SOHO HOUSE BARCELONA
It was Nick Jones, founder of Soho House, who wanted to create a home rather than a hotel for his guests. We’re talking about 1995. Nowadays almost every hotelier’s motto, but in that time rather conventional. I’ve never stayed at a Soho House, so the brand new Soho House Barcelona is my first experience with Jones’ revolutionary concept. Does it still feel different than all the other hotels who are implanting the home-concept in their rooms with beautiful designed plaids, a record player with your personal music selection and a pillow menu? For me it’s a true yes. Why? Well, they do know your name (and remember it the entire stay) when you arrive. Not overdone, but casual. Like a friend.
Feel like home
Of course you’ll find beautiful coffee books everywhere throughout the hotel, you can walk in a bathrobe to the spa and there’s a comfortable chair in your room (just close enough to the bed so you can stretch your legs while you’re reading their brand new book ‘Morning Noon Night‘). There’s your personal cocktail bar and a mixologist who can make one for you. In the drawer next to the bed with seven pillows you can find chargers for every smartphone. And a world adaptor. You’ll find the whole line of Cowshed shampoo’s, conditioners, scrubs and body gels in the bathroom to choose from. I mean: one day you will feel like a lazy cow and the other time you’re more like the horny one (although the body oil will suit you more then). But my absolute favorite: a cleanser, tonic and day cream to use! So you only need to bring some make-up and your perfume and you’re good to go!
‘Is it possible to stay there without being a member?’ was one of the questions I’ve received during and after my stay. Yes it is possible, but of course members get priority. You can’t book it via booking sites – only via their own booking system. They have a strict policy in who can become a member and who not and I think they do and great job as the people who are staying here are a good mix of creative entrepreneurs. I’ve met designers, architects, people working in fashion and music, photographers and owners of restaurants. No suits, but comfy jeans and sneakers and a hell lot of creativity inside of their heads.
A former convent
The House is almost invisible from the outside. The curtains are closed and the happening spaces are on the top floors. On the ground floor you can check-in and it’s one of my favorite designed spaces in the hotel. Beautiful lamps and chandeliers, the authentic Catalan ceiling and the fabric the desks are made of. Just stunning! Once this was a convent and for years they renovated it into this warm house. On the ground floor you’ll also find their restaurant Cecconi’s, a true recommendation. I will tell you all about it in a new post, but if you’re going to Barcelona, make sure to make reservation as you will absolutely love the food, the atmosphere and the art on the walls. Also there’s a meeting space and I love to recommend you one of their events called My Barrio, an independent design market in May.
Soho House organizes a lot of events. In the elevator you will find a calendar full of talks, films and more. If you’re a member you can attend them all and the cinema downstairs is a true stunner. If I lived in Barcelona I would definitely be a frequent visitor as the chairs are so comfy and the setting is very romantic. No pictures allowed, so I can’t show you unfortunately. There’s a no-picture policy inside the hotel. On the fifth and sixth floor you’re not allowed to take any pictures too – as they are only for members and hotel guests and they do so to provide privacy for them. On the fifth floor is the bar and restaurant which is stunning. And on the sixth floor you will find the open bar and a swimming pool with a view over the port and the sea. Apart from the privacy, there’s another plus on not being able to take pictures. You’re not feeling the urge to take a beautiful picture of the restaurant instead of enjoying it truly. Sort of digital detox feeling. Which is a luxury nowadays.
Then there’s the Cowshed Spa in the Basement. Open for everyone. From guests to members to locals to people visiting Barcelona and are in need of a manicure or massage. Cowshed is their own brand and every product is organic and plant-based. They have a range in products all based on the mood you’re in. From Grumpy (when you’re a bit stressed out) to the Wild Cow (if you’re in need of some energy). There are products for both men and women and they are all made in the UK. The birth place of Soho House and Cowshed Spa. There’s also a line for men called Neville. The spa looks like a barn but with comfy sofas and vintage tv’s and a cupboard inspired by the old pharmacies in Spain. Very cool. There’s a swimming pool and treatment rooms. I’ve tried their Barcelona Signature Treatment and it was a real treat. In this 2-hour energetic treatment your body will be brushed firstly with a sort of horse brush, then you’ll receive a scrub and a massage. Then you’re already totally relaxed and then they finish the treatment with a facial with cold stones. This is so refreshing (and I think can be helpful to beat migraines too) that you’re totally relaxed but still energetic to go out and see the city. I would highly recommend it!
Check out: www.sohohousebarcelona.com