The hotel's entrance is on the mostly pedestrianised Rambla de Catalunya (not to be confused with La Rambla in the Old City), perfect for shopping and only a block from the Passeig de Gràcia and its modernista buildings.
Rooms are decked out in soft shades of grey, taupe and brown, with huge, comfortable beds and toiletries from Molton Brown or the White Company. Rooms on the top floor come at quite a premium, but have luxuriously large terraces. There are rooms for every budget (five types, in fact). 'Design' rooms are the cheapest and look out over the quiet Passatge de la Concepció, while the Superior rooms are bigger with wider beds, and the Privilege rooms bigger still, but the decor basically remains the same. Suites crank up the luxe factor, with White Company toiletries and ample sitting rooms, and there are ritzy apartments on the top floor. A turndown service comes as standard if you like that kind of thing. Personally I can fold my own sheet back, but you can't argue with free chocolate. If the smell of smoke bothers you, ask for the highest floor possible - the downstairs bar can get quite smoky, and non-smoking rooms run from the third floor up.
There isn't much by way of seating areas (though there are a couple of computers free for guests' use next to the lift on the first floor), but what there is is dramatically designed by Kelly Hoppen, with bold monochrome patterns contrasting with red velvet and crystal chandeliers.
Eating and drinking
The Murmuri restaurant serves reasonably accomplished Asian food, but its Thai fishcakes cannot compare with the spectacular and potent cocktails in the Bar Marfil. Granted, they're expensive, but one of their Martinis will last you all night. This is one of very few hotel bars that I visit even when I'm not staying in the hotel. I love the old-school approach to cocktail-making (I bet they don’t call it ‘mixology’ here), I love Hoppen’s retro design and I love the barmen (who once divided a Martini into two glasses for me and a friend because we weren't sure we were up to another one).
There's no gym or swimming pool, but guests are entitled to use the facilities at the chain's nearby five-star, the Majestic.
Manager Eduardo runs a pretty tight ship, although there's no escaping the feeling that some staff are hired for their fabulous teeth and hair over their experience.
Who stays there
Mostly the very fabulous. It's possible for mere mortals to snap up a bargain rate, however - but do pack your best pair of heels.
Overbooking tends to be a bit of an issue at the Murmuri, but this can often work in your favour, and you might just get a free upgrade. Extras don't come cheap. Breakfast is 16 euros and you pay an extra couple of euros on top for eggs, bacon, etc, while WiFi is a scandalous 8.70 euros for 45 minutes.
- High-Speed Internet
- Room Service
- Special occasions
Pros & Cons
- Fab bar
- Great design
- Extras are expensive