“An elegant boutique hotel that feels like home, set in a quiet residential district 10 minutes from the city centre”
In the entrance hall, vintage trunks and scented candles. Up winding stairs, big silver lanterns and stone Buddhas. There are delightful communal areas - a lounge with battered leather sofas, an honesty bar and a fire; a help-yourself coffee area; a restaurant/café serving simple food. Rooms (there are 30) are very spacious as this used to be an apart-hotel, and spread over 4 floors. The owners live on the first floor; the rest are guest spaces. Imagine crisp white linens on very good beds, deep bathtubs, perhaps a terrace to soak up the tranquility. If you want a peaceful base in a hectic city, you could do no better.
- Chic rooms with pillow menus, Gilchrist & Soames toiletries, free soft-drink minibars and old-fashioned cups and saucers for tea
- A sense of elegance throughout, yet it's easy and comfortable. Particularly popular with older couples and second-time Barcelona visitors
- Friendly staff who put you on the inside track to the city
- We loved the quirky details, such as antique suitcases, faded black and white photos, and a sketch map of Barcelona on the library wall with moveable pointers of interest
- An excellent breakfast buffet
- You're out of the city centre and will probably rely on taxis, though they're not expensive and a metro station is close if you prefer
- A quiet atmosphere, so not for party-goers
- The restaurant/café is fairly simple but there are good restaurants a short walk away
- No in-room DVD players and the only English channels are news ones
- Cooked options cost extra at breakfast - not much but we felt they should be included, given the price of staying here
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- Restaurant and bar (open daily)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Outdoor Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Concierge Service
- Bicycles Available
Primero Primera's 36 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 with Terrace 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 and Suites are also lovely. The former have private terraces, the latter 2 categories have big sofabeds in separate living rooms, plus robes and slippers.
- Air conditioning
- Central heating
- Coffee / tea making
- Complimentary soft-drink minibar
- Cots Available
- Extra beds
- Honesty bar
- Ipod dock
- Pillow menu
- Safe box
- Satellite TV
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.
- Children's meals
- Coffee / tea making
- Restaurants nearby
- Room service
- Be inspired by the quirky map of Barcelona, sketched onto a wall in the library. It highlights the city's must-sees, as well as some more unusual things that staff recommend, such as local shopping areas
- Park Güell is close, a Unesco World Heritage Site designed by Antoni Gaudí. There are walkways covered with stone trees, stalactites and geometric shapes, and many of the surfaces are decorated with pieces of pottery or glass to create a mosaic of colour
- Other unmissable works by Gaudí in town include the modernist Casa Batlló (once a house, now a museum, with an arched roof and an incredible orange, green and blue mosaicked facade), La Sagrada Familia (a still-unfinished Gothic church, funded entirely by public donation to create a true 'church of the people'), and La Pedrera, with its famous carved exterior and chimneyed roof
- Get tickets to a concert at the Palau de la Música Catalana with its world-class acoustics and performances that range from symphonic and chamber music to jazz and Cançó (Catalan song). Or watch amazing opera at the Gran Teatre del Liceu
- Art lovers will enjoy the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (MNAC), which traces the history of sculpture, painting, objets d'art, drawing, engraving and photography from the Romanesque period to the mid-20th century
- There are excellent independent shops and boutiques in the Sarrià district (a 15-minute walk away, or you can hire bikes from the hotel)
- Catch the old wooden tram up the hill of Tibidabo (near the hotel) for amazing views over the city
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Historical sites
- Museums / galleries
- Plantlife / flora
- Shopping / markets
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)
Family friendly accommodation:
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 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.
Primero Primera is set a few km outside the city centre, in the Tres Torres district. It's 14km from the airport and a 10-minute drive or 15-minute metro ride from central Barcelona.
Barcelona El Prat (14km) is served by many international and budget carriers, as is Girona. Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving these airports.
From the Airport
The hotel can provide transfers - see Rates - or you can take a taxi (around €30 from Barcelona and €100 from Girona in 2012). Alternatively it's easy to take public transport here: take the airport bus to Plaça de Catalunya, then head to the metro and take line 6 to Tres Torres, which is around the corner from the hotel.
For a more eco-friendly trip, take the mid-afternoon Eurostar from London St Pancras to Paris, then transfer to the overnight sleeper to Barcelona.
We wouldn't recommend hiring a car here as you really don't need to, but if you want one to explore, see our car rental recommendations. The hotel has a big car park - extra cost.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.
More on getting to Barcelona and getting around
- Barcelona (El Prat) 14.0 km BCN
- Girona 92.0 km GRO
- Beach 12.0 km
- Shops 0.3 km
- Restaurant 0.3 km