Barcelona’s hotel sector in particular has failed to offer a faithful representation of local life.
In 2015 the city registered 8.3million hotel stays and in the past 24 years, 18 five star properties have popped up, most of which veer between being dated with stodgy service, pseudo modernist with eccentric features – to just plain tacky.
And unlike NY and London, where you’re just as likely to bump into locals at the hotel bar as you are a hoard of tourists, most Catalans wouldn’t be caught dead in one of Barcelona’s hotel lobbies.
Or at least until now. Casa Bonay opened in March within a refurbished 1869 mansion in a neighbourhood favoured in the 19th century by affluent families who built grand hones in the style of the Modernistas.
Hot on the heels of other design-led arrivals, it is a world away from the paella and sangria trail. And more than any other new opening, its a place for travellers who are curious about Catalan culture, presenting an authentic portrait of the city by showcasing local brands and promoting homegrown talent.
Casa Bonay founder is Ines Miro-Sans, a 31 year old Barcelona native who worked for three years with the Ace Hotel Group in New York. Ines explains that her at Ace showed her how successful bringing together independent creative minds can be.
She also adds that through a collaborative model that engages local entrepreneurs, Casa Bonay will become more than just a base for tourists: ‘its a group of people trying to make something special for Barcelona.’