. Tall windows pour sunlight into the adjacent lobby lounge, where low-slung seating, natural wood flooring, and globe lighting create a coolly understated space. A central atrium with white circular balconies runs the height of the hotel, as do a pair of polished stainless steel elevators that whisk guests to one of its seven floors, including the rooftop pool terrace with superb panoramic views over Barcelona's rooftops. This fresh, funky, and very 21st-century boutique attracts mostly young vacationing couples from around Europe.
In the heart of Barcelona's buzzing Eixample district, close to dining and nightlife
The Cram Hotel is located overlooking a crossroads in Barcelona's Eixample neighborhood, a fashionable neighborhood buzzing with trendy boutiques, bars, and restaurants, plus much of the city's gay nightlife. Three blocks away is Barcelona University and the Universitat metro station that connects throughout the city. A 10-minute walk is Passeig de Gracia, a partially pedestrianized street that's home to upmarket shopping and two of Gaudi's most well-known projects: Casa Batllo and La Pedrera. The Casco Antiguo, Barcelona's Old Town in the Gothic Quarter, is about a 15-minute cab ride or 20 minutes by public transport -- add another five to 10 minutes to reach the sandy Barceloneta Beach. Barcelona Airport is about 25 minutes' drive in normal traffic.
Bright, contemporary rooms with high-tech lighting and fast Wi-Fi
The hotel has 67 air-conditioned rooms, all of which were totally renovated in 2014, resulting in fresh contemporary interiors that combine simple, clean lines with modern furniture, natural wood floors, and glass paneling. Typical for Barcelona, entry-level rooms measure a modest 180 square feet (17 square meters), though most open to tiny unfurnished balconies or larger terraces with loungers or chairs. While in a busy part of town, rooms are well-soundproofed from external and internal noise.
Standard amenities include flat-screen TVs, well-stocked minibars, and electronic safes, plus high-tech remote control lighting systems that help set the mood. Wi-Fi is free of charge and usually fast enough for video streaming. Upgraded rooms add a little more space and larger TVs, and Suites guarantee Nespresso machines and terraces with sunbeds. Bathrooms are polished across the board, featuring showers or shower/tub combos, though some are already showing signs of wear and tear. Robes, impressive toiletries, and hairdryers are provided, and Suites add whirlpool tubs and Bvlgari toiletries.
Panoramic rooftop pool terrace and Michelin-starred dining
Easily the main highlight here is the Michelin-starred Angle Barcelona restaurant, run by Spanish celebrity chef Jordi Cruz. Prices are unsurprisingly high, but food quality is exceptional. Set on the hotel's seventh-floor rooftop is the Anemos Terrace Bar, which serves an excellent hot and cold breakfast buffet every morning (not included) and drinks and tapas through the rest of the day until late. A small rooftop pool is just long enough for a couple of strokes and opens over the summer months, together with loungers and a decked terrace providing panoramic city views. There's also a stylish lobby lounge cocktail bar that opens until late. The hotel lacks a gym and dedicated spa, but in-room massage treatments are available. On-site parking is available for a daily charge.