The Serras Hotel, Barcelona, Spain – Review
Barcelona, a magical city, is Spain’s second largest by population and the capital of the autonomous community of Catalonia. It is the furthest northeastern section of the country just south of France and is the largest city on the Mediterranean Sea. The city has grown in recent years to become one of Europe’s cultural capitals with its broad assortment of restaurants, museums, architecturally resplendent buildings and a distinct and sophisticated vibe.
Our recent trip to Barcelona had been planned for more than a year; it was to be a special one as it was one of the few regions of Spain we hadn’t yet visited. However, a traffic jam in New York and many strokes of bad luck caused us to miss our original flight back in December, so we spent extra time picking a hotel that might enhance our rebooked visit and not just provide a place to sleep and store our luggage.
We weren’t disappointed. When at 10:00 p.m. we pulled up to the Serras Hotel Barcelona, a luxury boutique hotel in the trendy and scenic Passeig Colom neighborhood, we were warmly welcomed by the awaiting staff who ready to settle us in. Glasses of cava flowed as the hotel features and services were explained.
As we were soon to learn, the Serras is a brand new hotel (it opened in January 2015) run by a first-time hotelier – Jordi Serra. A successful IT industry executive with a love for travel, Mr. Serra was visiting world class hotels in London and the United States, and started wondering why intimate and special properties were not part of the scene in his native Barcelona. He decided to create a hotel where he and his guests could have fun together. In 2012, he bought the property, then in a section of Barcelona devoid of hotels. And, this being Barcelona, there is a bit of history about the building. It was built in 1846 and its façade was designed by Francesc Daniel Molina, the famed architect who built Barcelona’s Placa Reial. Notably, it is the same building where Pablo Picasso, at the age of 15, opened his first studio in 1896.
The personal service began with the prompt delivery of our bags and never waned over the course of our stay. We rode the compact but high tech lift to the fourth floor where room 402 pleasantly surprised us with a spacious, modern studio space with sophisticated details. After walking down the short entry corridor, the room unfolded before us. On the immediate right was a niche with shelving and a Nespresso machine and bar. Just beyond stood a contemporary, low profile queen size bed, flanked by two circular end tables in a light veneer wood and metal. Each table sported a bedside lamp, an iced cake, and bottle of water. Just beyond the bed, on the far wall, were glass doors sheathed in brown and beige curtains, and a built-in book case. In the morning, we would notice the doors led to a slim balcony overlooking Port Vell, the Gothic neighborhood leading to the Mediterranean Sea.
Just in front of the door was a golden velour club chair with a standing high intensity lamp and a snack table with a welcome fruit tray and bottle of cava. To its left, a velour love seat tucked against the wall and against the rear exterior wall of the bathroom. A wall mounted large screen, flat panel LCD TV served as a focal point for the room.