I love Barcelona, but I do live here so I may be a little bias. It is a cool city full of interesting people, creative architecture and beautiful scenery. I am always encouraging people to travel to Barcelona and explore everything that the city has to offer including areas that might not be quite on the tourist trail. The first area I always tell people to visit is El Born.
El Born for me is the cherry on top of a very delicious cake. It is a fantastic spot for shopping, eat, drinking and everything in between. It is an old part of town and Having taken a little ‘stay-cation’ in the Chic & Basic I now have a hotel to recommend to visitors too!
I actually stayed just around the corner to el Born in the Chic & Basic Zoo, which is opposite my favourite park in Barcelona and, you may have guessed, the zoo. The hotel reception serves both Chic & Basic Zoo and Chic & Basic Born and is position between the two. Checking in was a painless process and we were given detailed instructions for entering the building. Don’t be too concerned when you arrive at the hotel it is actually part of an apartment block (this is quite typical in Barcelona, you never know what lurks behind a building’s facade.) The lift takes you to a super cool foyer with a fully stocked fridge and coffee making facilities.
The hotel isn’t big but it is perfectly formed. The same can be said for the rooms. They are small and after a few days may feel a little cramped but they have everything you need and they certainly use the limited space well. If you plan to be out and about for most of the day (and why wouldn’t you) the size of the rooms shouldn’t be too much of a concern.
After a good night sleep I made my way back down to the reception for breakfast. It was really busy with hotel guests and locals enjoying their morning café con leche. The reception space is a great place to sit and relax or catch up on some work. I happily sat there for a few hours undisturbed before making my way to Chic & Basic Born.
Chic & Basic Born is a slightly more expensive option than its friend at the zoo but guests get a lot more for their money. Again the hotel is tucked away in a beautiful building that is over over a century old. The hotel itself is definitely 21st century. The communal areas are achingly cool with funky furniture and accessories. The hallways are draped with LCD lights reflecting the mood inside each of the rooms. Once inside the bedrooms guests can decide which mood lighting they prefer.
All of the bedrooms have high ceilings and the big windows let in lots of natural light. Again the space is used really well, even the single rooms have a bath tub. I was actually really impressed with the bathrooms, they are all really well designed and I loved the use of the original tiles throughout.
The location of both the Chic & Basic Zoo and Born are perfect and I couldn’t recommend them enough for tourists and those on business trips. Chic & Basic also have a hotel close by La Rambla, an area I actively tell people to avoid. I must admit I wasn’t expecting much when I visited Chic & Basic Ramblas but I was pleasantly surprised. Actually I was quite shocked. This is a great hotel.
The hotel is housed in what was originally a 1960s office and the designers have rather cleverly used the existing decor to create a fabulous (or should I say groovy) vibe. The reception area is really cool. The desk is made up of old suitcases and a classic car is permanently parked in the middle of the space. There is a great little coffee shop and lots of tables and chairs to sit and relax.
The original elevator slowly but surely takes guests up to their rooms, which are all themed with 1960s photographs and bright colours. The rooms are similar in design to the rooms in Chic & Basic Zoo but once again the space is used really well and weekend guests will be really comfortable. with everything they need. I must admit since my visit I have been back to this hotel a number of times because the foyer really is a great place to sit and do some work and considering I avoided this part of Barcelona like the plague that is high praise indeed!
Why book Chic & Basic for your boss? To be honest Chic & Basic is probably the wrong name for this group of hotels. Chic? Yes they certainly are but basic? No, I wouldn’t say they were basic at all. The Chic & Basic Born is in a fantastic location and your boss will have lots on their doorstep if they want to explore the city. The rooms are really beautiful. Chic & Basic Ramblas is again very central and the reception area is a great space for meetings. Chic & Basic is great for those on a budget.
Practically Perfect PA received complimentary accommodation at Chic & Basic Zoo. Our opinions are entirely our own. Advertised minimum rate per night is €81 (July 2014).