The concept of chic, design-focused, affordable boutique hotels with magnetic public spaces may seem like a relatively new idea, but they’ve been a hallmark of Barcelona’s lodging scene for more than a decade. With rooftop pools, craft cocktails served in the lobby, and prices that won’t break a frugal traveler’s budget, these hotspots are as much a part of staying and socializing in the Catalan capital as a walk down La Rambla. One of the newest, OD, has sister properties on Ibiza and Mallorca and is looking to bring a sense of island-style ease—and equally warm service—to the big city. Here’s what we saw during our recent stay.
Budget Level: Upscale ($150-$300/night)
Lodging Type: Medium-Size Hotel (50-100 rooms)
What You Need to Know
Minimalism is the OD way. Blond wood, concrete, modern shapes, and light—lots of light—are the main design ingredients here. So is friendliness. A chat with OD’s bartenders, waiters, and front desk staff will leave you feeling distinctly more welcome than you would in some of Europe’s other capitals, and even elsewhere in Barcelona. Room highlights include generously sized, open-front luggage storage space, which lets you keep all of your stuff both contained and out of sight without making it inaccessible, and the round Cesta desk lamp by Catalan designer Miguel Milà. You can’t miss it when you walk in the room.
European couples in their twenties, thirties, and forties make up much of the crowd here, but you will see some families, and a few older couples in the mix. The lobby bar and restaurant spaces feel relaxing during the day and are great places to enjoy a beverage, check email, or socialize with friends. It was too cold to use the outdoor spaces when we visited, but this hotel has several—and they’re stunners. Open May to October, the Sky Bar features an angular rooftop pool situated by a plant-lined deck and a bar. It’s a wonderful place to enjoy views across the elegant rooftops of L’Eixample. There’s also a ground-floor patio where guests can dine al fresco under strings of lights when weather allows. We expect these spaces to be busy in summer.
Who Will Love It
If you want to stay in a stylish hotel in an equally stylish neighborhood—without spending a fortune—the OD is a good choice. It is also ideal if you’re looking to check out the city’s architectural wonders by Antoni Gaudí. Casa Battló is just around the corner, and Casa Milà and the Sagrada Família cathedral are a short walk away.
Who Might Not
If it’s your first trip to Barcelona, you may want to stay a bit closer to the Plaça de Catalunya so you’ll have easier access to places like La Rambla, the Boqueria Market, and the Barri Gòtic.
This hotel has an excellent—and totally under-the-radar—restaurant in the lobby. Serving a combination of Spanish classics—jamón ibérico, patatas bravas, omelets—and modern, globe-spanning fare, it’s open for lunch and dinner. We enjoyed some of the classics alongside an Asian-style salmon with veggies, all of which were beautifully prepared and very well priced.
An excellent (and generous) breakfast that includes a buffet of meats and cheeses, plus eggs, toast, pastries, and more, is included with most reservations. Wifi is included, as is access to the fitness center (not on site, but a short walk away), which has a pool. If you book through the hotel’s website, you’ll receive early check-in and late check-out. Booking a loft suite or higher gets you the use of a smart car during your stay, as well as complimentary airport transfers, bottled water, use of a tablet, and upgraded bath amenities.
Fees and Extra Costs You Should Know About
You'll pay extra for lunch, dinner, drinks in the restaurant, and room service. Note that the VAT is included in your room rate.
How to Get a Deal
If you book on the hotel’s website and pay up front, you’ll save 10 percent on your stay. You can expect to pay about $190-$230 per night in Barcelona’s cooler fall and winter months, and about $250-$290 per night in summer high season.
In the Neighborhood
OD Barcelona is located in the heart of L’Eixample, an elegant residential neighborhood that’s easily navigable thanks to its grid layout. In addition to the Gaudí sites in the area, this is also the place to try some excellent restaurants, including Cervecería Catalana, a longstanding favorite for tapas, and the newly opened (and very hip) cocktail bar and brasserie Servicio Continuo. If you’re up for a longer—but still completely manageable—walk, you can reach La Rambla in about 20 minutes.
Transport from Barcelona’s airport is easy and fast. Take a taxi or an Uber for an easy 20-minute transfer (plan on 30-40 euros, or the equivalent of $35-$48USD each way), or take the airport R2N train to the Passeig de Gràcia, which is a 7-minute walk to the hotel.
Nearest Public Transit
The Girona and Passeig de Gràcia metro stations are close to the hotel, so you’ll have fast access to Barcelona’s efficient and easy-to-use metro system.
The Bottom Line
For easy, affordable luxury in an elegant Barcelona neighborhood, you can’t do much better than OD Barcelona.