Casa Bonay, Barcelona, Spain

A boutique hotel anchored in culture, sustainability and place, with a neighbourhood lounge, rooftop bar and micro bookshop.

✓ A focus on sustainability and local economy
✓ Great cocktail bar
✓ 67 stylish rooms
✓ Partnership with a local sailing club

Set on a leafy boulevard in central Barcelona, Casa Bonay sought to address the over-tourism problem in the city by ensuring its well designed facilities appeal to tourists and support locals in equal measure. Spaces within the hotel are independently run by local operators and the hotel’s own Libertine Bar is clearly a neighbourhood favourite.

Who stays here? 

Communal spaces are quiet during the day, largely populated by freelancers tapping at MacBooks, but come 7 o’clock, the cavernous Libertine Bar is loud and buzzy as locals finish work and tourists head back after a day of sightseeing. Later, DJ sets and film screenings attract a late-night crowd. Savvy travellers and frequent visitors to the city have found a home from home, here.


The 19th-century building was once a private residence, so all rooms are different. Decorated with Mediterranean simplicity and craftsmanship, guest rooms have mosaic-tiled floors, hanging rails and locally built furniture and handcrafted accessories. In the lower categories, room face onto an internal courtyard but still have plenty of natural light. Those with decked terraces come with sun loungers and alfresco showers. The minibar is stocked with organic drinks and Catalan snacks, and room service is available.

Bathrooms are compact and well-designed, in a no-frills way, with Malin+Goetz products. Both the guest information folder and the hotel’s own printed publication offer heaps of useful information and tips on the local area.

Food and drink

Breakfast is served in the Libertine tapas bar and lounge, which is open all day for drinks and snacks. The buffet breakfast features homemade granola, eggs cooked to order, while a ‘Worker’s Breakfast’ of espresso, orange juice and a sandwich is perfect for those in a hurry.

The beach shack-inspired rooftop bar serves cocktails, tapas and a seasonal summer BBQ. Independently run outlets on site include an outpost of Barcelona favourite Satan’s Coffee Corner, and restaurant King Kong Lady, which fuses Catalan and Asian dishes.

"Mi casa es su casa"

Design details

Libertine Bar is set in the property’s former garage, and therefore has a cavernous, industrial and rather theatrical feel. There are lovely design elements throughout the hotel, including sisal on the lower walls of hallways and guest rooms, avoiding scuffs from wheeled cases. The rooms are an ode to sustainable, local design, with accessories and furnishings from local makers. Handwoven blankets and hand carved stools, among other things, are available to buy at reception.


Service is bright and breezy. Reception staff are friendly and pleasantly informal, with a hands-off but feel-free-to-ask-for-anything style of service. The hotel has partnered with a beach club (Club Pati de Vela de Barcelona) and so guests can borrow patin boats and paddle boards. Guests can also borrow bikes, browse the on-site bookshop, and sunbathe on the roof terrace, where there’s no pool but there is a shower to cool down.

Packing list

A vintage sun dress and trainers.

Getting there

Casa Bonay is situated on Passeig de Sant Joan – a tree-lined boulevard with good metro links and a quick 15 minute walk to both Ciutadella Park and the Gothic Quarter.

Gran Via de Les Corts Catalanes, Barcelona, Spain
From €90