Editors Note: This is the seventh review in an ongoing series that will highlight each property–hostel and hotel–we stayed at during The Hazy Shade of Autumn Tour as part of our partnership with the good folks at HostelBookers.com.
Despite several years of Spanish language classes, I never had a strong desire to visit Spain, especially Barcelona. I’m not sure why really; it just never called to me like France and Italy.
So it’s no surprise (especially for anyone that has visited this fantastic country) that I was fool. After spending nearly a week in the country, I can honestly say that I love Spain, especially Barcelona, which conjured up the best of California for me: San Diego and San Francisco. And, in my opinion, no neighborhood better represented this blend of Europe meets California than Gracia in the north end of Barcelona.
With its narrow streets, stylish boutiques and paperback booksellers, Gracia is a hip section of Barcelona where locals and tourists come together to feast on the excellent collection of restaurants, cafés, and bars. We got the lowdown on the neighborhood from the excellent staff at the charmingly cool Casa Gracia Barcelona Hostel.
Located at the intersection of Paseo de Gracia and Diagonal, the hostel does a fantastic job of mixing modern aesthetics with classical Spanish architecture. Stepping into Casa Gracia feels more akin to a classic European hotel than a backpacker’s hostel. That’s not to say, Casa Gracia is stuffy and boring. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. With a mix of families, backpackers, couples and groups, the hostel does sociability with quiet when it counts very well.
The front desk, dining area, hallways & living room:
Beth and I had the opportunity to stay in both a private room on the second floor as well as four-person dorm on the first floor near the common area and kitchen, and at no time did we ever have any trouble sleeping at night. Each floor has plenty of bathrooms, neither of our rooms had an en-suite bathroom; however, both did have a sink and mirror.(The hostel also has rooms available with private bathrooms). The dorm rooms featured hardwood floor and nice dimming lights (a great feature for late night or early morning arrivals) as well as an ample storage locker under the bunks that could be locked with your lock.
Our private room on the second floor featured French doors that overlooked an old stone patio. The room was bright and stylish, melding modern and classical decor perfectly. On one hand it felt very hip, while on the other, the room (and hostel overall) gave off a great early 20th century vibe.
If there’s one thing I love it’s attention to detail. The bold wallpaper, tiled sink back splash & wooden hangers gave this room a very intimate feel:
Both rooms were extremely clean and that goes for the bathrooms and common areas in the hostel as well. Casa Gracia’s breakfast was an excellent European continental affair with meats, cheeses, yogurt, breads and cereal as well as fresh coffee and juice. And the hostel also features a nice large kitchen for guests to use and to store their food.
The kitchen, dining area, bathroom, patio & views off our balcony:
As I said earlier, the staff was superb. The reception desk was extremely helpful and polite. They have maps on hand and are quick to tell you their favorite spots around Barcelona. Additionally, they also plan nightly pub crawls and other activities, like organizing trips to FC Barcelona games.
Another plus to staying at Casa Gracia is its location. Our first several days in Barcelona were right in the heart of Las Ramblas, so we weren’t too sure how Casa Gracia would compare. However, we found it to be just as good, especially if you more interested in seeing a more local side of Barcelona while still being in the heart of the city. Not only is Casa Gracia within walking distance of Catalunya Square and Casa Batlló of Gaudi, it’s also only a block from the nearest metro stop. The location really offers up the best of Barcelona for travelers who like the main attractions as much as the local spots.
The first photo was taken right outside the hostel entrance. The second photo features jewelery for sale at a pop up market we stumbled upon in the neighborhood one day.
Room rates vary at Casa Gracia depending on low, mid and high season. When we stayed at the hostel in December, it was the low season so the rates are as follows. The dorm room was 19 euros per night (per person) and the private twin was 54 euros per night (per room), which from our research seems to be on par with cheap hotels in Barcelona, if not a little better, especially when you consider the breakfast and location.
*While our stay was complimentary, our thoughts and opinions are entirely our own.
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*Please remember all photos on this website, unless otherwise noted, are copyrighted and property of Beers and Beans Travel Website, Nariko’ s Nest Weddings & Bethany Salvon. Please do not use them without my permission. If you do want to use one of them please contact me first because I do love to share and I would be flattered. Thanks!
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