All one needs for a great time in Barcelona is a couple of quid and a room of one’s own.
It might have been Virginia Woolf who wrote that – or a version of – but after UNILAD‘s ‘diva-inspired’ stay in Hostelworld’s glamorous Casa Gracia Hotel, a slightly heightened sense of self-aggrandisement came over me.
So I’m co-opting the feminist statement for this here story about two women having a whirlwind 24-hour adventure in Barcelona, Spain, fit for none other than Mariah Carey.
As much as we’d all like to think of ourselves shaking off the trappings of modern society as we jet around the globe, let’s be honest for just one hot Spanish minute.
After a long day of tapas-tasting, beach-bathing, architecture-admiring, disco-dancing Barcelona sight-seeing, the last thing you want is to crawl into a uncomfortable bed surrounded by strangers who potentially snore.
In fact, recent research from Hostelworld found almost half (46 per cent) of Brits are self-proclaimed divas at heart; a little more Louis Vuitton in Lisbon than backpacking around Bolivia.
Moreover, two in five of us (42 per cent) would actually hot-foot it out of their pre-booked accommodation if they found a dirty cup on arrival.
Apparently we’re all a lot less intrepid than our backpacking predecessors. Camping is probably out of the question – and a mirror selfie spot is all the entertainment we need!
So there’s appetite for affordable, luxury accommodation which looks great on the ‘Gram – but in a world of Airbnb and budget hotels, a lot of people don’t realise hostels can be the solution; the keycard to your dream city break, if you like.
Well, put your feet up, and let me welcome you to Casa Gracia.
This unique, boutique stay bridges the gap between comfy home-like hostel and luxe holiday hotel, all within a stone’s throw from Gaudi’s La Pedrera, Casa Batlló and the city’s high-end shops.
Gracia is Barcelona’s swankiest neighbourhood, according to the locals, and that’s where the hostel gets its name – not a very British desire to constantly thank the friendly and polite staff, as UNILAD first assumed.
There, after ascending the grand, old-school lift a few floors, lay a suite every inch fit for Mariah: a purple velvet curtain-lined luxury cave of wonders, which comes complete with your very own Corinthian columns and chilled wine on ice upon arrival.
Hostelworld recommend ‘savvy divas’ skip the crowds and indulge in some retail therapy from the comfort of their very own Jacuzzi, the star feature of Casa Gracia’s Super Suite, which also comes stocked with fluffy bathrobes, slippers and a fruit basket.
Everything is included – a comfortable bed, 24 hours free tea and coffee, towels and linens, daily cleaning service, wifi, large common areas with fully equipped kitchen, relaxing area, computer area, games and TV, plus an amazing outdoor terrace which would delight Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday – so you’ll never have to leave Casa Gracia.
But if you do fancy marvelling at the history, beauty and low-key cosmopolitan airs and graces of Spain’s so-called second capital, you’re well placed to do so.
With 24-hour concierge you don’t have to worry about getting in late – whether it’s because you’ve been whiling away the hours in the basement bars with extremely generously proportioned gin cocktails or because your budget airline flight was delayed by four hours.
No guarantees you’ll be able to hit Mariah’s signature high-C on your return – and the kind staff at Casa Gracia can’t stop your significant other snoring – but the private suite’s Jacuzzi bath will have you feeling iconic the morning after the night before.
With average prices per night starting from £32 for a dorm room and private rooms coming in from £109 , they’re cheap enough for Mariah to afford the whole place to herself.
And for the rest of us to enjoy a slice of this:
It’s all you’ll want for Christmas – and all year round for that matter.
If you have a story to tell, contact UNILAD via [email protected]
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.