5 Star Barri Gotic Hotels

Luxury Accommodation in the Gothic Quarter

What's interesting about the three 5 Star Barri Gòtic Hotels - Hotel DO Plaça Reial, Ohla Hotel and Mercer Hotel Barcelona - is that they are so different in almost every aspect.

Given that we're talking about three of Barcelona's most luxurious hotels, they are all pretty wonderful and being in the Barri Gòtic means that all the major Barcelona City Centre sights are a short walk away.

However, despite being so close together, the three locations imply - to me at least - three completely different experiences of Barcelona.

Ohla Hotel is on busy Via Laietana almost directly opposite the amazing Palau de la Música, Mercer Hotel is set in a medieval building down a Gothic backstreet close to Plaça de Sant Jaume and Hotel Do overlooks the raunchy Plaça Reial just off La Rambla.

It's interesting, in fact, that in such a relatively small space the architecture and atmosphere can contrast so sharply.

Similarly, the three buildings that house the hotels also have very little in common.

So if I had to make a quick distinction, I'd say Hotel DO for nightlife and being at the centre of things, Ohla Hotel for food and spectacular rooftop views and Mercer Hotel for its amazingly historic building in a quiet setting.


Hotel DO Plaça Reial

5 Star Barri Gòtic Hotel

Plaça Reial, 1, Ciutat Vella, 08001 Barcelona

Hotel DO Barcelona Plaça Reial Facade

Located at Plaça Reial, 1, Hotel DO Plaça Reial is in a prime location in the senyorial square just off The Ramblas.

The building dates from 1856 and was completely renovated in 2011 by Catalan architect Oriol Bohigas, so the 18-room hotel combines Barcelona tradition and modern luxury.

The rooms at Hotel DO are equipped with wi-fi, flat screen TV and minibar and are superbly decorated.

The hotel spa features a sauna and a steam room, and guests receive an hour’s free access - perfect for sweating off the grime of the Ramblas, if you haven't already had a dip on the rooftop pool.

Hotel DO Plaça Reial Barcelona Inside

I've also heard great things about Hotel DO Plaça Reial's three restaurants - La Cuina, La Terrassa and El Terrat - under head chef, Sergio Ruiz Nieves; with La Boquería market so close the food's got to be good.

The hotel's main attraction has to be Plaça Reial itself, though.

It's a magnificent square with lamp posts by Gaudí, by the way, and is surrounded by great bars, clubs and eateries, including Karma - my favourite disco - and Jamboree, which is not only a Barcelona favourite but also one of Europe's top jazz and dance clubs.

Plaça Reial used to have quite a bad reputation and still has quite a funky atmosphere and is likely to be quite noisy at night, but the rooms at Hotel DO are all soundproofed so this won't affect your rest.

In many respects, the presence of Hotel DO and the recently opened Ocaña Restaurant is a sign that Plaça Reial has returned to its former glory.

If you really want to be in the thick of things right in the heart of the city centre, Hotel DO is definitely the place for you.

Ohla Hotel

5 Star Barri Gòtic Hotel

Via Laietana, 49, Ciutat Vella, 08003 Barcelona

Ohla Hotel Barcelona

Located at Via Laietana, 49 on the corner of Carrer Comtal directly opposite the Carrer de les Jonqueres entrance to Urquinaona metro station, Ohla Hotel has an established reputation as one of Barcelona's top boutique hotels.

This stylish design hotel has a gym, a rooftop pool and bar with fantastic views over Barcelona, and the rooms include a plasma-screen TV, free Wi-Fi and an iPod dock.

If I were you I'd try to get a room at the back with views over the historic Gothic Quarter rather than one looking out over the somewhat grey and noisy Via Laietana.

Food and drink are a big thing at Ohla Hotel with Michelin-starred Saüc Restaurant under chef Xavier Franco, which specialises in modern Catalan cuisine, being one of the city's culinary reference points.

Ohla Hotel Barcelona Roof Terrace

The cocktail bar run by Giusseppe Santamaría and Max La Rocca is developing a great reputation amongst the chic Barcelona crowd, and there's also a gastrobar and a chill-out terrace.

Although Via Laietana is a busy main Barcelona thoroughfare, the location is excellent with Barcelona Cathedral behind you, Plaça de Catalunya a few minutes walk away and Urquinaona Metro station directly opposite.

Just across the road you have the superb Palau de la Música Catalana by Modernista architect Lluís Domènich i Montaner, a World Heritage Site, that is as cherished amongst Barcelonans as anything by Gaudí.

With its authentic bars and cool restaurants this area, known as Sant Pere, is really worth exploring and the backstreets as you go into the neighbourhood towards Arc de Triomf or Santa Caterina Market will give you insights into a Barcelona that's slightly off the beaten tourist track.

Mercer Hotel Barcelona

5 Star Barri Gòtic Hotel

Carrer dels Lledó, 7, Ciutat Vella, 08003 Barcelona

Of the three 5 Star Hotels in the Barri Gòtic, I have no doubts about which I'd rather stay at - Mercer Hotel Barcelona is the newest of the 5 Star Barri Gòtic Hotels but also the oldest too.

It opened in September 2012 in a renovated medieval palace on Carrer dels Lledó - a quiet sidestreet between Via Laietana and Plaça de Sant Jaume.

The building itself is magnificent and set right next to the city's Roman walls, it contains elements that date from a period spanning between the 2nd and 14th centuries.

The result is a gorgeous combination of ancient and modern with a tasteful décor retaining original beamed ceilings and exposed brick walls.

Mercer Hotel Barcelona Salon

The rooms offer standard 5 Star features, such as free Wi-Fi, air conditioning and flat-screen satellite TV and apparently, the bathroom has a rain-effect shower.

There is a rooftop pool with views over the Gothic Quarter and a poolside bar and a terrace with loungers, but I can't get away from the charm of the building itself.

But its the building itself that captures my imagination and one of the nicest areas at Mercer Hotel is the interior courtyard with orange trees, a feature typical of medieval palaces in Barcelona.

What's more the location is unbeatable, just set back from busy Via Laietana so you have the benefits of the city centre without the noise.

Jaume I Metro Station is just round the corner, the trendy Born district and the magnificent Santa Maria del Mar church are approximately 300 metres away, while Barcelona Cathedral can be reached in 5 minutes by foot.

So the building and location added to impeccable 5 Star features and service all make Mercer Hotel a great choice as far as I am concerned.

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