A Boutique Hotel That Captures the Creative Spirit of Barcelona

By Paige Alexus
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Some believe that the best design comes from projects that involve a collaborative effort, combining the visions of multiple individuals with different backgrounds and specialties.

I would argue that this is particularly accurate when it comes to non-residential design, whether it be a lounge, coffee shop, brick-and-mortar store—or in this case, a boutique hotel that combines it all. As a hip newcomer to the Barcelona scene, Casa Bonay has already made a name for itself as a must-see spot that boasts a collective spirit that’s deeply ingrained in the personality of the city.

Hovering over the Libertine bar/restaurant in Casa Bonay is a massive lighting installation by Santa & Cole. As a Barcelona-based company that focuses on industrial design, they also provided the lighting throughout the rest of the hotel.

Hovering over the Libertine bar/restaurant in Casa Bonay is a massive lighting installation by Santa & Cole. As a Barcelona-based company that focuses on industrial design, they also provided the lighting throughout the rest of the hotel.

Courtesy of Casa Bonay

Located in the neighborhood of Dreta de l’Eixample, Casa Bonay is nestled in a historic mansion that was built in 1869 for the Bonay family. The original creator had devised a neoclassical facade with architectural influences inspired by the art of masonry. Co-founder and Barcelona-native Inés Miro-Sans wanted to forge a place where the region's talented design community could come together to create something extraordinary. After working for the Ace Hotel in New York for a few years, she had developed a strong sense of how important it is to create a unique experience for both locals and travelers.

With this goal in mind, she gathered a dream team of local creatives in order to forge an authentic connection to the city’s past and present spirit—starting with recruiting Brooklyn-based firm Studio Tack to design the space. Read on to find out who else was involved and how they each contributed.

Along with taking part in designing the reception area, Marc Morro created the wood furniture in the bedrooms. Morro is one of the founders of AOO—a small company in Barcelona that designs and produces original furniture pieces that are made locally by themselves, artisans, or small manufacturers. Shown here is the lounge area of Libertine, the hotel’s bar that doubles as a restaurant. 

Along with taking part in designing the reception area, Marc Morro created the wood furniture in the bedrooms. Morro is one of the founders of AOO—a small company in Barcelona that designs and produces original furniture pieces that are made locally by themselves, artisans, or small manufacturers. Shown here is the lounge area of Libertine, the hotel’s bar that doubles as a restaurant. 

Courtesy of Casa Bonay

The Design Direction 

Miro-Sans worked with Studio Tack to devise a Mediterranean-inspired space with a vibe that particularly represents Barcelona. As an interdisciplinary practice that integrates research and strategy into their work, they focused on highlighting classic aspects of the space in both the communal areas and throughout the 67 rooms.

At the lobby bar/restaurant, you can try out a selection of teas from their Shanghai tea master, choose from a list of signature cocktails and sherry options, or try out a menu that revels in comfort food. 

At the lobby bar/restaurant, you can try out a selection of teas from their Shanghai tea master, choose from a list of signature cocktails and sherry options, or try out a menu that revels in comfort food. 

Courtesy of Casa Bonay
Throughout the hotel’s culinary experience, Gastronomy is a strong part of the culture and features natural, local ingredients. 

Throughout the hotel’s culinary experience, Gastronomy is a strong part of the culture and features natural, local ingredients. 

Courtesy of Casa Bonay

The Artisanal Touches

Each of the wallpapered bathrooms are equipped with rosemary and olive oil soap, as well as oat and bergamot shampoo from Las Lilas. By creating her own biodynamic process, Ana Gayoso uses herbs and plants that she grows in her own garden in Alt Empordà, a mountainous area outside of Barcelona. 

Each of the wallpapered bathrooms are equipped with rosemary and olive oil soap, as well as oat and bergamot shampoo from Las Lilas. By creating her own biodynamic process, Ana Gayoso uses herbs and plants that she grows in her own garden in Alt Empordà, a mountainous area outside of Barcelona. 

