The Serras, a stylish 5 star boutique hotel, is located at the edge of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter on the tree lined Passeig de Colom and just across the road from the city’s picturesque yacht filled Port Vell Marina. While Barcelona is known for its celebrated architecture, The Serras hotel can boast a bit of celebrity itself.
The original architect of the building was Francesc Daniel Molina, who designed Placa Reial, one of Barcelona’s finest squares. The 19th century building is also known as being the site of artist Pablo Picasso’s first studio.
In a city known for great hotels, delicious food, and terrific nightlife, how does a visitor decide on where to stay when visiting Barcelona. My husband and I decided to stay at The Serras, not because of its history or being one of Barcelona’s trendiest hotels, but because of its location and its fine reputation for exceptional service.
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The location is great for exploring Barcelona. The hotel is an easy walk to the waterfront, Las Ramblas, one of Barcelona’s most popular streets and the trendy El Born district. If you don’t feel like doing a lot a walking, the hop on, hop off bus has stops a short walk away for visiting Passeig de Garcia, the famous avenue known for high end shopping and many of the city’s famous landmarks such as Sagrada Família. The airport is a short 15 minute taxi ride away from the hotel.
Arriving early in the morning from Barcelona’s cruise port, we were instantly greeted, our luggage gathered from the taxi, shown into the reception area and welcomed by the concierge team. We were offered a refreshing washcloth, a cold glass of cava and chocolates, quickly checked in and our luggage stored. We were given a tour around the hotel, then given a map and suggestions of places we might enjoy visiting until our room became available.
The stylish decor is a combination of Mediterranean modern and cosmopolitan New York loft. The fresh modern look of steel, light woods, mirror and glass along with neutral colors of white, black and browns are combined with mustard and blue upholstered sofas and chairs, creating a striking yet relaxed, comfortable feel.
The library and bar called Le Nine is located on the mezzanine which overlooks the lobby and restaurant. It is a nice place to relax with a morning coffee or a cocktail before or after dinner.
The Serras is well known for its beautiful roof top terrace and cocktail bar, El Sueño. The view couldn’t be better as it overlooks the Port Vell Marina and the Mediterranean beyond. It is a delightful place to enjoy an afternoon cocktail, have a few tapas or relax on one of the lounge chairs around the little plunge pool.
We returned from a morning of exploring some of the narrow streets and passages in the medieval Gothic Quarter that lies just behind the hotel and were shown our room. Our Grand Deluxe room had a kingsize bed (the mattress is the same as those in Buckingham Palace, no less), a cozy lounge area with a large TV, a desk with an iPod dock and a smart phone to use during your stay. The bathroom had a large walk in rain shower and the room had a minibar with a Nespresso coffee machine and a tea maker. On a table next to the floor to ceiling windows and balcony that looks out towards the marina, there was a bottle of chilled cava, some tapas and a welcome note from the staff.
The hotel’s restaurant is called Informal, with a kitchen led by Michelin starred chef Marc Gascons, owner of Els Tinars in Girona, Spain. The team he has put into place creates Catalan cuisine with a creative twist in an open kitchen. As foodies, we enjoyed watching the chefs prepare the evening meals. Directly behind the dining tables, large glass windows look out at a side street where people watching vies for your attention between courses. The food is excellent, so good we dined there two nights out of our three night stay.
All too soon our visit to Barcelona was over. After packing, we headed down to breakfast while the concierge team collected our luggage. After checking out, the team loaded the luggage into a waiting taxi they had ordered for us the night before, we said our goodbyes and headed to the airport.
The Serras is a beautiful hotel with a terrific staff. The front door man always greeted us by name and inquired if we were enjoying Barcelona, the concierge team offered helpful suggestions, the food and beverage manager made sure we had a table when we wanted to dine a second evening at the Informal without a reservation, and the kitchen team dealt with special requests and treated us to a delicious dessert, they were all special.
Of course there is also its perfect location, the lovely room, afternoon cocktails with a splendid view on the rooftop terrace and the complimentary smart phone with local GPS to use so that we never got lost in Barcelona…my husband and I loved everything about our stay. As a matter of fact, my husband refers to it as the nonexistent “perfect hotel”. I hope one day you too will get a chance to discover The Serras, it really is one of Barcelona’s top boutique hotels.