Destination: Spain: Barcelona
Unless you’re looking for the Murmuri, you probably won’t notice this discreet boutique hotel just a block off the Passeig de Gracia. But travelers who need a central location on a limited budget should put the Murmuri on their map. The hotel has only fifty-three rooms and suites and was designed by Kelly Hoppen, the British decorator known for her modern interiors and her work on British Airway’s First Class cabins. Although the hotel lacks the amenities offered at some of the area’s more glamorous properties, guests have access to the pool and gym at the nearby Majestic Hotel.
But the real find is the Murmuri’s residences. The small but well-designed apartments have a private entrance just around the corner from the Murmuri and are perfect for families. Book one of the two-bedroom apartments, which feature a kitchen, living and dining area and a terrace that’s ideal for enjoying an evening glass of cava after putting the kids to bed (and all at a rate that would secure just a standard room at the nearby Mandarin). For those who want to live like a local for longer, discounts of 10-25% off the 700 euro per night rack rate are generally offered on stays of four nights or more.
The Third Floor
The Third Floor is no longer available as accommodation but is an events venue
This place is the sort of insider spot known only by Barcelona regulars and fashion people like photographer Mario Testino. Located on the third floor of a turn-of-the-century building on Avenida Diagonal, only a hop from the Passeig De Gràcia, the apartment contains a bedroom, sitting room, breakfast room and a “siesta salon,” the perfect combination of a luxury hotel suite and a private residence. The owner greets guests at the front door and gladly shares his favorite addresses while showing them around. Need a dinner reservation? Just call the mobile number left behind and it will be done. Rooms $545. Reservations available exclusively through Chic Retreats.
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