Courtesy of Casa Bonay

The Green Thumb of the Operation 

Alejandra Coll of Asilvestrada Plants provided the greenery throughout the hotel. He interspersed plants down the corridors, hung them from balconies, and placed them in travertine tubs. He also was in charge of bringing to life the new rooftop terrace, which just opened in June. Also designed by Studio Tack, the creation of the outdoor space brought together a number of the hotel's collaborators. Visitors can partake in morning yoga classes or enjoy food and cocktails from the restaurant El Chiringuito de Bonay. Marc Morro from AOO designed the furniture while the textiles are from BaTabasTa.

The newly opened rooftop terrace features a fragrant garden that was created by Alejandra Coll. The ingredients grown here will be used at the restaurants and bars in the hotel.

The newly opened rooftop terrace features a fragrant garden that was created by Alejandra Coll. The ingredients grown here will be used at the restaurants and bars in the hotel.

Photo by Rita Puig-Serra

The Typography

Max Rippon and Ausias Perez painted the numbers on the doors in a similar style to the original signage of the building. 

Max Rippon and Ausias Perez painted the numbers on the doors in a similar style to the original signage of the building. 

Courtesy of Casa Bonay

The Textiles

The floors of the guest rooms are still covered with the original mosaic tiles. The blankets in the rooms were handcrafted by Teixidors, a nonprofit company based outside of Barcelona that provides opportunities for individuals with learning disabilities.

The floors of the guest rooms are still covered with the original mosaic tiles. The blankets in the rooms were handcrafted by Teixidors, a nonprofit company based outside of Barcelona that provides opportunities for individuals with learning disabilities.

Courtesy of Casa Bonay

The Coffee Bar

Satan’s Coffee Corner (shown here) and Mother Juice Bar (shown below) share a space together. The coffee outpost, founded by Marcos Bartolomé, started out as a hole-in-the-wall establishment before becoming a cult classic and opening its second establishment located in the hotel. 

Satan’s Coffee Corner (shown here) and Mother Juice Bar (shown below) share a space together. The coffee outpost, founded by Marcos Bartolomé, started out as a hole-in-the-wall establishment before becoming a cult classic and opening its second establishment located in the hotel. 

Courtesy of Casa Bonay

The Juice Bar

Mother Juice Bar is a cold-pressed juicery that was created by Gemma Ponsa Salvador and Lily Figel. They exclusively use local seasonal ingredients and dried fruit, as well as ingredients from the new rooftop garden. As native Barcelonans, Salvador spent time developing her craft in Los Angeles, while Figel worked as a pastry chef in New York. 

Mother Juice Bar is a cold-pressed juicery that was created by Gemma Ponsa Salvador and Lily Figel. They exclusively use local seasonal ingredients and dried fruit, as well as ingredients from the new rooftop garden. As native Barcelonans, Salvador spent time developing her craft in Los Angeles, while Figel worked as a pastry chef in New York. 

Courtesy of Casa Bonay

The Garb

Topping off the hotel amenities is BaTabasTa, a shop that was founded in Shanghai by Clara Arnús and Leti Cano. Located in the reception area, you’ll find printed shirts—some of which feature patterns that can be found throughout the rest of the hotel. 

Topping off the hotel amenities is BaTabasTa, a shop that was founded in Shanghai by Clara Arnús and Leti Cano. Located in the reception area, you’ll find printed shirts—some of which feature patterns that can be found throughout the rest of the hotel. 

Courtesy of Casa Bonay

The Historic Character

When you first arrive at the hotel, you’re welcomed by a substantial—and quite dramatic—original marble staircase. As you enter in further, you'll pass through a series of archways that mingle with banana trees and other leafy vegetation. Finally, when you arrive at the main lobby, you'll find yourself standing under vaulted ceilings and surrounded by comfortable, vintage furniture. Make your reservation today here.

In the main corridor of the refreshed 19th century building, lush potted plants from Alejandra Coll of Asilvestrada Plants sit on top of original mosaic floors. 

In the main corridor of the refreshed 19th century building, lush potted plants from Alejandra Coll of Asilvestrada Plants sit on top of original mosaic floors. 

Courtesy of Casa Bonay

Paige Alexus

@paigealexus

Content Producer & Blogger at Dwell

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