My wife and I have just returned from a week lapping up the culture and exploring the long winding alleyways that run off the main streets in the center of Barcelona. What a magnificent city! The seamless blend of old and new in the architecture, food, and sounds, which float out of the bars and cafes, combine with a very distinct design aesthetic, which permeates the stores and hotels to create a thriving modern city with one eye firmly on the future and the other on the artifacts of its past. While in Barcelona, we spent a few nights staying at the sublime Chic and Basic Hotel [photographed above and below], located in the Born area. This hotel symbolized so much of what we considered Barcelona to be about.
Housed in a century-old building, with twenty-two foot high ceilings, a crystal shower at the center of each room, and a fun lighting system with which to change the appearance of your room depending on your mood, the Chic and Basic Hotel is beautifully designed: the interior is functional but adventurous, so that wandering down the corridors to get to our room became a sensory experience in itself. The rooms were ultra-modern and uniquely styled, with a shimmering wall of beads acting as a visual divider against its stark white walls. Those same beads dripped mischeviously from the roof in the hallways, adding a sparkle to the common space. Designed by architect and designer Xavier Claramunt, the Chic and Basic Born Hotel is also situated in an ideal spot from which to wander the many intriguing streets of the city. [photos by Alison Zavos]