This small, charming, well-located hotel is tucked away in the Gothic Quarter. With just 28 rooms, it occupies a sensitively restored first-century building that balances original (and recovered) features with modern elements—as evidenced by the spectacular patio, filled with fragrant orange trees, that greets guests upon arrival. History creeps into the rooms, where original beamed ceilings and exposed brick walls are beautifully blended with modern coffee-and-cream color schemes, flat-screen satellite TVs, and rain showers. There’s also a library, courtyard, and rooftop terrace with a plunge pool—all of which, coupled with the excellent service, make this a fine destination hotel.
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Mercer Barcelona is just a 10-minute walk from touristy Las Ramblas and the more discerning El Born district; both offer plenty in the way of cultural and entertainment distractions. The Gothic Quarter is also right on the doorstep, home to the Picasso Museum, which tells the story of the artist’s formative years—and his passion for Barcelona—through over 4,000 of his works.
Need to Know
Rooms: 28 rooms; from $345. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: The Mercer Restaurant, located in the oldest part of the building, is all restored Roman walls and medieval frescoes—the perfect setting for Xavier Lahuerta’s exceptional dishes, such as the spider crab starter. The more rustic Le Bouchon tavern serves Mediterranean tapas and French cuisine, while 2,000-year-old defensive stone walls are now put to use in the low-key cocktail lounge. Spa and gym details: There’s no spa or gym, but a rooftop plunge pool overlooks the rest of Catalan.
Who’s it for: Couples, elopers, and honeymooners. Our favorite rooms: Premium Junior Suite 108 has stone walls and is also tucked away in privacy at the back of the hotel. Medieval art: Art and history lovers will enjoy exclusive access to the defense tower and its collection of medieval paintings.