Barcelona and all it’s magic seems like a world away now, so I can’t wait to relive the Sunny Design Days tour again with you, kicking off with the place we called home for three days – the Alexandra Doubletree Hilton. A boutique hotel with an avant garde, contemporary style, this is a hotel for design lovers, showcasing the best names in Spanish design in an environment that feels like home. Found in Paseo de Gracia, bustling shopping district of Eixample and a stones throw from Gaudi’s Casa Batlló and La Pedrera, you couldn’t be in a more prominent place to explore the city and immerse yourself in local culture.
Inside an historic 19th century building, the Alexandra is carving out a name as the hotel of Spanish design, slowing working its way through each space, updating and renovating weaving in pieces created by the best Spanish names. Starting with the recently opened charcuterie and bar on the ground floor and more intimate gastronomic brasserie upstairs, restaurant Solomillo puts a modern twist on traditional Spanish cuisine. Designed by Barcelona based architects Borrell Jover who also redesigned the pool terrace and several of the bedrooms inside the hotel, the charcuterie and brasserie (not pictured) create an intimate backdrop in which to sample a beautiful selection of cooked and cured meats, local cheeses and other fresh from the market produce.
Over two wonderful dinners at the restaurant with Borrell and Jover, they explained how they carefully selected each element for a timeless, contemporary feel; from the 7,300 “meaty” coloured glazed tiles, the Cosentino marble table tops, rugs by Nanimarquina, lighting by Marset and Santa & Cole and Expormim rattan Huma chairs. Phew! I’ll introduce you to these names very soon-you. will. LOVE.
Outside, a luxury outdoor urban jungle awaits on the pool terrace. Using a series of layers to provide screening, this green oasis is divided up into two main areas-the bar and lounge and pool. Taking direction from the yellow bricks of the structure next door to the hotel, Borrell and Jover incorporated this into the terrace to blend into its surroundings, using brick to separate the ground floor rooms with a screen and lush planting, a bank of brick seating to separate the pool and then just beyond the pool, an organic vegetable and wild flower garden to screen the roof of an unsightly former cinema. The garden also provides produce for the hotel.
A glimpse into my room – overlooking the quiet terrace and tucked away from the city streets. With such a
punishing busy schedule, I relished the secluded cocoon of this space with its warm, earthy Spanish tones, parquet flooring and concrete bathroom. When can I come back??