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The best-smelling place to stay in Barcelona? Why there's nothing run-of-the-mill about the hotel with a bakery INSIDE it | 07-01-2016

There's definitely no danger of Hotel Bakery in Barcelona being given a telling off by the Spanish trading standards office. This is principally because it has a fully functioning bakery inside it on the ground floor, with the bread it produces sold in the reception area in a homely jumble. The loaves are wonderfully artisanal and ensure that this is one of the best-smelling – and most unique - hotel entrances in the city. Other hotels include the wine-themed Praktik Vinoteca and the vegetation-themed Praktik Garden. The interior design of Bakery was overseen by the renowned Lázaro Rosa-Violán, whose skills have propelled him into the pages of Wallpaper and Vogue. He opted to keep things simple and fresh. And it works well. My bedroom – a twin I'm sharing with by chum James – is minimalist, yet inviting. And the theme is white. To make sure your eyeballs don't have to do much work there isn't any artwork or photography, just white painted walls and sideways white tiling throughout. It's wonderful for relaxation. Not so good for red wine drinkers. There are trendy swivel reading lamps above the beds – all the more noticeable because they're black - and bathroom facilities by the door that are cramped, but luxe in terms of quality. There's a chunky sink – white, of course, with exposed pipework wrapped around it – and a decent rain shower, too. A sliding door between the entrance area and bedroom offers a bit of privacy and box shelving a bit of storage space for clothes. It's farmhouse chic and very restful – but the bijou dimensions mean that it's probably ideal for short stays. Breakfast is continental style and features some of the finest croissants I've ever had – so light. There's also a great deal of bread available. Dining takes place in a room at the rear of the ground floor space that has open brickwork, industrial lighting and warm wooden furniture. Plus yellow doors and a nice airy feel thanks to a glass roof. And that's really the run of the facilities here – bakery, bedrooms and breakfast. But it's extremely stylish and comfortable. Perfect for a long weekend. Plus - it's in a superb location - the Eixample district. This is just one block from the famous La Pedrera Gaudi building – the architect's last civil building and a Unesco heritage site - and within easy reach of some quite superb bars and restaurants. These include the quite brilliant wine bar Monvinic, where you can choose wines by the glass using a tablet. What's on offer ranges from four euro reds and whites up to Romanee-Conti pinot noirs costing nearly 8,000 euros. And then there's the unmissable Boca Grande, which pairs irreverence with great cooking. It serves desserts that look like hamburgers, rustic seafood dishes, excellent wine and it has a loo containing a photobooth. Unmissable. If you like an evening shaken but not stirred, pop into Dry Martini – a classy old-school bar where master cocktail barmen assemble the best cocktails you'll drink in Barcelona. Just like Hotel Bakery, they'll all offer you a slice of the good life.


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