Barcelona is a fascinating city, but sometimes you don’t want to be in the thick of the chaos. We found a fantastic four star boutique hotel in a quiet neighbourhood, just 10 minutes from the centre of BCN.
Nestled a short walk down a leafy street from the Les Tres Torres Metro stop, you’ll find the unassuming but fantastic Hotel Primero Primera. A tranquil and upscale residential neighbourhood, just north of the hustle and bustle of downtown Barcelona, Les Tres Torres is the sort of place you can enjoy ‘the real’ Barcelona.
Hotel Primero Primera
The hotel itself is four star, but easily on a par (or better than) quite a few five star hotels that I’ve stayed in over the years. We had a top floor superior suite, which was in a converted attic, with a rooftop courtyard just outside. The wooden beams and reclaimed fittings gave our room the feeling of a plush townhouse, and although our room didn’t have a city view as such, it did feel like home as soon as we arrived.
Perhaps it was the large sofa and stocked bookshelf, the grand king sized bed, or the luxurious lounge downstairs, but we instantly felt like putting out feet up rather than running off into town. And, like any boutique hotel worth it’s salt, the Hotel Primero Primera supplies all the creature comforts; such as a well stocked minibar, quality toiletries and a great breakfast spread included in the price.
Crucially, the hotel is in a quiet area so while we slept in our (huge) bed, there were no traffic or party sounds like we’ve experienced on previous visits to Barcelona.
The grounds of the Primero Primera also feature a quiet garden with a small swimming pool. Although not Olympic size, it’s perfect for cooling down after a hard day exploring this busy city. The garden features plenty of sun shades and attentive staff on hand to bring you refreshments to your table. Non-alcoholic drinks are free for guests, although there is a small charge for pool side service.
Les Tres Torres
The neighbourhood has that feeling of an upscale district, perhaps on a par with London’s Wimbeldon or Crouch End. The vibe is very much residential, but just a five minute walk from Primero Primera and you’re on a vibrant high street. Carrer de Mandri and Carrer de la cuitat de Balaguer are packed full of cool eateries and bars, most of which seemed to be teeming with locals chatting over a vermut or a plate of something para picar (to share). Our pick of the local bars was Chico Bar (Carrer de Mandri 29), with excellent quality food and friendly staff.
For a more ‘authentic’ vibe we also enjoyed Bar Bero (Carrer de Mandri 35), which was a totally different experience – this felt like a real Old Barcelona type of place with locals chatting animatedly at the bar.
Las Tres Torres is also a short walk from Jardins del Turo del Putxet. If you’re tired of the tourist masses in Park Guell, this is the place to come for those same great views but without the thousands of people. But, Shhh… Don’t tell everyone!
We found the area perfect for relaxing at the end of a hard day in downtown Barcelona, and in fact, you can be at the top of Las Ramblas in only ten minutes. Sightseeing, shopping and partying is just a few moments from the front door of Hotel Primero Primera…
Why stay here?
We noticed that the clientele of the Hotel Primero Primera was split, perhaps 50/50, between business visitors and tourists. If you’re looking for a civilised spot to meet Barcelona based clients, then we think this would be a great option. With the leather chairs in the lounge, the huge garden and the spacious dining room, it seemed a popular place for meetings over coffee.
In fact, we travelled as a family, and we found the location perfect for our needs. The boisterous atmosphere of Barcelona is just down the road, but we felt quite comfortable with our little girl in the streets of Las Tres Torres at any time of day.
However, with the quality decor, attentive yet discreet staff and the local vibe, the hotel would be great for those who simply want a quiet romantic break. We felt like the Primero Primera would be the perfect place for those looking for an anniversary or romantic birthday in Barcelona with a difference.
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