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Staying in style in Barcelona

The Guardian logo The Guardian 10/02/2017 Johanna Derry
Casa Bonay, Barcelona: Casa Bonay’s Libertine bar and lobby, Barcelona © PR Casa Bonay’s Libertine bar and lobby, Barcelona

Barcelona: city of Gaudi, beaches and tapas. Charming but perhaps a little predictable. So Casa Bonay, a hotel, opened in Dreta de l’Eixample last March, that is also a restaurant, coffee shop, art gallery and social hub, is a breath of fresh air. A collaboration between 15 like-minded creative types in this neighbourhood just outside the old town, it will “fill some of the city’s gaps”, according to co-founder Inés Miro-Sans.

An archway leads from the street into Casa Bonay’s living room-esque lobby and bar, called the Libertine. An Instagrammer’s dream, it has original tiled floors, lighting by Santa & Cole (whose co-founder, Nina Masó, met Miro-Sans at an astrology class) and fabrics by Chinese/Catalan designers baTabasTa. It’s a place you could spend a whole day hanging out or working in, with a great menu and selection of Catalan natural wines.

A room at Casa Bonay, Barcelona

The mix of terrace and courtyard bedrooms are peaceful and bright, with yoga mats, and beds covered with woven blankets made by local not-for-profit firm Teixidors. Marcos Bartolomé, the owner of Satan’s Coffee Corner in the city’s Barrio Gotico, who is credited with kickstarting a wave of high-quality barista-style coffee in the city, was invited to open a branch inside Casa Bonay after Miro-Sans spotted him selling from a window in a gift shop.

The hotel’s restaurant specialises in south-east Asian dishes. Photograph: Anthony Perez

In the hotel’s restaurant, called Elephant Crocodile Monkey, chef Estanislao Carenza kicks against the tapas fixation with south-east Asian dishes made with local ingredients: acorn-fed pork and carabinero shrimp in Vietnamese spring rolls for €9.90, or dry-aged beef pho with fresh rice sticks for €11.50, for example.

“We’re not pioneers,” says Miro-Sans, “but we know how to enjoy ourselves,” says Miro-Sans, “and we want people to have the best.”

Doubles from €72 room-only, casabonay.com

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