PRESS

We keep everything people say about us. Thank you!

Book Now
« Go back | Go to the original content »

A vine time to visit Barcelona: Praktik Vinoteca - hotel review | 17-11-2015

Barcelona is a city under siege. And not just from the platoons of British stag and hen parties that descend on the Catalonian metropolis weekend after weekend armed with glitter and “Big Dave’s last Weekender” T-shirts, but by Airbnb. The recent success of the apartment subletting site has Catalonians up in arms — not least because they’re fed up of being woken at 3am by Jim from Croydon who’s just vomited on their stairs, but because they’re being forced to watch as their buoyant hospitality industry begins to collapse into the Mediterranean. Contemporary hotel brand Praktik is among the first to offer a solution. A Spanish equivalent to the French Philippe Starck-designed Mama Shelter chain, Praktik consists of five themed boutique properties that come with room rates to rival even the most astonishingly priced Airbnb flats, and the brand is indicative of a growing middle market for accommodation that offers style as well as substance. Having spent three nights on the floor of a friend’s Barceloneta apartment and four long days at the city’s Primavera music festival, my husband and I arrived at Praktik Vinoteca in desperate need of a little luxury. Or at least, a bed that doesn’t require another pump of air mid-sleep. Praktik Vinoteca, dedicated to fully indoctrinating guests into the produce of Catalonian vineyards, is a wine bar that doubles as a hotel. The concept, while gimmicky in suggestion, won me over immediately. We were greeted by a receptionist-cum-sommelier who offered us a drink of our choice as she checked us in. We opted for an ice cold glass of cava but there is plenty of choice for those who want to get straight into viticulture — 900 options are on display behind the bar. Chic decor: a bedroom at Praktik Vinoteca The communal space, which includes the bar and reception area as well as a canteen-style dining room that spills out on to a sun-drenched patio, is lined with vintage wine posters and dark mahogany furniture. The vibe is relaxed — Soho House meets local Spanish hang out. Upstairs the wine theme gives way to simple streamlined bedrooms. Entirely whitewashed, except for the occasional poster, the rooms are compact but comfortable and feature a separate shower room as well as a TV and sprightly Wi-Fi connection. Ask for an exterior room for a view of the city’s prestigious Carrer de Balmes if gazing down at the patio doesn’t inspire you. And try to travel light — wardrobe space is a little limited. In keeping with the budget boutique aesthetic, there is no kettle or room service but guests can enjoy a glass of wine in their bedroom provided they opt for white or cava. “Red is not allowed — we’ve had a few accidents,” the receptionist told me. The lounge at Praktik Vinoteca Breakfast, served in the dining room, is the usual continental fare and includes a selection of pastries and a help-yourself toaster. Coffee comes via a hard-working Nespresso machine. The staff, hardly present other than to clear the occasional plate, encourage guests to live like they’re at home. So is this the place to come if you’re used to five-star service? Definitely not. The Praktik ethos hinges on efficiency and great design at remarkably low cost. And to me, the odd neglected empty wine glass and abandoned dirty ash tray seems like a small price to pay for a beautifully designed £80-per-night hotel smack bang in the middle of the ultra-cool Eixample district. Sandwiched in between quiet Les Corts and bustling Gràcia, Eixample offers a chic alternative to the party strip of Las Ramblas and is the place to stay if you want to indulge in the city’s growing café culture. A sort of Catalonian Islington, the area is lined with popular brunch spots — notably Brunch & Cake, which had a queue of dinners spiralling up the street when we turned up — and Flax & Kale, a healthy “flexitarian” restaurant that claims to offer an 80 per cent plant-based menu. The hotel is just a six-minute walk from the boutique-lined Passeig de Gràcia and a 20-minute walk from Las Ramblas’s celebrated Boqueria food market, so is perfectly located for those who want to escape the hotel bar, even for just an hour so. On our final day we ambled through the narrow streets to the Picasso Museum and on to the Parc de la Ciutadella before retreating to the Praktik Vinoteca patio, where we enjoyed one more for the road before heading to the airport. It would have been rude not to. Praktik Vinoteca, Carrer Balmes 51, Barcelona, Spain (00 34 93 454 50 28; hotelpraktikvinoteca.com). Doubles from €94 including breakfast.


« Go back | Go to the original content »

You will always find us in the city centre

We use our own and third-party cookies to improve our services and show you advertising related to your preferences by analyzing your browsing habits. If you go on surfing, we will consider you accepting its use. You can change the settings or get more information here.
Close
Imagen
X