Neri and The Wittmore: two unique hotels in the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona
Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter is a district full of charm thanks to its narrow medieval streets, and also thanks to the wonderful buildings, shops and spaces so full of history that it is home to. Interestingly though and despite the beauty of this neighbourhood, we hadn’t walked around it for some time, until a few weeks ago when we stayed at the Hotel Neri and The Wittmore Hotel. Two boutique hotels that belong to Anima Hotels, a family-owned group. Both hotels are located in the Gothic Quarter, and in spite of having very different personalities, their common feature is a passion for detail, their quality and their ambition to be much more than a hotel. In fact, we can tell you now, that not only do they achieve it but that they do so by far.
Hotel Neri: the only Relais&Chateaux in the city
Hotel Neri is one of the most symbolic boutique hotels in the city of Barcelona. It’s in a unique location: Plaza de Sant Felip Neri, in the very heart of the Gothic Quarter, and a stone’s throw away from the city’s cathedral. Its building, the result of merging two palaces in the 18th century, one of them medieval, is very beautiful and it is distinct for how well it combines its classical structure with a contemporary interior design, full of design icons.
The true voice of the Gothic Quarter
“Hotel Neri wants to give back to this incredible neighbourhood that which mass tourism has destroyed.”
As we said at the beginning, Hotel Neri is a stronghold of authenticity in this historical neighbourhood. That’s why it contributes to the recovery of the area by collaborating with local new-generation artisans, so they can help us to rediscover the city through their products, to convey the cultural richness of the area with a view to the future and to promote a more sustainable form of tourism.
A five-star hotel with 22 rooms, a terrace with a pool and a restaurant headed by one of the best chefs in Europe.
It has 22 very comfortable, quiet, spacious rooms and suites decorated with photographs from the La Mirada Transeúnte collection, with unbeatable views of the Plaza de Sant Felip Neri, our favourite square in Barcelona.
As if this weren’t enough, on the top floor there is a terrace full of plants, with a pool and a solarium, ideal for enjoying unbeatable moments of disconnecting from it all.
Additionally, on the first floor we find a restaurant, the restaurant led by the well-known chef Alain Guiard, whose gastronomy stands out for his way of reformulating traditional recipes, elaborated with top quality and locally sourced products, which provide freshness, a lot of flavour and a new perspective. It is part of the Michelin Guide.
“The restaurant ‘a restaurant’ offers a cuisine that is inclusive and ever-changing in a unique location.”
The inside of the restaurant has several very welcoming spaces, as well as the unique privileged terrace at the feet of one of the squares with the most charm in the city, Plaza de Sant Felip Neri.
Excellent location and service
Another aspect that we would like to point out is the hotel service. There is a really good atmosphere and everyone we interacted with for different reasons was really warm, very professional and courteous.
As we said before, its location is really good as it is next to other places we love such as the specialty coffee shop Satan’s Coffee; the restaurant Bistrot Levante that prepares the best hummus in the Ciudad Condal; a hatters shop Eliurpi; the tea shop Caj Chai, the classic Bar del Pi; the bakery Caelum; the Sant Jordi bookshop or Cereria Subirà with its incredible candles, among others.
So now you know, whether you are in Barcelona or just visiting, Hotel Neri is a pleasant surprise on many levels. Exceptional accommodation beyond comparison that allows you to rediscover the Gothic Quarter like never before.
The Wittmore Hotel
This boutique hotel, which is part of The Small Luxury Hotels chain, is a real gem.
Located in the area right next to the Ciudad Condal, almost touching the sea, it preserves the feeling of freedom, typical of areas surrounding city walls, that would attract the Bourgeois classes in search of fun and the anonimity that creative and artistic circles have outside of the more conventional circuits and a more critical eye.
“The Wittmore has a speak-easy personality, the soul of the Catalonian artistic vanguard and the mise en scène of a 19th century hall.”
A femenine personality, elegance and “creative luxury”
As soon as you arrive at the entrance to The Wittmore, you will feel irresistibly attracted to it. It is decorated with bunting and party lights, and it is the perfect entranceway to the hotel…
Once you go through its black wooden doors, you will access a beautiful lobby, with an interior design by Septiembre Arquitectura that is halfway between the aesthetics of David Lynch and Wes Anderson. Both its red velvet curtains, its classic reception area and its exquisite play of lights will leave you enthralled by this extraordinary accommodation. Because The Wittmore is a hotel that inspires and manages to submerge you, in the same way that the Hotel Neri does, in the experience that the hotel offers.
Fun, inspiration and networking
The Wittmore is ideal for both a romantic escapade and for a business trip to the city or for a solitary stay to enjoy Barcelona in all its glory. You decide. They have everything you need here to mix business and pleasure and not perish in the attempt. In fact, next to the lobby, where Contraban – their delicious restaurant- sits, there is an area with an incredible library and a charming bar, where you can have a relaxed drink or where you can work in a laid-back atmosphere surrounded by creativity. We held several meetings here and to tell the truth, it is the perfect setting for them.
Contraban and the importance of details
As is the case for all the hotels in the Anima Hotels group, details are absolutely vital. And you can tell. Nothing is coincidental here and everything has been chosen intelligently and in very good taste. That’s the reason that, besides being the curators themselves, they have also opted to form alliance with excellent partners such as Terranova the publishing company and booksellers, Odd Kiosk, the first queer newsstand, chocolates LØT, the unique objects by Matímañana or the TUCCA towels.
“We understand luxury to be fleeting and intangible, linked to an experience that emerges from serendipity and that creates once in a lifetime moments.”
With regards to gastronomy, at The Wittmore they also count on the savoir-faire of chef Alain Guiard. In this case, the restaurant is called Contraban, and as well as being specialised in regional cuisine, they also have a wide range of natural wines, both local and international. On their menu, certain dishes stand out such as macaroni with Iberico pork; their now classic langoustine tartare; their tuna turnedó; the lamb rack, as well as their delicious tribute to the legendary Dracula ice lolly or their chocolate brioche cake with toasted hazelnuts and Goji berries. Mmmm…
Another magic spot in the hotel is its courtyard with a wall garden, that you will never want to leave. It’s perfect for enjoying breakfast, lunch or dinner. Additionally, there is live music on Thursday evenings from 20h to 23h. Marvellous.
Supersilent rooms with extra comfortable beds and a penthouse to dream in…
One of the strengths of this Adults Only hotel is its rooms. The décor is very comfortable, and it has a very British yet French-style interior design. Its beds and pillows are amongst the most comfortable we have ever tried. Additionally, and although it is in the Gothic Quarter where there is a large influx of tourists, all the spaces in the hotel, including the guest rooms are completely sound-proofed. An absolute pleasure!
On the top floor of the hotel, there is a terrace with wonderful views, a small pool to cool down in and the Sobreático Contraban, where you can enjoy a selection of dishes also designed by Alain Guiard, such as the raw tomato carpaccio coated with a cabernet vinaigrette, the chicken fingers marinated in lemon with sweet chilli sauce or the brioche pizza with Ricotta cheese and speck…, as well as delicious cocktails.
Sobreático Contraban opens at 4 o’clock in the afternoon until 10 at night and, as is the case in the Contraban courtyard, there are different DJ sessions throughout the summer season. This space is really inviting, specially at dusk…
We will say no more, the truth is that, having experienced it personally, we cannot but recommend it to you. The Wittmore is one of a kind. A place we will return to as soon as possible.
(*) Photos by Cecilia Camacho.
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