Barcelona’s blend of city and coast embodies the unique Catalan culture that distinguishes it from any other destination, even within Spain. The Catalan spirit saturates the city — it’s heard in the language, seen in the Gothic and modern architecture and felt in the pace of life. Dinner lingers late into the night, afternoon naps are a sacred tradition and winding streets are meant for meandering, encouraging visitors to explore. Forbes Travel Guide’s Star-Rated hotels act as luxurious home bases so that you, too, can make like a local and take your time to discover all this destination has to offer.
You can trust our recommendations — we have been rating hotels since 1958 using an objective and independent process. Our incognito inspectors pose as ordinary guests and check in for a three-day, two-night stay at each property. The inspectors test hundreds of exacting standards, with an emphasis on exceptional service, which accounts for 70 percent of a property’s rating. The remaining 30 percent comes from the quality and condition of the facilities.
Here is where to stay in Barcelona:
Four-Star Hotels in Barcelona
Many who come to Barcelona fall hopelessly in love with El Born district, home to countless sun-kissed medieval squares; a delightful maze of narrow, winding alleyways; and The Barcelona EDITION.
Opened in 2018, the building may look nondescript, but it’s a different story when you step into the breezy lobby and explore the trendy hotel. Take in the alluring signature scent, admire the slick interior — an effortless blend of classic and contemporary — peruse the array of drinking and dining options, and relax in the smart, minimalist rooms.
Legendary hotelier Ian Schrager’s EDITION empire hews more toward the boutique hotel concept, with understated sophistication, an intimate feel and a highly personalized, yet unfussy, style of service. It’s why people are falling for The Barcelona EDITION. Read more.
One of Marriott’s Autograph Collection properties, The Cotton House Hotel sits on Gran Via, one of the city’s most popular streets, and close to a slew of the best attractions, from foodie favorites to shoppers’ dreams.
Once the 19th-century headquarters of the Cotton Producers Guild, much of the original design was painstakingly preserved. Original belle époque features like frescoed ceilings and ornate floor tiles are grand, but the overall feel of the hotel isn’t stuffy at all due to interior designer Lázaro Rosa-Violán’s whimsical touches.
This was once a building where the Catalan bourgeois would come to get their clothes tailored. Now, you can luxuriate in the modern rooms or take your pick from several stunning outdoor areas and a top-notch restaurant. Read more.
Still known by Barcelonians as the fabled Ritz, El Palace Hotel Barcelona is a historic property that exudes opulent luxury at every corner, perhaps the most tastefully ostentatious hotel in the city.
You can see the legacy of its history in the velvet drapes, thick carpet, gilded accents and marble columns. The lobby alone is worth visiting — The Great Hall, which also serves as a bar, is filled with hand-painted wallpaper, oversized iron street lamps and Greek statues. It evokes nothing less than Versailles grandeur.
The Barcelona hotel also boasts a swanky cigar club, a Mayan-inspired spa complete with a temazcal (Europe’s first pre-Hispanic sweat lodge, according to the hotel) and a rooftop with a guests-only pool and lovely garden spanning more than 16,100 square feet that overlooks the skyline. Read more.
If you want one of the best views in Barcelona, check into Hotel Arts Barcelona, an architectural landmark towering over the beachfront.
Designed by Bruce Graham for the 1992 Barcelona Summer Olympics, this 44-story steel-and-blue-glass exposed-beam skyscraper has become an icon of the city.
Inside, you’ll find great dining and drinking (Enoteca Paco Pérez is a standout), a sky-high spa, waterfront and infinity swimming pools and an art collection with more than 500 works.
While the hotel sits near the marina and the beachfront Barceloneta district, it’s also seven miles from Barcelona El Prat airport and two miles from the city’s ancient Gothic quarter. Read more.
Lluis Domènech i Montaner built Hotel Casa Fuster in 1908. While Domènech may not be as well known as his modernist contemporary Antoni Gaudí, the Catalan architect boasts an impressive pedigree: Several of his works have been named World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
Combining a modernist atmosphere, distinctive architecture and a mix of art deco and contemporary furnishings, Hotel Casa Fuster’s lobby has black mosaic flooring and fluted pillars. Dark colors and subtle, modern designs help create peaceful guest rooms.
You need to visit the hotel for a drink at Café Vienés, one of the most popular places in town, or on the hotel’s rooftop terrace with some of the best vistas of Passeig de Gràcia. Read more.
The luxurious Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona boasts an address on Passeig de Gràcia, one of Barcelona’s most desirable avenues. The hotel is steps from Casa Batlló, one of architect Antoni Gaudí’s most famous buildings, as well as the upscale shops lining the street. You can also easily walk to both Las Ramblas and the Gothic Quarter, so getting to some of the Catalan capital’s most popular sites is a breeze.
The hotel offers a serene oasis when you are ready to step away from the bustle of the city, with a world-class restaurant, a rooftop pool, an amazing spa and even a garden where you can wind down with a cocktail. Keep an eye out for signs of the building’s former history as a bank, such as the old safes found in Banker’s Bar. Read more.
Recommended Hotels in Barcelona
An extraordinary example of modernism, El Palauet Living Barcelona is a city-center mansion built in 1906. The boutique hotel exudes exclusivity with only six suites spread across its five floors. The two-bedroom, two-bath, lavishly spacious apartment-style suites can each accommodate up to four guests.
Not that you’ll want to share the impeccably designed spaces, which manage to combine authentic art nouveau and baroque architectural details (like frescoed ceilings and stained-glass windows) with modern furnishings. The all-white rooms are large, light-filled affairs that serve as a delightful retreat after a busy day of exploring Barcelona. Read more.
Gran Hotel La Florida overlooks Barcelona from its gorgeous perch atop Mount Tibidabo.
About 20 minutes from the city center, the hotel’s 70 spacious art-nouveau-inspired rooms and suites offer awe-inspiring views of the city and the Mediterranean beyond.
Built in 1925, Gran Hotel has hosted everyone from Ernest Hemingway to Rock Hudson over the years, and celebrities still choose this hotel while in Spain. It also serves as an ideal staycation for the locals, no doubt due to those breathtaking vistas as well as a meticulous renovation that managed to modernize the building but keep much of its Catalan charm. Read more.
Sitting along Passeig de Gràcia, Majestic Hotel & Spa boasts one of the most desirable locations in the city. The impressive neoclassical façade is a hallmark of the hotel, which opened in 1918 and is still run by the original family. Inside, the recently renovated interiors reflect a sophisticated but still classic ethos.
Another hallmark of the boutique hotel is the 1,000-piece art collection. The Majestic holds one of the best private modern art collections in Barcelona with significant contributions from Antoni Tàpies, Josep Guinovart and Anish Kapoor.
If you need more reasons to visit, the rooftop pool and bar are crowd-pleasers, and the hotel has the city’s largest suite. Read more.
Modern luxury meets Old World elegance at the sophisticated Monument Hotel. Centrally located on Passeig de Gràcia, the stunning hotel has a rich heritage dating back to the 19th century. In 2014, architect Oscar Tusquets worked alongside Carles Basso, Tote Moreno and interior designer Mercè Borrell to renovate the space, which debuted in 2016 as the luxe Monument Hotel.
Upon entering, you are welcomed by the intimate and artistic lounge. The beautifully restored stone spiral staircase in the lobby leads up the hotel’s five floors and displays original interior patio windows.
The exquisite mix of modern and traditional aesthetics makes this hotel a star player in bustling Barcelona. Read more.