Best Hotel Bets
- Best for a Romantic Getaway: Lovebirds have good reasons not to leave the confines of Gran Hotel La Florida, Carretera Vallvidrera al Tibidabo s/n (tel. 93-259-30-00; www.HotelLaFlorida.com), a fabulous historic hotel -- and not all of those reasons are to be found in the bedrooms. The stainless-steel lap pool, spa, and gardens offering sweeping views of the city are enticement enough to keep you holed up for days.
- Best for Art Lovers: As stylish as anywhere in the city, the Hotel Claris, Pau Claris 150 (tel. 93-487-62-62; http://claris.barcelonahotels.it), has rooms and foyers dotted with early Egyptian art and artifacts, 19th-century Turkish kilims, and even some Roman mosaics, fruits of the owner's passion for collecting.
- Best for Business Travelers: Catalonia Barcelona Plaza, Plaça Espanya 6-8, (tel. 93-426-26-00; http://barcelonaplaza.barcelonahotels.it). Ideally located near Sants railway station, in easy reach of the airport and close to a wide range of conference halls and exhibition centers, this immaculate hotel boasts some of the most sophisticated business amenities in town.
- Best for Celebrity Spotting: Preferred choice of top models and temperamental rock stars, the Hotel Arts, Marina 19-21 (tel. 93-221-10-00; www.hotelartsbarcelona.com), has remained a jet-set playground and symbol of "cool Barcelona" for more than a decade.
- Best for Service: As well as being a highly regarded hotel, the Prestige, Passeig de Gràcia 62 (tel. 93-272-41-80; www.prestigepaseodegracia.com), offers a unique service to its clients. The role of the concierge is replaced with "Ask Me" -- specially trained information officers on call to find the answers to the most challenging queries, from scoring soccer tickets to finding halal restaurants.
- Best In-House Restaurant: When celebrated chef Fermin Puig took over the food department of the highly regarded Majestic, Passeig de Gràcia 68 (tel. 93-488-17-17; www.splendia.com/Hotel-Majestic), he not only revolutionized what clients receive on their breakfast tray but also created Drolma, one of the country's most celebrated haute cuisine restaurants. Puig's take on traditional Catalan and southern French cooking has impressed even the most demanding gourmand.
- Best Historic Hotel: The moderniste masterpiece Hotel Casa Fuster, Passeig de Gràcia 132 (tel. 93-225-30-00; http://Hotels.com/Casa-Fuster-Hotel), was an emblematic building before it was converted into a luxury residence. The rooms have been restored to turn-of-the-20th-century opulence, but with all the mod cons expected by today's high society.
- Best Modern Design: Its once-staid interiors now imaginatively revamped and transformed into a luminous and relaxing blend of grays and whites, hotel Curious, Carmé 25 (tel. 93-301-44-84; www.hotelcurious.com), has the coolest and sleekest minimalist decor of any traditional building in the Ciutat Vella.