Barcelona,
the gothic catalan

Located in Barcelona's Gothic Quarter, on the discreet Plaça de Sant Felip Neri, Hotel Neri, a historic 18th-century palace, features classic modern design and contemporary art.

Barcelona, |the gothic catalan

Located in Barcelona's Gothic Quarter, on the discreet Plaça de Sant Felip Neri, Hotel Neri, a historic 18th-century palace, features classic modern design and contemporary art.

In Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, old and new blend together perfectly providing a sublime effect. Orange-blossom-scented courtyards await visitors behind ancient gates, offering respite from the city’s non-stop energy, while outside, in the maze of cobbled streets, young locals gather for aperitiu drinks on stylish café terraces. Nestling between the cathedral and the picturesque Sant Felip Neri Square lies Hotel Neri, a charming 28-bedroom Relais & Châteaux property that reflects the history and contemporary life of the Gothic Quarter down to the smallest detail.
 


The architecture of Hotel Neri is a melting pot of periods and styles, each feature telling tales of the Gothic Quarter’s eventful history. The oldest part of the building – a series of arches which now house the on-site A Restaurant – dates back to the 12th century, when the city was founded as a Roman settlement. The time travel continues throughout the hotel: in the lobby, which is built around the courtyard of an 18th century mansion with an imposing staircase leading up to a wooden portal, and in the rooms, which boast views of Sant Felip Neri Square where numerous films, including Vicky Cristina Barcelona and The Perfume, were shot.
 


But it is the contemporary decor of Hotel Neri that brings the historic setting to life. A carefully-selected blend of design furniture and modern artwork embellishes the property’s thick stone walls and arched ceilings. A couple of red Eames rocking chairs set around an artbook-covered coffee table makes for the centerpiece of the lobby, Louis Poulsen pendant lights dangle from the restaurant ceilings and a collection of design publications line the shelves of the in-house library. Inside the guest rooms, suites and apartments (of which there are eight, housed in an adjacent building), naturally dyed blankets by the Catalan brand Teixidors adorn the beds, while bright rugs provide a dash of color to the otherwise sober palette.
 


“We ensured the original architecture, which dates from centuries ago, was preserved and have put an up-to-date twist on the period features” explains María Malvar, the General Manager. “This way of thinking is typical of Barcelona.” At the hotel restaurant, the old-meets-new spirit of Barcelona is equally captured in the selection of traditional dishes given a modern feel by head chef Alain Guiard in an inventive manner, such as grilled octopus with kimchi romesco, eggplant and sesame seeds or creamy squid-ink rice topped with finely sliced raw fish. With the dining room windows looking out onto the lively Sant Felip Neri Square, it is the perfect spot for witnessing the heart and soul of the Catalan capital.
 

Photos: © Annick Weber

 

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