The Hoxton’s Spanish outpost in Barcelona’s cool Poblenou barrio draws design inspiration from the bright colours, natural materials and lively atmosphere of its Catalan surroundings
Barcelona’s Poblenou barrio has become the city’s most vibrant design hub in recent years. Brimming with former textile mills, factories and warehouses that have been transformed into design schools, galleries, breweries and tech zones, the 22@ district attracts the town’s creative crowd.
So it is only fitting that this is where The Hoxton has chosen to make its mark on the city with a sprawling 240-room hotel.
Artwork takes pride of place. On entering the hotel, you can’t miss the colourful hand-painted mural on the bar front by local artist Maria Marvila. Catalan artist José Antonio Roda has been commissioned to illustrate room keys and collateral.
Bold, abstract artwork in the lobby and rooms is curated by Barcelona-based John Brown Projects while bookshelves are filled by the neighbourhood’s Hox Friends.
Taking architectural and interiors inspiration from its surroundings, the sun, sea and Mediterranean tones are championed throughout the scheme. The hotel is within walking distance to the beach, after all.
Terracotta floors are paired with faded florals, natural jute rugs and serene colour palettes. Handcrafted tapestries hang above statement headboards and floor-to-ceiling windows flood the rooms with light.
Rooms are generously sized, ranging from Roomy to a new category: Homey, which is ideal for families or longer staying guests – with kitchenettes, dining areas, and the option of two double beds in separate closable rooms for privacy.
Bathrooms strike a healthy balance of retro and sumptuous with Moroccan-style Zellige tiles and walk-in rainfall showers. Look out for the Hox Shop’s signature Blank amenities too. For that extra touch of luxury, a handful of Biggy and Homey rooms come with bathtubs. Perfect for unwinding after a day of exploring.
As well as offering somewhere stylish to rest your head, there are plenty of food and drink spots within the hotel. The most coveted gathering place is the beautifully designed rooftop, which comes alive with DJ sets on weekends. While the incredible backdrop of the city is hard to deter attention from, the decor nods to the Mexican cuisine of the buzzing bar and taqueria Tope.
Think colourful geometric tiled tabletops, lush greenery, cacti, handmade terracotta pendants hanging over the bar and striped sun loungers. Taking a dip in the chequerboard terrazzo pool overlooking the Sagrada Familia takes some beating.
Four Corners is the ground floor pizza restaurant that stretches across a sun terrace and slice shop. The pared-back spot is drenched in natural light with cascading greenery, large paper shade lanterns and bold blue tiles. A hand-painted mural by artist Caroline Denervaud frames the open kitchen and wraparound bar, with its corrugated concrete front and red leather stools.
There is even a bodega for a grab-and-go moment with snacks, beers and low intervention wines. Torres crisps, Garage Brewery beers, Ortiz tinned seafood and bespoke vermouth from Morro Fi are part of the line-up.
As is always the case with The Hoxton, the lobby is the very heart of the hotel. Here it is centred around a curved bar serving coffee and drinks. The space is framed by lofty arches and peachy plastered walls.
A contemporary mix of tactile fabrics and patterns on upholstered seating is matched with abundant planting, rattans and stones.
It also houses Best Of, the retail collection which features exclusively local and sustainable brands. This is a great place to find take-home treats such as printed shirts, T-shirts and swimmers by Brava Fabrics, sunglasses from the Poblenou-based Etnia, organic cosmetics by Rowse, chocolate courtesy of LOT Roasters or prints and figurines from José Antonio Roda.
The Apartment, a warm and fun twist on the traditional events space, is a cosy retreat for community events or private hires. Comprising three rooms, centred around a communal pantry kitchen, whitewashed timber floors are offset with a continuation of the hotel’s dynamic artwork collection featuring a huge art piece from local talent Sandra Modrego.
Best of all, you are in the thick of the action. Stepping outside the hotel, you can soak up the culture. From the Can Framis modern art museum to Glòries shopping centre or the famous Razzmatazz for some late-night grooves, there is a constant buzz.
As featured in OnOffice 161, Winter 2022. Read a digital version of the issue for free here
Images by Heiko Prigge