Primero Primera, situated in Tres Torres, a tranquil residential neighbourhood, is a homely, spacious yet cosy, gem of a hotel. Offering 30 sizeable rooms, guests can enjoy a comfortable sanctuary away from the bright lights and bustle of the city centre, which nevertheless remains within easy reach.
The decor is simple, elegant and comforting with a warming fireplace. Vintage photographs, lovingly mismatched leather furniture and towering bookcases spilling over with magazines and well-thumbed tomes all contribute to the feel of a charming private members club.
There’s also an eye-catching spiral staircase which adds to the charm of this hotel.
I am told by the manager that Primero Primera is favoured by businessmen and women looking for a serene haven in which to work, rest and play.
However, in reality, anyone wanting to stay in a quieter area of Barcelona, enjoy the peace afforded by a spacious, tastefully-decorated room and emerge to hang out in stylish, buzzy communal areas could do a lot worse than booking a weekend in Primero Primera.
Only having 30 rooms allows Primero Primera to ensure each one has its own individual personality. We stayed in a “superior room”, one up from the standard “double”, (which afforded us the very welcome addition of a frankly lovely balcony).
A blissfully comfortable bed, a superb walk-in power shower and a separate bath, together with the homey sofa all contributed to a restful sojourn.
All rooms have TVs, coffee making facilities and a docking station as standard.
The front desk is open 24/7. Staff are friendly and well-informed if you’re looking to get a bit of local know-how.
There’s a small gym, a garden with an outdoor pool surrounded by lush foliage, a restaurant, a cosy lounge with an honesty bar and a cabinet stocked with free snacks and soft drinks. All of which means the less intrepid holidaymaker may find themselves lounging in the hotel’s enticing surrounds for longer than they expected – don’t worry, La Sagrada Familia will still be there tomorrow.
Food and drink
The restaurant offers a reassuringly relaxed atmosphere, floral walls peppered with vintage Formula 1 photographs (we don’t know why, but it works) and a bookcase stocked with, amongst other curiosities, dozens and dozens of copies of the National Geographic from the 1980s.
The eclectic menu is international but with an unmistakably Iberian flavour. Try the truly special cream of pumpkin soup and the succulent meatballs. Wash it all down with a Mojito.
The buffet breakfast stocks the usual continental fare (I appreciated the leftfield offering of a white sausage baguette though), – while you’re in Barcelona, (and if you like your coffee strong) you may want to venture out to sample the emerging brunch scene in the city.
Is Wi-Fi available?
Rooms start from around £133 per night including breakfast.
TIP: We would recommend the relatively cheap upgrade to the superior room to bag yourself a balcony and an amount of space that borders on the cavernous.
The most interesting things to see and do are undoubtedly in the city centre; there is not much going on in this largely residential area. It only takes around 10 to 15 minutes on the metro (or an hour’s walk makes for a pleasant stroll, perfect for working up an appetite), but there’s also a couple of excellent tapas restaurants in the Tres Torres area, recommended by the hotel, including Chico Bar, an atmospheric space with a superbly creative menu – we loved it, and not just because the friendly, attentive staff offered us a complimentary coffee at the end of our meal.
Ryanair has several flights to Barcelona. Primero Primera is about a half hour’s taxi ride from the airport. Public transport will take at least an hour.