Three blocks north of Gaudi’s undulating La Pedrera, a luxury apartment in Barcelona, stands at the northern end of the Passeig de Gràcia. Its architect was Gaudi’s contemporary Pere Falqués. who also designed the distinctive bench-cum-lamp posts on the paseo itself. And it consists of just six private two-bedroom apartments that are let by the night. There are no communal areas to speak of except a roof terrace (with bar and rather stylish hot tub) and small spa. Guests wanting to remain incognito can even come and go via their own discreet entrance at the back.
Each suite is a substantial 1,600sq ft (150sq m) and is furnished like the airy and immaculate flat of a sophisticated friend, complete with well-equipped kitchen stocked with whatever you care to request. (A chef can be hired to prepare it.) The palette is pale, and the furniture combines pieces by Antonio Citterio, Charles and Ray Eames, Arne Jacobsen, Mies van der Rohe, Eero Saarinen and Philippe Starck: modern and understated so as not to compete with the fabulously fancy moulded ceilings, exuberantly carved doors, stained glass or decorative ironwork and mosaic-inset balconies that typify the Modernista style.
They’re well provided with expensive gizmos too. The bathrooms are equipped with chromotherapy baths, so you can adjust the colour to suit your mood, and those terrifying Japanese loo-cum-bidets with heated seats. And an iPad allows you to control everything from the televisions to the lighting to the in-house music system with its integrated playlist and the electrically operated blinds and awnings. There is no shame in summoning your assigned “PA” if you can’t figure it out. He or she will fix you breakfast too, and make any other arrangements you require.
In essence, then, this luxury apartment in Barcelona has most of the trappings of the grandest grand hotel but on a domestic scale. In other words, it’s a stylish serviced apartment where the service actually counts for something.
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