There’s no better hotel than The Cotton House, Autograph Collection in Barcelona at the moment, a personal favourite of Barcelona-based superstar Shakira. Revamped by interior designer Lázaro Rosa-Violán and architected by Elies Rogent, the Cotton House stands where the former headquarters of the Cotton Textile Foundation “Fundación Textil Algodonera”, an emblematic 19th-century neoclassical building, home of a Catalan bourgeoise-family who later sold it to the Cotton Producers Guild around the 1950s, lived. Ideally located near Palau de la Música, the Antoni Tàpies Foundation, the Picasso Museum and the MUHBA, The Cotton House is stunning.
From the original Picasso print drawings on the walls, the floral scent when entering the bedroom, the elegant palm-tree terrace, the Ortigia toiletry products in the bedrooms, to the waiting staff’s Hermès inspired uniforms (notice the bags they’re wearing), the majestic entrance lobby and staircase, the classical paintings on the ceiling of the beautiful library space, there’s no chicer place in the Catalan capital. The Marriott’s Autograph Collection is always a guarantee for quality and perfection, but The Cotton House Autograph Collection goes beyond expectations.
Very central (it only takes 30 mins by taxi from the airport), the 83-room property saw an intense refurbishment process which culminated in January 2015 with an opening to local and international clientele who can enjoy listed architecture, pastel furniture, and cherry on the cake: a rooftop pool terrace view over the iconic Sagrada Familia. What else do you need when you’re in Barcelona than a marvellous view over Gaudí’s masterpiece?
All the original historical elements of the building were restored – and sometimes revealed – through the renovation of the hotel. Today, guests can appreciate the boiserie of the lounge and breakfast areas, the spiral staircase built in 1957, the imposing fireplace of the restaurant floor, as well as the Mediterranean tiles of the room’s private terraces and light-art installation of the more modern staircase. Special attention to details was paid to the grand Ottoman and Damask Suites overlooking Gran Vía and located on the first floor.
What’s amazing is the placement of the all-marble sink in the regular rooms, juxtaposing private and open spaces. The pastel colours and the references to the subtle intrinsic qualities of cotton (softness, texture, and calmness) in the bedrooms will make your stay very relaxing and inspire a total sense of luxury. Beds are huge, very comfortable and stylish. The rooms feature all the modern facilities you may need including mini-bar, TV, iron and table, notepad, shower and bathtub combined in one place, and many more features.
Alfredo Martinez, Cotton House’s Director encapsulates the spirit of the space: “The Cotton House Hotel is a five-star hotel for curious travellers who want to discover the true essence of Barcelona.”
What’s the best asset: the comfort, the design, the gastronomy, the strategic location? “The Cotton House is an elegant 6-storey building which offers unmatched views of the distinguished Gran Vía de les Corts Catalanes, one of the most important streets in the city, in the heart of Eixample.
Entrance to the building is gained through a beautiful porch covered in mirrors, leading to an octagonal hall providing access to the imposing marble staircase. The Cotton House also features the “Batuar” Cocktail Bar & Restaurant “Batuar”, representing the true and most authentic Barcelona lifestyle: discreet sophistication, familiar and at the same time elegant. Enjoying some tapas and a drink in its lush and extensive terrace is a very tempting plan you cannot miss!” Alfredo continues: “FC Barcelona Players, Hollywood Directors and actors, models, Politicians and members of the Spanish Royal family have all chosen to stay at The Cotton House.”
Staff is very professional and dedicated: from welcoming guests upon check-in with a glass of cava to greeting them with their names in the morning, the level of professionalism is unmatched in Barcelona. There are four bedrooms adapted for the disabled and a ramp for the swimming pool.
Alfredo Martinez’s top-things and favourite spots / to do while in Barcelona? While all of people go to places like Sagrada Familia or La Rambla, we still have plenty of unique and interesting places that are off the beaten track. It is impossible for me just to choose one, but I have chosen my top spots: the monumental Plaça del Rei is a hidden gem, where you can witness and breathe history. The Gothic architectural ensemble best exemplifies the city’s medieval past. The Royal Palace, the Palau Reial Major, and its surrounding buildings includes a harmonious and peaceful square which is still imbued with Barcelona’s splendour of the Middle Ages. Plaça Sant Felip Neri: one of the most romantic spots in our city. Slightly faded Plaça Sant Felip Neri is an unmissable corner of the Gothic Quarter. The narrow, labyrinthine streets of the Gothic district come out into this unexpected spot. A tiny square with a charming little fountain in the middle, overlooked by the baroque church of Sant Felip Neri. On one side, you can see the buildings that once housed the city’s shoemakers’ and copper-smiths’ guilds. Next to the church, the school of Sant Felip Neri still survives. When the schoolchildren aren’t playing on the square and you listen to the silence, you can almost hear the bombs that fell here in 1938. You can still see the wounds etched into the façade of the church and they still seem to hurt. A plaque reminds us of the fact that a bombing raid by fascist planes ended the lives of 42 people, many of them children who had sought refuge in the air-raid shelter below the church. Now, the children play there, unaware of this tragic past, in this square that marks the entrance to Barcelona’s Jewish Quarter. Parc Guinardó: Park Guinardó is an oasis of calm. Its tall pine trees cast their shadow on the many locals who come to walk their dogs or enjoy a stroll. The views are spectacular, especially from the very top of the turó, or hill. This was once a shanty district whose houses reached up the sides of the rural hillside. Tiled floors remain, and you can spot the occasional frame of a doorway. It was also an anti-aircraft base during the Spanish Civil War. The bunkers are closed off, but you can still see the outline of the old gun turrets set deep in the stone.
The Marriott who owns the property has plans to open more properties in Barcelona and in other cities in Spain but nothing is confirmed yet. Stay tuned and book your stay at The Cotton House now, you won’t regret it!