This is a new hotel housed in an old mansion dating back to the late 19th century. The EnricBatlló House was built between 1895 and 1896 by the pre-modernist architect, Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas.
Until recently, it was part of the Hotel Condes which is on the opposite side of the street. Now the building has been completely renovated and upgraded by the architects, Oscar Tusquets, Carles Basso and Tote Moreno along with the interior designer, Mercè Borrell.
It is now run separately as a five-star hotel complete with two restaurants including one with three Michelin stars.
The neo Gothic facade of the building with detailed brickwork, stone, ceramic and wrought iron is impressive, as are the several doormen waiting to greet us. The concierge desk is in the lobby with the main reception which is very small being two desks up a few steps at the back of the entrance hall. A central staircase winds its way up through the five floors of rooms though there are also two new glass-doored elevators taking you up to the rooms and also down to the spa and small fitness centre.
Where is it?
On the corner of Passeig de Gràcia and Mallorca Street, close to the La Pedrera building, a few metres from Casa Batllo.
All rooms are accessed along atmospherically-lit corridors which are decorated in dark brown shades, with decorative elements like table lamps seemingly sunk into the side walls. If you take the stairs there are small wooden seats set into the corners as the stairs turn (the property would not originally have had an elevator).
The rooms have brickwork walls (not original, but added during the renovation) giving it an elegant loft-like feel, along with oak wood flooring and furniture.
First floor rooms have particularly high ceilings, though even on the fourth floor the rooms have plenty of head space and are a good size, with rooms looking out onto Mallorca St having balconies.
Entry level Deluxe rooms are 24 sqm, and overlook either Mallorca St or the courtyard. The beds are extremely comfortable with 300-thread Egyptian cotton bedding, Ferdown duvet and a Coco-Mat pillow menu, and as well as free wifi there is a complimentary soft drink min bar. All rooms have large flat screen Loewe TV, a bluetooth audio systems, Jacob Jensen telephones and in the bathrooms, Jo Malone toiletries, velour bathrobes and underfloor heating. All other room categories are suites, popular with long staying guests, of which the hotel has a high proportion, some coming to Barcelona for its growing reputation for medical tourism.
Junior suites start at 36 sqm while the Suite Monuments are 36 sqm and larger still are suites such as the suite Paseo de Gracia (42 sqm) and suite Enric Batlló (180 sqm).
Restaurants and bar
The hotel has two restaurants – Olia which is where breakfast is served (a la carte or a selection from a set menu but no buffet) and Lasante which is the three Michelin starred restaurant under chef Martín Berasategui’s.
Both restaurants use the same kitchen, and Olia where we had dinner on one evening was excellent, with top class service and cuisine and a stunning design including the bar, with a large range of cocktails and drinks available under Javier de las Muelas.
Perhaps the only attraction the hotel presently lacks is a swimming pool, but the hotel hopes that next year it will be able to open a rooftop pool and breakfast area. For the moment, it can make bookings across the street at the sister hotel which has Alaire – a good bar and restaurant on the 8th floor of the hotel overlooking La Pedrera and the Sagrada Familia.
The hotel has both a small spa and fitness centre on the lower ground floor.
Hotel guests can book the meeting facilities of the Hotel Condes opposite.
This is an outstanding hotel with a really beautiful exterior and interior, preserving the history of the building while creating something entirely contemporary.
In addition, the service is superb – during a two-day stay we did not have to open the door once and always being greeted with a smile when returning after a few hours or a whole day away.
There can’t be many hotels with such outstanding restaurants in Barcelona – so good, for once, you’d gain by not eating out even in a cuisine capital like Barcelona.
Hotel Monument, Passeig de Gràcia 75, 08008 Barcelona; tel +34 935 482 000; monumenthotel.com