Cotton House Hotel

Rates from €354

Photo courtesy Cotton House Hotel

This 19th-century building is the former site of Barcelona’s Cotton Producers Guild and has neo-classical features to spare, but it’s the eye-candy style and up-to-the-minute charm of the property that truly delights. Set in the Eixample district, this 83-room boutique hotel brims with modern amenities, including 24-hour room service, a compact gym and a rooftop pool. The hotel’s textile tradition informs everything from the decor—bolts of cotton behind glass line the softly lit dining room—to its logo and room categories, which range from Panama rooms to Damasco, Ottoman and Vichy suites. The bright, white guest rooms complement the darker drama of the public spaces. A drink in the library is a must, if only to take in the gorgeous coffered ceiling. And the mid-century modern suspended spiral staircase is a magnet for Instagram likes.

Nearby: Opened in 1934, Casa Alfonso is a tapas bar where you might spy a rock star (rumour has it the Rolling Stones’ Ronnie Wood is a fan).

Hotel Arts Barcelona

Rates from €425

Photo courtesy Hotel Arts

Its status as the tallest building in Barcelona isn’t the only selling point of Hotel Arts Barcelona, a 44-storey building that opened in 1994 in the city’s Olympic Village. Stay here for proximity to the beach and the jaw-dropping views—every one of the 483 rooms boasts panoramas, some of the city, some of the Mediterranean Sea and some with views of both. As a Ritz-Carlton property, it ticks all the luxury boxes parents crave, while also catering to little ones. This is a hotel where welcome balloons and candy are sometimes added to family rooms on special occasions, where elevated cuisine shares the table with kids’ menus and where children can fill out a fun check-in questionnaire for a chance to win a prize (spoiler alert: every kid wins). With two pools, five year-round restaurants and a 3,000-square-foot spa, it’s family-friendly in a five-star kind of way.

Nearby: Frank Gehry’s iconic fish sculpture is steps from the hotel, or stay put and hit the spa for a Diamond White & Glow facial, which may help with sun damage.

Hotel Catalonia Avinyó

Rates from €140

Photo by Miquel Coll Molas/Hotel Catalonia Avinyó

Medieval setting meets minimal design at this chic, 83-room hotel in the city’s Gothic Quarter. While the location can’t be beat—it is minutes from major attractions, including La Rambla (a primarily pedestrianized 1.2-kilometres-long boulevard through a central area of the city), the Boqueria Market and the Museu Picasso—it’s the superlative design and amenities that beckon. Cool contemporary air-conditioned rooms, many of which feature stylish murals, offer comfy respite, furthered by luxuries such as a rooftop pool, jacuzzi (in the summer) and gym. The buffet breakfast, worth the extra charge, serves up everything from cereal to regional classics like Spanish potato tortilla and Catalan tomato bread—for a little extra, there are even pours of bubbly Cava. Don’t miss the eco-friendly, and photo-worthy, leafy living wall in the courtyard.

Nearby: Iconic cake shop La Colmena, which opened in 1849, sells the city’s best Chucho de crema (fritters rolled in sugar and filled with Catalan cream).

Read more: The Best of Barcelona

[This story appears in the May 2019 issue of WestJet Magazine]