Not to be confused with its New York namesake, this new property brings a breath of fresh design to the gothic heart of Barcelona. Concealed down an unassuming medieval side street, the 28-room Mercer Hotel is housed in an impressive building that comprises part of the defensive wall of the 1st century Roman town of Baracino. In a prevailing palette of smooth browns, beiges, and greys, the furnishings have been crafted exclusively by Madrid-based interiors firm Gaston y Daniela, while architect Rafael Moneo has created a luminous space, sympathetically preserving its original elements, and adding the occasional modern touch, such as the striking floor to ceiling windows that overlook a central courtyard. Public spaces include two restaurants, a cocktail bar and a rooftop terrace lap pool. And the Loewe toiletries are a pleasant addition.