Hotel Alma Barcelona 5* GL ~ Soul is the New Luxury


Tucked away in the heart of Barcelona’s glitzy Eixample barrio, just a stone’s throw from the Passeig de Gracia and Antoní Gaudí’s iconic Casa Millà, Hotel Alma Barcelona is a grand deluxe 5-star design hotel and a soulful home from home.

The Vibe

Alma Hotel Barcelona by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com-11

Words & photos by your Barcelona hotel hopping guide, Ben Holbrook.

At first glance I was struck by how modern and masculine Hotel Alma Barcelona felt, with its cool charcoal tones and minimalist spaces.

But it didn’t take long to get a feel for just how much heart and soul – ‘alma’ literally means ‘soul’ in Spanish – has gone into the creation of this one of a kind property.

Unlike other luxury hotels of a similar ilk in Barcelona, Alma is, for all intents and purposes, a family-run business.

And you really feel a sense of warmth and familiarity shine through as you talk to the staff and explore the subtle design details throughout the property.

Alma Hotel Barcelona by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com

It’s difficult to explain… I normally find that the ambience (or ‘vibe’) of a hotel is the direct result result of its physical aspects – the layout, the art, the furniture, the music.

But with Alma, the relaxed yet buzzy ambience is driven almost entirely by the people and life that it hosts. It’s an intangible energy, rather than a visual stimulant.

Alma Hotel Barcelona by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com-2

There’s a cohesion, some kind of synergy between the staff and guests.

You see people relaxing in the garden with a newspaper, local business professionals chatting over coffee, and you think, ‘This is somewhere I really want to be. This is somewhere everyone wants to be.’

From the greeting at the door to the welcome as you enter the restaurant, you are treated less like a customer in a hotel and more like a guest in someone’s home.

Alma Hotel Barcelona by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com

That’s not to say the design of the hotel’s design itself is anything short of inspiring. Occupying an imposing early-twentieth-century property, this singular design hotel blends clean lines with contemporary art and intricate details to make a big impression.

It’s a tasteful, restrained kind of luxury.

Location

I’ve said it many times before, but I firmly believe Eixample is the best place to stay in Barcelona – whether it’s your first visit to the city your 101st.

Blessed with the best of Barcelona’s Modernista marvels, restaurants, hotels and shopping streets, Eixample is the most coveted neighbourhood in which to eat, sleep and play in the Catalan capital.

5-Star GL Alma Hotel Barcelona by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com

Waking up to Gaudi’s Casa Mila (view from my room).

You’ll also find Antoní Gaudí’s emblematic Casa Millà (AKA La Pedrera) and Casa Batlló just around the corner, both of which are open for tours and offer serene sunset music performances (jazz and blues) on their sinuous rooftops.

The old town, too, is just a gentle stroll away. And with Hotel Alma Barcelona’s prime location just off Passeig de Gracia (my favourite street in Barcelona), it’s all within easy walking distance from your room.

The Service

I’ve already covered this above (in the ‘Vibe’ section), but suffice it to say, Hotel Alma is all about personalised service.

In fact, it doesn’t really feel like service. It’s more akin to how you might feel when visiting close friends or family.

There’s a sincerity to it, a warmth.

The Food & Drink

Jardin del Alma Restaurant, Alma Hotel Barcelona

Located within one of Eixample’s emblematic octagonal blocks, Alma’s raison d’être is its refined yet informal Jardin de Alma restaurant, which tumbles organically out onto the property’s leafy patio and garden.

Breakfast in Jardin del Alma, Alma Hotel Barcelona by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com

This verdant space is important because, although these octagonal blocks were originally designed to harbour lush green spaces at their core, only a handful of them ever did (and even fewer of them do today). 

Jardin del Alma, Alma Hotel Barcelona by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com

A true urban oasis of tranquility, Restaurant Jardin del Alma is renowned for its excellent breakfast and brunch options (definitely don’t miss the ‘bikini’ grilled sandwich with ham, cheese and truffle).

Jardin del Alma, Alma Hotel Barcelona by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com

The lunch and dinner menus showcase the best of Catalan cuisine (and wine), with beautiful ‘arroz’ (rice) dishes, fresh fish, meat and seasonal delights like artichokes and asparagus.

Jardin del Alma, Alma Hotel Barcelona by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com

It’s not at all surprising to hear that Jardin del Alma has become a regular dining spot among many discerning residents of the city. The stuff of dreams for any high-end hotel, especially in a city with as many great dining options as Barcelona.

Jardin del Alma, Alma Hotel Barcelona by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com

Jardin del Alma, Alma Hotel Barcelona by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com

Just off the restaurant, Bar del Alma is a sophisticated but relaxed space in which to sip everything from coffee to Old Fashioneds, while the property’s palm-filled rooftop terrace is one of the most idyllic places to watch the sun set with a glass of bubbly.

The Rooms

Rooms at Alma Hotel, Barcelona Travel and Street Photography by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com-9578

Hotel Alma’s 72 rooms and suites are impressively spacious, with modern facilities, huge beds and plush linen.

Rooms at Alma Hotel, Barcelona Travel and Street Photography by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com-9578

The owners committed to having fewer rooms in favour of being able to offer their guests more space.

Rooms at Alma Hotel, Barcelona Travel and Street Photography by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com-9578

I had a little look around and was seriously impressed with the suites. Some also boast huge private terraces overlooking the rooftops of the city.

Alma Hotel Barcelona by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com-13

The complimentary minibar, stocked with soft drinks and beer, is a nice little touch too.

Facilities

5-Star GL Alma Hotel Barcelona by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com

Alma’s spa, steam room, gym and pool add to the overall experience and sense of comfort. 

Verdict

If you’re looking for a a luxury hotel that feels like a home from home, in a prime location in the city centre of Barcelona, I’m almost certain you’ll love Hotel Alma Barcelona.

If you can’t afford to stay here then I would still highly recommend popping in for breakfast/brunch one morning.

And definitely be sure to book a table for lunch in the garden!


Make it Happen

Double rooms from around €300 in low season and €400 in high.

Check availability and book here. 

Address: Mallorca 271, Barcelona, 08008, Spain.
Phone: +34 93 219 6490
Website: www.almahotels.com/barcelona


Have you visited Hotel Alma Barcelona? Leave a comment below to share your experience with the community!

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Note: I was invited to stay at Alma Hotel Barcelona, but all opinions and photos in this post are 100% my own.


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