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Praktik Bakery: Sometimes simplicity can be the most delicious of luxuries | 26-06-2015

Wake to the smell of freshly baked bread at this affordable, well-located Barcelona hotel It’s no secret that I am seduced by upscale hotels – the ‘better-than-at-home’ high thread count linens, the plush, designer interiors, the indulgent bathrooms…well the list could go on. Of course this kind of luxury comes with a price, and so often nowadays luxury can be more about extravagance than the pleasure and excitement of discovering a new place. During my last visit to Barcelona I enjoyed a night at the Praktik Bakery Hotel, by the Hoteles Praktik group that is creating individualistic, well-priced hotels in buzzing locations across Barcelona and Madrid. Praktik Bakery Hotel Andrew Forbes Review (7) This place is not about ostentatious extravagance; on the contrary it is simply and fairly modest, but has a welcoming atmosphere and is in a great location. Location This pared-back, unpretentious hotel has a tasty location, close to Gaudí’s La Pedrera (Casa Milà), in the posh Eixample district of Barcelona. It’s just minutes away from Barcelona’s Passeig de Gràcia; a fusion of New York City’s Fifth Avenue and London’s Bond Street. Ambiance As the hotel’s name implies, this is also a working bakery, a striking feature that goes beyond the gimmick of a gourmet bakery store in reception. The ground floor is in fact a working bakery operated by the upscale Baluard Company. This certainly lends a distinct flavour to the property, with reception, the bakery and the coffee shop (which in summer opens onto a small internal terrace) all kind of merging together in the informal, relaxed open plan ground floor. Yes, indeed the lobby is shared with the bakery, so expect beautifully presented cakes, breads and treats beside the front desk, whilst behind glass walls you can watch the bakers at work as you tuck into your buffet breakfast. Praktik Bakery Hotel Andrew Forbes Review (8) Other design details include industrial lighting, exposed brickwork, and wood panelling, as well as hotel signage on bread panels and humorous Spanish quotes about bread on each floor opposite the lift. Praktik Bakery Hotel Andrew Forbes Review (1) Highs Great location, close to Passeig de Gràcia Relaxed, friendly atmosphere with quirky design Comfortable rooms at an affordable rates Lows Limited public areas for relaxing – a couple of sofas in the coffee shop – no separate lounge Rooms compact – the entrance, bathroom area felt a little tight for space No towel rail Guest rooms The rooms are fairly basic, as this is after all a more budget orientated hotel. Yet in my mind the property focuses on the things that matter. The hotel’s designer Lazaro Rosa-Violán, has chosen a few distinctive elements and allowed them to define each space. Praktik Bakery Hotel Andrew Forbes Review (6) Smart, all white, super clean rooms are minimalist, but furnished with the things that count, like the very comfortable beds. The vintage style oversized bedside lamps add interest as well as practical functionality. The entrance to the room is compact but manages to combine the wash basin, the clothes rail (made from vintage water pipes fixed to classic white tiles on the wall), shelves and safe – somehow it all works, but it does feel a little crowded. However in my room there was the benefit of a sliding door than allowed the sleeping area to be closed off from the entrance and bathroom area, making the room more tranquil. praktik_bakery_hotel_andrew_forbes_review Others rooms had slightly cosier styling… Praktik Bakery Hotel Andrew Forbes Review (3) Whilst others were even more compact… Praktik Bakery Hotel Andrew Forbes Review (9) In my room layout, opposite the clothes rail and washbasin was the cavernous shower decorated with compelling, bespoke blue octagonal tiles that added a touch of warmth to the otherwsie cold colour palatte. Praktik Bakery Hotel Andrew Forbes Review (2) I guess one of the most distinctive features is that the chances are, one wakes to the comforting smell of freshly baked bread in the morning! Dining The hotel does not offer food – just a modest buffet style breakfast in the lobby coffee shop with of course plenty of freshly baked croissants and other baked goods – there is a Nespresso machine too. Praktik Bakery Hotel Andrew Forbes Review (4) Wow factor This hotel doesn’t try and impress – it has a friendly, fun personality, but its real wow factor is its location. A classic building within one of Barcelona’s finest neighbourhoods; an affordable place to stay in one of the city’s poshest postcodes. Praktik have a number of small hotels in Madrid and Barcelona. The latest is the Praktik Vinoteca Hotel, which features a much warmer, cosier atmosphere ideal if you are more of an oenophile than a carb addict.


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