Just how quickly the bustle of Barcelona dissipates upon arrival at Grand Hotel Central is impressive considering its position at the heart of the Gothic quarter. Press through the revolving doors and attentive staff cushion you from the city’s discernible buzz: in minutes, you’ll be back under its spell at the incredible rooftop bar and pool, peering out over its beauty until well after nightfall. Read on for the full review.

Where is Grand Hotel Central? 

Grand Hotel Central

It’s on Via Laietana, the city’s central artery, somewhere between Plaza de Catalunya and where the street dives into the marina. It’ll take you about 20 minutes by cab from Barcelona-El Prat airport — it’s pretty much a single road route that gets you there. 

What’s near Grand Hotel Central?

Your walking shoes will come in handy. Art lovers will be thrilled at just how close Picasso Museum Barcelona and Moco Museum Barcelona are to the hotel — both are just beyond Carrer de la Princesa, a mere 400 metres away. (A few minutes more on foot and you’ll be in the tangle of El Born’s many bars and restaurants.) In the other direction, you’ll happen upon Catedral de Barcelona, just 200 metres walk. 

Room types 

Grand Hotel Central, Barcelona room interiors

The soothing rooms of slate grey are primed for a deep, restful sleep. The blackout blinds are blissfully effective, the plump beds dressed in 300 thread-count Egyptian cotton are supportive yet comfortable and the soaking tubs with Finca-branded goodies are a welcome primer for fluffy bathrobes and slippers. The rooms are whisper quiet, too, and the Deluxe Corner View room peeps out onto the old Roman walls.

Grand Hotel Central, Barcelona bathroom

Restaurants and bars 

Bistro Helena fronts the hotel, straddling the street and the lobby. The menu rotates every three months to slot into the seasons, ensuring the utmost freshness — recent highlights include paprika-spiked octopus and cod ravioli with sun-dried tomatoes. 

Skybar, the bar and snack service spot astride the pool, is an easy way to extend your time on the roof, especially during summer when palette-cleansing specials (Malfy gin and ice cream, for example), make a compelling case to remain. 

Don’t even think about sightseeing without stopping into the breakfast buffet: there’s barista coffee, local meats and cheeses and an impressive array of fruits and pastries.

Travel for work

There are several handsome spaces perfect for meetings, complete with parquetry flooring, grand windows with elegant drapery and city views. (The Biblioteca room, finished with floor-to-ceiling shelving of leather-bound books, is irresistibly elegant.) 

Grand Hotel Central, Barcelona interiors

Gym, sauna and pool

The 10-metre rooftop pool and its surrounding view is nothing short of dazzling and, when you realise there’s also a sauna, steam room and on-site spa, you’ll congratulate yourself for your foresight to book this inner-city haven. (Treatment times extend to a blissful 8pm, if you’re looking for a way to relax into a stellar night’s sleep.) There’s also a fitness centre on the eighth floor, with fabulous views.


There are two adapted rooms for travellers with disabilities but not all common areas — including the pool — are not accessible for wheelchair users.

Best for: A central location
Design: Contemporary chic
Ambience: Understated
Number of rooms: 147
Rates: From €324
Wi-fi: Free
Parking: Off-site, €46 per day
Address: Via Laietana, 30, 08003 Barcelona
Phone: +34 932 95 79 00


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