Sleek 30-room boutique on the site of Picasso’s first studio, with a rooftop pool and a restaurant helmed by a Michelin-starred chef.
On the site of Picasso’s first studio, the Serras is a sleek new retreat on the palm tree–lined Passeig de Colon. The 18th-century townhouse has been transformed into a modern interpretation of Barcelona’s Art Nouveau heritage. Designer Eva Martínez has reworked traditional hydraulic tiles using black and white motifs, introduced modernisme design flourishes and injected a little Art Deco glamour into the lobby. The 30 guestrooms feature luxe details like rowboat bath tubs by Italian designer Rexa, rain showers inset with soft lighting by Hansgrohe (in the Junior Suites), and Hypnos beds, which were voted the most comfortable in the world in 2014. The place brims with history, too. The façade was created by Francesc Daniel Molina, who designed the iconic Plaça Reial; from the front you can enjoy expansive views of the port, while the back overlooks medieval streets and gargoyles. The rooftop, where Picasso was believed to have painted Ciencia y Caridad, is now a wooden deck with a plunge pool, olive trees and sensational port views. It’s a heavenly spot for a serene breakfast, lunch or dinner, though the buzz is all around Michelin-starred chef Marc Gascon’s new venture in the lobby, which serves updated Catalan sharing plates from his restaurant near the Costa Brava. Bar Le Nine, on the mezzanine above reception, takes its cue from London’s Belgraves Hotel and promises to segue neatly from a relaxed nook for midmorning coffee to a lively late night hub for cocktails and DJs.
In the Area
Across the road in the swank Port Vell, the floating shopping center Maremagnum is a good place to stock up on Spanish fashion labels. Snag a spot on the terrace overlooking the boats at El Marítim for a paella cooked over wood. A quick stroll up the hill will take you to Bar Zim, a tiny hole in the wall where you can sip 12 exceptional Spanish wines by the glass paired with organic charcuterie and farmhouse cheeses. It would be churlish not to visit the Plaça Reial, given its connection to the hotel, and these days it has become quite upmarket. Check out Ocaña for brunch in its eye-popping café, which is studded with chandeliers, or for cocktails in the chic basement Apotheke bar, which offers Prohibition-style drinks.
— Review by Tara Stevens, courtesy of Jetsetter.com. The text has been modified to fit the format.