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El Palauet: A Pristine Palace in Barcelona

Self-contained city living at five-star hotel, El Palauet in Barcelona’s L’Eixample neighbourhood

Designed in 1906 by revered architect Pere Falqués, El Palauet translates from Catalan to Little Palace, which is a wonderfully apt title for this majestic, Art Nouveau jewel on Barcelona’s esteemed Passeig de Gràcia boulevard.

The five-storey modernista marvel opened as a hotel in 2010 and original features have been painstakingly preserved, from decorative ironwork and elaborate, moulded ceilings to the original lift installed in 1906. Dramatic, carved wooden doors unfold into a mosaic-tiled lobby with plush white leather sofas, setting the tone for a charming and chic hotel that pairs century-old architecture with ultra-modern décor.

The hotel is furnished with a sweep of names including Philippe Starck, Mies van der Rohe and Charles and Ray Eames, and former guests are equally well-known. George Clooney and Madonna are among those who have booked into the boutique, five-star hideaway, renowned for its privacy and self-contained opulence.

I stay in the Mezzanine Tibidabo, one of six, sprawling apartment-style suites in the luxury hotel. The immaculate, gleaming white pad has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a dining space, fully equipped kitchenette and a terrace with joyful views of the Catalan capital. The creamy colour palette is offset by metallic light fixtures and a pair of sleek Arne Jacobsen chairs, while high-tech details include a Japanese heated toilet seat and opulent light projections that dance across the walls.

I visit during summer and therefore spend the majority of my time lounging on the balcony, however I can easily see how tempting it would be to hunker down here in winter – unwinding in the deep bathtub and curling up on the sofa beneath a twinkling light display.

El Palauet is located on Barcelona’s esteemed shopping row and sits in good company amongst Bulgari, Prada and Stella McCartney, to name but a few. There is no public bar or dining space at the hotel but a wonderfully well stocked kitchen, plus a breakfast menu from which you can order everything from poached eggs to pancakes. Discreet but attentive staff are on hand 24 hours a day – the final clincher at a truly memorable little palace, which will make you feel like royalty.

Join the Mr & Mrs Smith travel club to enjoy our best-price guarantee, as well as a little something extra on arrival at every hotel. To book, call toll-free at 0330 100 3180 or go to www.mrandmrssmith.com