“An elegant boutique hotel that feels like home, set in a quiet residential district 10 minutes from the city centre”
Primero Primera's rooms are gorgeous; simply styled with a mix of antique and modern furniture. You'll find crisp white linens on big comfortable beds, deep armchairs or sofas piled with cushions, oil paintings, and modern slate-grey bathrooms with rain showers and Gilchrist & Soames toiletries, plus deep tubs in the bigger rooms. There are tea- and coffee-making facilities with vintage cups and saucers, free soft-drink minibars, and big plasma TVs (though no DVD players). And best of all, you get black-out blinds and absolute peace; we didn't hear a sound from outside or other rooms, so slept extremely well.
Our 4th-floor Superior room was beautiful - spacious and flooded with light from its private terrace. There was a biscuit-coloured sofa, a red antique rug on the blond parquet floor, and an enormous wardrobe in a separate private hall area. We visited in November, but the room would come into its own in summer, when you could sit out and have room-service meals.
The 3rd-floor Standard room we saw felt a little small, but was classily decorated in monochrome shades, and perfect if you just want a base in Barcelona, rather than somewhere to relax during the day. Don't forget there's a lovely lounge and restaurant/café downstairs, too.
If you want something romantic, go for one of the attic rooms in the eaves, a mix of Standards and Superiors; we loved their wood-beamed ceilings and sense of cosiness (though they don't have masses of natural light). They share an outdoor terrace with red walls and a cactus mural, which feels at odds with the rest of the hotel but is a great space, with chairs and a couple of loungers.
If you're coming with kids, or just like loads of space, the Junior Suites, Suites and Apartments are also lovely. The former have private terraces, the latter 2 categories have big sofabeds in separate living rooms, plus robes and slippers, and the Apartments also have a microwave.
A big buffet breakfast is laid up in the restaurant/café every morning. We loved the relaxed atmosphere in here, with chilled music, comfy sofas, retro floral wallpaper and beautiful hanging lanterns: it made for a perfectly relaxed start to the day.
Food-wise, expect bowls of fresh fruit (apricot, mango, melon); platters of tiny Iberian meat sandwiches and various cheeses; little pastries with delicious blackcurrant jam; quince and cheese on cocktail sticks; and various fresh juices. Hot options including scrambled eggs and sausages are available for a small extra cost.
The restaurant/café remains open all day (until 11pm), and serves simple meals such as smoked salmon with green asparagus and blinis, Iberian meats and cheeses, roast chicken and cake of the day. I tried the zucchini soup which was creamy, but a little bland.
There are a few good restaurants in the neighbourhood, 5-10 minutes' walk away. Primero Primera recommends A Contraluz, a garden eatery serving Mediterranean and Catalan specialties; Dos Torres, serving seasonal cuisine; and Montesquieu for tapas. If you want to push the boat out, taxi to ABaC, a 2-starred Michelin restaurant 5 minutes away. Alternatively you can head into town; reception will recommend restaurants.
Although this feels like a hotel for older couples and friends, families are welcome and baby cots/extra beds are available. Your first child aged 0-12 stays for free; there is a charge for a second child and for 13+ year olds.
Babies (0-1 years), Toddlers (1-4 years), Children (4-12 years)
Most rooms are very spacious, as the hotel used to be an apart-hotel. Standard rooms can fit a baby cot, Superior rooms and Junior Suites have a sofabed for 1 or can fit a baby cot, and the Suites and Apartments can sleep 4, with children in the lounge area on 2 sofabeds.
Bottles and food can be warmed in the restaurant/café's kitchen, and the Apartments have a microwave.